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Fall 2007 Vol. 51, Number 3

Overall economy

The economy’s need for workers originates in the demand for the goods and services that they provide. So, in order to project employment, BLS starts by estimating the value of final goods produced and services provided in the United States for each year of the projections decade. This measure is called gross domestic product (GDP). 

Then, BLS estimates the size—in inflation-adjusted dollars—of the five major categories of production. The categories are personal consumption expenditures, gross private domestic investment, government consumption expenditures and gross investment, exports, and imports.

Finally, BLS breaks down these major categories into more detailed ones, such as the production of automobiles, medical services, and industrial equipment.

Changes in the level and composition of production will affect industry employment levels. For example, an increased level of business investment in computers will increase employment in the computer industry and in all those industries that provide inputs to the computer industry, such as electronic components. In turn, employment in occupations in those industries will also grow.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: February 29, 2008