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Winter 2009-10 Vol. 53, Number 4

Industry employment


 

This section illustrates projected employment change from an industry perspective over the 2008–18 decade. Workers are grouped into an industry according to the type of good produced or service provided by the establishment in which they work. Everyone who works in a hospital, for example, is part of the hospital industry, regardless of his or her job duties. The hospital industry includes not only healthcare workers, such as doctors and nurses, but also thousands of other workers, such as office managers and janitors.

Industry employment projections are shown in terms of numeric change (growth or decline in the total number of jobs) and percent change (the rate of job growth or decline). Unlike employment totals in the occupational charts, however, employment totals in this section cover only wage and salary workers and do not include self-employed or unpaid family workers.

Employment growth for all wage and salary workers is projected to average about 11 percent between 2008 and 2018. This average is shown as a dotted vertical line in two charts.

As discussed in the introduction to this issue of the Quarterly, job growth or decline in some industries affects particular occupations significantly. The number of jobs for registered nurses, for example, is highly dependent on the growth of the hospital industry. Many occupations, however—from human resources managers to computer systems analysts—are found in nearly every industry.

Employment growth in industries depends on industry output (the total amount produced) and worker productivity (how much each worker produces). Laborsaving technologies and methods can increase productivity, limiting employment growth even as output increases. For example, even as agricultural output is projected to increase, employment on farms is projected to decline as advanced methods and machines reduce the number of workers needed to raise crops and livestock.

Likewise, employment in one industry can be affected by changing practices in another. For example, increased use of contractors and consultants has led to greater employment in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry. But this practice has led to reduced employment in the many industries that previously hired management and technical analysts as employees.

Industries shown in the charts are defined primarily according to the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), a system used by the Federal Government to classify establishments into industry categories. Industries fall into either goods-producing or service-providing sectors.

The goods-producing sectors are:
  • Construction. Examples of establishments in this sector include electrical contracting firms and construction companies.
  • Manufacturing. Examples include businesses that make computer chips, machinery, and other goods.
  • Natural resources and mining. Establishments in this sector include farms, aquaculture companies, and oil and gas extraction companies.

  • The service-providing sectors are:
  • Educational services. This sector includes local, State, and private schools and other providers of education.
  • Financial activities. Included in this sector are finance, insurance, real estate, and rental services organizations.
  • Health care and social assistance. Health care and social assistance providers—including public and private providers of health care and private providers of social assistance—are part of this sector. Examples include hospitals, doctors’ offices, and assisted living facilities.
  • Information. This sector includes print, software, and database publishing firms; movie, video, and sound production and distribution establishments; broadcasting and telecommunications providers; and information and data processing providers.
  • Leisure and hospitality. Examples include hotels, restaurants, sports teams, theme parks, performing arts companies, and arcades.
  • Professional and business services. Examples include temporary help firms, consulting services, and waste management establishments.
  • Public administration. This sector consists of government establishments that administer programs and provide for public safety. Federal, State, and local government (except education and hospitals) are classified here.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities. Included here are wholesale and retail trade establishments, airports, messenger services, and power plants.
Wage and salary employment by industry type, 2008 and projected 2018, in millions

Wage and salary employment by industry type, 2008 and projected 2018, in millions
[Chart data]

Service-providing industries are projected to account for the most job growth between 2008 and 2018. In goods-producing industries, employment is projected to stay about the same over the decade.

 

Employment, 2008

Percent distribution of wage and salary employment by industry sector, 2008

Percent distribution of wage and salary employment by industry sector, 2008
[Chart data]

In 2008, about 15 percent of jobs were in retail and wholesale trade establishments.

 

Employment change

Numeric change in employment of wage and salary workers by industry sector, projected 2008–18, in thousands

Numeric change in employment of wage and salary workers by industry sector, projected 2008–18, in thousands
[Chart data]

Employment is projected to increase by more than 4 million in both the professional and business services sector and the health care and social assistance sector. Growth in professional and business services is expected to be led by providers of administrative support services and consulting services. Growth in health care and social assistance is expected to be driven by increased demand from an aging population.

 

Percent change in employment of wage and salary workers by industry sector, projected 2008–18

Percent change in employment of wage and salary workers by industry sector, projected 2008–18
[Chart data]

Both the health care and social assistance sector and the professional and business services sector are projected to grow more than twice as fast as the average for all industries between 2008 and 2018.

 

Fastest growing industries

Percent growth in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2008–18

Percent growth in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2008–18
[Chart data]

As this and the next chart show, all of the detailed industries that are expected to have the fastest growth and the most gains in employment between 2008 and 2018 are service-providing ones. The management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry is projected to grow the fastest and to gain the most jobs. Firms in this industry help companies respond to globalization, technological changes, and other business challenges.

 

Most new jobs

Numeric growth in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2008–18, in thousands

Numeric growth in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2008–18, in thousands
[Chart data]

Of the 20 industries projected to gain the most jobs, 5 relate to health care. These industries are offices of physicians, home health care services, services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, nursing care facilities, and offices of dentists. The employment gains in these industries reflect an aging population’s increasing demand for services.

 

Most job losses

Numeric decline in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2008–18, in thousands

Numeric decline in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2008–18, in thousands
[Chart data]

Declines in industry employment are usually the result of falling demand for specific goods and services, increased imports that reduce domestic production, or the use of technology that increases worker productivity. Declining employment may lead to unfavorable job prospects, but the need to replace workers who leave an industry often creates some job openings.

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Last Updated: March 18, 2010