For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, October 24, 2017 USDL-17-1429
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EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS -- 2016-26
Employment is projected to increase by 11.5 million over the 2016-26 decade, an
increase from 156.1 million to 167.6 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. This growth--0.7 percent annually--is faster than the 0.5 percent
rate of growth during the 2006–16 decade, a period heavily affected by the 2007–09
recession. Health care industries and their associated occupations are expected to
account for a large share of new jobs projected through 2026, as the aging population
continues to drive demand for health care services. The labor force will continue to
grow slowly and to become older and more diverse. The aging population is projected
to result in a decline in the overall labor force participation rate over the 2016
to 2026 decade.
| Occupational Outlook Handbook |
| The projections are the foundation of the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook |
| (OOH), one of the nation's most widely used career information resources. |
| The OOH reflects BLS employment projections for the 2016–26 decade. The |
| updated OOH is available online at www.bls.gov/ooh. |
Highlights of the BLS projections for the labor force, macroeconomy, industry employment,
and occupational employment are included below.
Labor Force and Macroeconomy
--The civilian labor force is projected to reach 169.7 million in 2026, growing
at an annual rate of 0.6 percent. This growth is slightly faster than the annual
rate of growth (0.5 percent) witnessed during the 2006–16 decade, but slower than
the annual growth experienced during several decades prior.
--Slow labor force growth is a result, in part, of decelerating growth of the civilian
noninstitutional population, which is projected to grow at an annual rate of 0.9
percent from 2016 to 2026. This growth is slower than the rates witnessed during
previous decades, 1.0 percent from 2006 to 2016, and 1.3 percent from 1996 to 2006.
--As the labor force continues to get older, the overall labor force participation
rate is projected to decrease to 61.0 percent in 2026. This rate is down from 62.8
percent in 2016 and from the peak of 67.1 percent in 2000, prior to the 2007–09
recession. See www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_303.htm.
--As the baby-boom generation ages, the share of workers age 55 and older--a cohort
with a low labor force participation rate--is projected to grow to 24.8 percent in
2026. This share is up from 22.4 percent in 2016 and 16.8 percent in 2006. See
--The labor force will also continue to change in racial and ethnic composition. Two
groups of workers--Asians and those of Hispanic origin--are expected to grow much faster
than the average annual rate from 2016 to 2026: 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.
Workers of Hispanic origin are expected to make up about 1 out of 5 workers in 2026.
--Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (2009 chained dollars) is projected to grow at an
annual rate of 2.0 percent from 2016 to 2026. Projected GDP growth is faster than the
annual rate of 1.4 percent from 2006 to 2016, but slower than the 3.3 percent annual
growth achieved from 1996 to 2006. See www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_402.htm.
--Increased labor productivity will contribute to faster GDP growth. Labor productivity
is projected to grow 1.6 percent annually from 2016 to 2026: faster than the 1.2 percent
annual growth from 2006 to 2016, but slower than the 2.8 percent annual increase from 1996
to 2006. See www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_411.htm.
--Total employment is projected to grow by 11.5 million jobs over the 2016–26 decade,
reaching 167.6 million jobs in 2026. See www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_201.htm.
--Industry employment is projected to grow at a rate of 0.7 percent per year from 2016 to
2026, faster than the 0.5 percent annual rate from 2006 to 2016 but much slower than
rates seen during the decades leading up to the 2007–09 recession.
--About 9 out of 10 new jobs are projected to be added in the service-providing sector from
2016 to 2026, resulting in more than 10.5 million new jobs, or 0.8 percent annual growth.
The goods-producing sector is expected to increase by 219,000 jobs, growing at a rate of
0.1 percent per year over the projections decade.
--Employment in the health care and social assistance sector is projected to add nearly 4.0
million jobs by 2026, about one-third of all new jobs. The share of health care and social
assistance employment is projected to increase from 12.2 percent in 2016 to 13.8 percent in
2026, becoming the largest major sector in 2026.
--Occupational employment is expected to increase by 7.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. All
occupational groups are expected to add jobs over the projections decade except for the
production occupations group, which is projected to decline by 4.1 percent. See
--Healthcare support occupations (23.2 percent) and healthcare practitioners and technical
occupations (15.2 percent) are projected to be among the fastest growing occupational
groups during the 2016–26 projections decade. These two occupational groups--which account
for 14 of the 30 fastest growing occupations from 2016 to 2026--are projected to contribute
about one-fifth of all new jobs by 2026. Factors such as the aging baby-boom population,
longer life expectancies, and growing rates of chronic conditions will drive continued
demand for healthcare services.
--Several other occupational groups are projected to experience faster than average
employment growth, including personal care and service occupations (18.2 percent),
community and social service occupations (13.5 percent), and computer and mathematical
occupations (13.5 percent).
--Of the 30 fastest growing detailed occupations, 19 typically require some level of
postsecondary education for entry. See www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm.
--Employment in 654 detailed occupations is projected to grow, while employment in 163
detailed occupations is projected to decline. See www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_102.htm.
--The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) includes information about 575 detailed occupations
in 325 occupational profiles, covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy. Each profile
features the 2016–26 projections, along with assessments of the job outlook, work activities,
wages, education and training requirements, and more.
--Select profiles in the OOH now include career videos produced by U.S. Department of Labor's
CareerOneStop. Links to videos appear on the Summary tab of profiles to the right of the
Quick Facts box. In addition, the wage information in the OOH is now updated on an annual
basis. The OOH reflects May 2016 wages from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)
program, and will be updated with May 2017 wages in the spring of 2018. See www.bls.gov/oes/.
--The OOH is available online at www.bls.gov/ooh.
--A graphic representation of projections highlights appears in the Career Outlook online,
available at www.bls.gov/careeroutlook.
--Detailed information on the 2016–26 projections appears in the Monthly Labor Review, at
--Tables with detailed, comprehensive projections are available online at
--Definitions for terms used in this news release are available in the BLS Glossary at
Information from this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon
request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Services: (800) 877-8339.