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November 1991, Vol. 114, No. 11
Industrial output and job growth continues slow into next century
Max L. Carey and James C. Franklin
Employment in the U.S. economy is projected to increase by almost 25 million over the 15 years from 1990 and 2005, rising from 122.6 million to 147.2 million. This projected average growth rate of 1.2 percent annually is about one-half that during the preceding 15-year period, averaging 2.3 percent annually from 1975 to 1990. Slower growth of the labor force is the primary reason for the projected reduction in the pace of future job expansion.
The number of nonfarm wage and salary jobs is projected to rise from 109.3 million to 132.6 million between 1990 and 2005, accounting for 23.3 million of the 24.6 million net increase in employment. Also projected to increase, from 9 million to 10.8 million, is the number of nonfarm self-employed and unpaid family workers, a gain of 1.8 million over the same period. In agriculture, the combined number of self-employed workers and wage and salary jobs is projected to decrease from about 3.3 million to 3.1 million. The long-term decline in private household workers also is expected to continue, with the number projected to fall from 1 million to 700,000. (See table 1.)
Almost all of the 23.3 million increase in nonfarm wage and salary jobs is projected to occur in the service-producing sector of the economy. Within the service-producing sector, the services division is expected to add the most jobs-almost 11.5 million, or nearly one-half of the total growth. The two largest industries in this division, health services and business services, together account for 6.1 million of the projected increase in jobs, or about one-fourth of the total. Large numbers of additional jobs also are projected for retail trade (5.1 million), government (3.2 million), and finance, insurance, and real estate (1.4 million). However, the projected 1.6-percent average annual employment growth for all industries in the service-producing sector is only about one-half the 1975-90 pace, and the sector does not match its previous gain in share of total employment. Between 1975 and 1990, the service-producing sector's share of total nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased from 70.5 percent to 77.2 percent, a gain of almost 7 percentage points, but the projected rise to 81 percent by 2005 would be a gain of less than 4 percentage points over the same number of years.1
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 1991 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 For a discussion of the shift of jobs from the service-producing sector to the goods-producing sector, see Lois M. Plunkert, "The 1980's; a decade of job growth and industry shifts," monthly Labor Review, September 1990, pp. 3-16.
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