IF YOU are a Sussex eBay trader, an abseiler or a reiki healer, your job is one of a range of new occupations that the 2011 Census will record for the first time.
Nearly 28,000 different job codes have been allocated for this year’s census - an increase of around 2,200 over the 2001 census.
Other new jobs this time include colon hydrotherapist, pole dancer and feng shui consultant. This compares with only three categories in the 1801 census when the choice was between working in agriculture, manufacturing/trade or ‘other’.
As new jobs are added, others are removed from the list. Job titles that are no longer coded include pug hunter (someone who controls the distribution of journeys of empty trains to various working districts), blubberer or blubberman (someone who scrapes the blubber from seal skin on with a two-handled knife) and alley girl (who checks tablets of soap as they leave the stamping machine).
Information on jobs is used by central and local government, and other organisations, to understand local labour markets and develop and monitor policies. It is used to identify deprived areas, to allocate community and economic development funding and for housing and transport planning.
When combined with other information, such as ethnicity and long-term illness or disability, it can identify areas where there may be barriers to employment and it helps to target employment policies to get people into work.
Glen Watson, ONS Census director, says: “Our society, and the jobs people do, is change all the time, and it is important that the census keeps up with the changes. People’s occupations will be allocated one of 27,966 occupational codes, including those for eBay trader, abseiler and reiki healer, as well as many others.
“It’s fascinating to look back at some of the jobs that used to exist, and consider what some of the new ones tell us about how we earn our living today.
“If you are about to complete your questionnaire and find that you have misplaced it, order another at www.census.gov.uk or ring the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 (England) and 0300 0201 130 (Wales). We have expert advisors on hand to guide you through the process. However, make sure that you do it today as time is passing quickly and I don’t want anyone to end up facing prosecution, a criminal record and a fine of up to £1,000.”