The script will read the contents of a user-input file and count the number of employees with a specific job. Ex file line:

Sophia Lewis, 542467, Accountant 

The script I have so far is:

if [ -s $1 ]

cat $1 | tr -s ' ' | cut -d' ' -f4- | sort | uniq -c

        echo "ERROR: file '$1' does not exist."



4 Sales 
2 Accountant 
1 CEO 

But I want the output to appear as:

There are 4 ‘Sales’ employees. 
There are 2 ‘Accountant’ employees. 
There is 1 ‘CEO’ employee. 
There are a total of 7 employees in the company

Should I take out the cat and put in echo statements so I can customize each line? And is there a way for it to know if it should be "is/are" x employees?

  • Yes, you will need to rewrite it and no, the only way for it to know is for you to code it.
    – terdon
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


If your shell is bash version 4:

declare -i total=0
declare -A type
if [ -s "$1" ]; then
    while IFS=, read name id job; do
        [[ $job =~ ^[[:space:]]*(.+)[[:space:]]*$ ]] &&
        (( type["${BASH_REMATCH[1]}"]++, total++ ))
    done < "$1"
    for job in "${!type[@]}"; do
        printf "There are %d '%s' employees.\n" ${type["$job"]} "$job"
    echo "There are a total of $total employees in the company"
    echo "ERROR: file '$1' does not exist or has zero size."

Or use awk:

awk -F' *, *' '
    { type[$3]++; total++ } 
    END {
        for (job in type) 
            printf "There are %d '\''%s'\'' employees.\n", type[job], job
        print "There are a total of", total, "employees in the company"
' "$1"

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