The paper reviews the issues which have underpinned the different representations of work in the official statistics on occupations. The aim is to help users to grasp the meaning given to occupation over time. Going through the rationale of the international debate on taxonomies, the authors underline the need to broaden the prospects of job analysis, overcoming and supplementing the answers given through the basic language of the official classification of occupations. Enriching the set of ‘words’ available to describe the work and identifying new r esearch t ools t o a nalyse t he a ctual c ontents a nd r equirements o f occupations is the key to bring out what is needed to boost employment and economic growth.
Keywords: Job classification, job analysis, model O*NetTD, survey of professions, competence