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November 1993, Vol. 116, No. 11
The American Workforce, 1992 to 2005
Occupational employment: wide variations in growth
George T. Silvestri
Total employment is projected to increase from 121.1 million in 1992 to 147.5 million in 2005 according to the moderate alternative projection of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The projected 22-percent rate of employment growth is slightly higher than the increase attained during the previous 13-year period, from 1979 to 1992. By contrast, employment growth was much faster during the 1966-79 period when the baby-boomers were entering the labor force.
Projected growth from 1992 to 2005 will vary widely among the individual occupations, ranging from an increase of 138 percent to a decline of 75 percent.1 In general, occupations that require a bachelor's degree or other post-secondary education or training are projected to have faster-than-average rates of employment growth. Also, many occupations requiring less formal education or training also are projected to have above average growth. In addition to the growth rate, the size of the occupational stock of jobs is an important factor in determining the numerical growth in the occupation; therefore, it has a great effect on the structure of future employment.
Many slower growing occupations, some requiring little education and training and others having significant educational requirements, are expected to add significant numbers of jobs primarily because of their large employment bases. As a result, the economy is projected to continue to generate jobs for workers at all levels of education and training. Most of the employment growth will occur in service-producing industries. As a consequence, occupations concentrated in those industries are more likely to experience rapid employment growth, compared with occupations in the goods-producing industries. Of the 26.4 million projected increase in total employment over the 1992-2005 period, more than 25 million jobs are projected in the service-producing industries and fewer than 1 million jobs are expected in the goods-producing industries.
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1 The 1992 employment estimates described in this article are derived from the Bureau's industry-occupation employment matrix which includes data from more that 500 detailed occupations and 250 detailed industries. the main sources of data used in the matrix are Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates for total wage and salary jobs by industry and Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) data for employment by occupation within detailed industries. Total employment and occupational staffing patterns of age and salary workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and trapping and in private households are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Economy-wide data on self-employed and unpaid family workers by occupation are also derived from the CPS. The estimates derived from the CES and OES differ from those obtained from the CPS in a number of important ways. For example, employed persons who hold more that one job are included twice in the CES and OES estimates, but only once in the CPS data, which excludes the secondary job of workers.
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