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November 2009, Vol. 132, No. 11
This article, originally posted to the BLS Web site December 10, 2009, was revised and reposted December 22, 2010. The revisions were for clarification and primarily affected the concluding text on p. 98.
Occupational employment projections to 2018
T. Alan Lacey and Benjamin Wright
Alan Lacey and Benjamin Wright are economists in the Division of Occupational Outlook, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Professional and related occupations and service occupations are expected to create more new jobs than all other occupational groups from 2008 to 2018; in addition, growth will be faster among occupations for which postsecondary education is the most significant form of education or training, and, across all occupations, replacement needs will create many more job openings than will job growth.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes long-term occupational employment projections every 2 years. Various factors affect occupational employment levels over time, including population and industry growth, technological advances, and changes in consumer demand. Total employment, a measure of all jobs in the U.S. economy, is projected to increase by 15.3 million over the 2008–18 period, representing a growth rate of 10.1 percent.1 Among occupational groups, strong employment growth is expected in healthcare occupations and in computer-related occupations, whereas employment in production occupations as well as farming, fishing, and forestry occupations is expected to decline.
The first section of this article provides a brief overview of the BLS projections, including expectations for growth in the population, in the labor force, and in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These factors, among others, influence occupational employment and provide context for the occupational projections. The second section of the article details employment projections for occupational groups and gives an overview of broad trends across these groups. The third section discusses education and training and how they relate to the projections, and includes statistics on employment change, job openings, and wages by education or training category. The fourth section details the projections for noteworthy individual occupations, including the occupations with the fastest projected rates of growth, those with the largest projected growth in numerical terms, and those with the greatest projected declines in numerical terms. The last section of this article provides information on job openings and on projected replacement needs, which refers to the demand that results when workers permanently leave an occupation.
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 2009 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 BLS makes assumptions about the factors that affect occupational growth. Detailed information on these projections can be found at the Employment Projections Program section of the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/emp/ (visited Oct. 29, 2009), and in the BLS Handbook of Methods, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch13.htm (visited Oct. 29, 2009). The projections will also be presented in the forthcoming 2010–11 Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Internet version of this edition of the Handbook, which will be accessible at www.bls.gov/oco/ (visited Oct. 29, 2009), is expected to be available in late December 2009; the print version of the 2010–11 Handbook, BLS Bulletin 2800, is expected to be available by the spring of 2010.
Occupational employment projections to 2016—Nov. 2007.
Occupational employment projections to 2014.—Nov. 2005.
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