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Making informed career decisions requires reliable information about opportunities in the future. Opportunities result from the relationships between the population, labor force, and the demand for goods and services.
Population ultimately limits the size of the labor force-individuals working or looking for work-which constrains how much can be produced. Demand for various goods and services determines employment in the industries providing them. Occupational employment opportunities, in turn, result from skills needed within specific industries. Opportunities for computer engineers and other computer-related occupations, for example, have surged in response to rapid growth in demand for computer services.
Examining the past and projecting changes in these relationships is the foundation of the Occupational Outlook Program. This chapter presents highlights of Bureau of Labor Statistics projections of the labor force and occupational and industry employment that can help guide your career plans. Sources of detailed information about the projections appear on the preceding page.
Population trends affect employment opportunities in a number of ways. Changes in population influence the demand for goods and services. For example, a growing and aging population has increased the demand for health services. Equally important, population changes produce corresponding changes in the size and demographic composition of the labor force.
The U.S. population is expected to increase by 24 million over the 2000-10 period, at a slightly faster rate of growth than during the 1990-2000 period but slower than over the 1980-90 period (chart 1). Continued growth will mean more consumers of goods and services, spurring demand for workers in a wide range of occupations and industries. The effects of population growth on various occupations will differ. The differences are partially accounted for by the age distribution of the future population.
The youth population, aged 16 to 24, will grow more rapidly than the overall population, a turn-around that began in the mid-1990s. As the baby boomers continue to age, the group aged 55 to 64 will increase by 11 million persons over the 2000-10 period-more than any other group. Those aged 35 to 44 will be the only group to decrease in size, reflecting the birth dearth following the baby boom.
Minorities and immigrants will constitute a larger share of the U.S. population in 2010 than they do today. Minority groups that have grown the fastest in the recent past-Hispanics and Asians and others-are projected to continue to grow much faster than white, non-Hispanics.
Population is the single most important factor in determining the size and composition of the labor force-comprising people who are either working or looking for work. The civilian labor force is projected to increase by 17 million, or 12 percent, to 158 million over the 2000-10 period.
The U.S. workforce will become more diverse by 2010. White, non-Hispanic persons will continue to make up a decreasing share of the labor force, falling from 73.1 percent in 2000 to 69.2 percent in 2010 (chart 2). However, despite relatively slow growth, white, non-Hispanics will have the largest numerical growth in the labor force between 2000 and 2010, reflecting the large size of this group. Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and Asian and other ethnic groups are projected to account for an increasing share of the labor force by 2010, growing from 10.9 to 13.3 percent, 11.8 to 12.7 percent, and 4.7 to 6.1 percent, respectively. By 2010, for the first time Hispanics will constitute a greater share of the labor force than will blacks. Asians and others continue to have the fastest growth rates, but still are expected to remain the smallest of the four labor force groups.
The numbers of men and women in the labor force will grow, but the number of men will grow at a slower rate than the number of women. The male labor force is projected to grow by 9.3 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared with 15.1 percent for women. As a result, men's share of the labor force is expected to decrease from 53.4 to 52.1 percent, while women's share is expected to increase from 46.6 to 47.9 percent.
The youth labor force, aged 16 to 24, is expected to increase its share of the labor force to 16.5 percent by 2010, growing more rapidly than the overall labor force. The large group 25 to 54 years old, who made up 71 percent of the labor force in 2000, is projected to decline to 66.6 percent of the labor force by 2010. Workers 55 and older, on the other hand, are projected to increase from 12.9 percent to 16.9 percent of the labor force between 2000 and 2010, due to the aging of the baby-boom generation (chart 3).
Projected job growth varies widely by education and training requirements. All seven of the education and training categories projected to have faster than average employment growth require a postsecondary vocational or academic award (chart 4). These seven categories will account for two-fifths of all employment growth over the 2000-10 period.
Employment in occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree is expected to grow 21.6 percent and account for five out of the six fastest growing education or training categories. Two categories-jobs requiring an associate degree, projected to grow 32 percent over the 2000-10 period, faster than any other category, and jobs requiring a postsecondary vocational award-together will grow 24.1 percent. The four categories of occupations requiring work-related training are projected to increase 12.4 percent, compared with 15.2 percent for all occupations combined.
Education is essential in getting a high-paying job. In fact, all but two of the 50 highest paying occupations require a college degree. Air traffic controllers and nuclear power reactor operators are the only occupations of the 50 highest paying that do not require a college degree.
Total employment is expected to increase from 146 million in 2000 to 168 million in 2010, or by 15.2 percent. The 22 million jobs that will be added by 2010 will not be evenly distributed across major industrial and occupational groups. Changes in consumer demand, technology, and many other factors will contribute to the continually changing employment structure in the U.S. economy.
