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February 2004, Vol. 127, No. 2
Industry output and employment projections to 2012
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects total employment in the United States
to increase by 21.3 million during the 2002–12 period, rising from 144.0 million to 165.3 million. This increase results in a projected annual growth rate of 1.4 percent, which is slightly slower than the 1.6-percent rate of growth experienced during the preceding decade. The increase of nonfarm wage and salary jobs, from 131.1 million in 2002 to 152.7 million in 2012, is expected to account for most of the growth in total employment. The number of nonfarm self-employed workers and unpaid family workers is expected to increase by 144,000. Countering these gains, agricultural employment, which includes wage and salary workers, the self-employed, and unpaid family workers, is projected to decrease by 340,000 to settle at 1.9 million by 2012. (See table 1.)
Real industry output is projected to expand to $23.3 trillion by 2012, an increase of $6.4 trillion from the $16.8 trillion level achieved in 2002.1 This translates into a projected 3.3-percent average annual growth rate and parallels the rate of growth exhibited during the past decade. Accounting for approximately 70.8 percent of the growth in total nominal output, the service-providing industries are projected to reach $15.5 trillion by 2012. Even though output in this sector is expected to grow by $4.5 trillion by 2012, its projected 3.5 percent growth rate is slightly slower than that generated during the past decade. This is contrasted against the 3.0-percent annual growth expected by the goods-producing sector, which is faster than the historical 2.3 percent growth rate that this sector experienced between 1992 and 2002. Even with the relatively accelerated rate of output growth in the goods-producing sector, excluding agriculture, its share of current-dollar total output, however, will continue to decline from 31.4 percent in 1992 to 25.1 percent by 2012.2 Annual output growth in agriculture is expected to grow slightly from the previous 10-year period, to 1.6 percent annually. Its share of total output, however, will also decline, dropping from 2.2 percent in 1992 to 1.3 in 2002. (See table 2.)
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1 This article uses the gross duplicated output concept. Gross duplicated output measures not only GDP, or all final demand purchases of new goods and services, but also all new goods and services produced as intermediate goods for use in further production. Real output is measured as a 1996 based chain-weighted Fisher index and is used for historical rate of growth comparisons. Real output on an industry basis does not add to their higher level aggregates because of chain weighting. See Charles Steindel, "Chain-weighting: The New Approach to Measuring GDP," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Board of New York, December 1995.
2 Providing a more accurate measure of the relative importance of aggregated sectors of the economy, current-dollar output estimates were used in lieu of chain-weighted measures. See J. Steven Landefeld, Brent R. Moulton, and Cindy M. Vojtech, "Chained-Dollar Indexes: Issues, Tips on Their Use, and Upcoming Changes," Survey of Current Business, US Department of Commerce, November 2003, pp. 8–16.
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