Jobs Outlook: Office Clerks, General

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Employment growth and high replacement needs in this large occupation will result in numerous job openings for general office clerks. In addition to those for full-time jobs, many job openings are expected for part-time and temporary general office clerks. Prospects should be best for those who have knowledge of basic computer applications and office machinery—such as fax machines, telephone systems, and scanners—and good writing and communication skills. As general administrative support duties continue to be consolidated, employers will increasingly seek well-rounded individuals with highly developed communication skills and the ability to perform multiple tasks.

Employment of general office clerks is expected to grow more slowly than average for all occupations through the year 2014. The employment outlook for these workers will be affected by the increasing use of technology, expanding office automation, and the consolidation of administrative support tasks. Automation has led to productivity gains, allowing a wide variety of duties to be performed by fewer office workers. However, automation also has led to a consolidation of administrative support staffs and a diversification of job responsibilities. This consolidation increases the demand for general office clerks because they perform a variety of administrative support tasks. It will become increasingly common within small businesses to find a single general office clerk in charge of all administrative support work.

Job opportunities may vary from year to year because the strength of the economy affects demand for general office clerks. Companies tend to employ more workers when the economy is strong. Industries least likely to be affected by economic fluctuations tend to be the most stable places for employment.

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