The following two sections examine projected employment change from both industrial and occupational perspectives. The industrial profile is discussed in terms of primary wage and salary employment. Primary employment excludes secondary jobs for those who hold multiple jobs. The exception is employment in agriculture, which includes self-employed and unpaid family workers in addition to wage and salary workers.
The occupational profile is viewed in terms of total employment-including primary and secondary jobs for wage and salary, self-employed, and unpaid family workers. Of the nearly 146 million jobs in the U.S. economy in 2000, wage and salary workers accounted for 134 million; self-employed workers accounted for 11.5 million; and unpaid family workers accounted for about 169,000. Secondary employment accounted for 1.8 million of all jobs. Self-employed workers held 9 out of 10 secondary jobs; wage and salary workers held most of the remainder.
The long-term shift from goods-producing to service-producing employment is expected to continue (chart 5). Service-producing industries-including finance, insurance, and real estate; government; services; transportation, communications, and utilities; and wholesale and retail trade-are expected to account for approximately 20.2 million of the 22.0 million new wage and salary jobs generated over the 2000-10 period. The services and retail trade industry divisions will account for nearly three-fourths of total wage and salary job growth, a continuation of the employment growth pattern of the 1990-2000 period.
Services. This is the largest and fastest growing major industry group and is expected to add 13.7 million new jobs by 2010, accounting for 3 out of every 5 new jobs created in the U.S. economy. Over two-thirds of this projected job growth is concentrated in three sectors of services industries-business, health, and social services.
Business services-including personnel supply services and computer and data processing services, among other detailed industries-will add 5.1 million jobs. The personnel supply services industry, consisting of employment agencies and temporary staffing services, is projected to be the largest source of numerical employment growth in the economy, adding 1.9 million new jobs. However, employment in computer and data processing services-which provides prepackaged and specialized software, data and computer systems design and management, and computer-related consulting services-is projected to grow by 86 percent between 2000 and 2010, ranking as the fastest growing industry in the economy.
Health services-including home healthcare services, hospitals, and offices of health practitioners-will add 2.8 million new jobs as demand for healthcare increases because of an aging population and longer life expectancies.
Social services-including child daycare and residential care services-will add 1.2 million jobs. As more women enter the labor force, demand for childcare services is expected to grow, leading to the creation of 300,000 jobs. An elderly population seeking alternatives to nursing homes and hospital care will boost employment in residential care services, which is projected to grow 63.5 percent and add 512,000 jobs by 2010.
Transportation, communications, and utilities. Overall employment is expected to increase by 1.3 million jobs, or by 17.9 percent. Employment in the transportation sector is expected to increase by 20.7 percent, from 4.5 million to 5.5 million jobs. Trucking and warehousing will provide the most new jobs in the transportation sector, adding 407,000 jobs by 2010. Due to population growth and urban sprawl, local and interurban passenger transit is expected to increase 31 percent over the 2000-10 period, the fastest growth among all the transportation sectors.
Employment in the communications sector is expected to increase by 16.9 percent, adding 277,000 jobs by 2010. Half of these new jobs-139,000-will be in the telephone communications industry; however, cable and other pay television will be the fastest growing segment of the sector over the next decade, with employment expanding by 50.6 percent. Increased demand for residential and business wireline and wireless services, cable service, and high-speed Internet connections will fuel the growth in communications industries.
Employment in the utilities sector is projected to increase by only 4.9 percent through 2010. Despite increased output, employment in electric services, gas production and distribution, and combination utility services is expected to decline through 2010 due to improved technology that increases worker productivity. The growth in the utilities sector will be driven by water supply and sanitary services, in which employment is expected to increase 45.1 percent by 2010. Jobs are not easily eliminated by technological gains in this industry because water treatment and waste disposal are very labor-intensive activities.
Wholesale and retail trade. Employment is expected to increase by 11.1 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively, growing from 7 million to 7.8 million in wholesale trade and from 23.3 million to 26.4 million in retail trade. Increases in population, personal income, and leisure time will contribute to employment growth in these industries as consumers demand more goods. With the addition of 1.5 million jobs, the eating and drinking places segment of the retail trade industry is projected to have the largest numerical increase in employment within the trade industry group.
Finance, insurance, and real estate. Overall employment is expected to increase by 687,000 jobs, or 9.1 percent, by 2010. The finance sector of the industry-including depository and nondepository institutions and securities and commodity brokers-will account for one-third of these jobs. Security and commodity brokers and dealers are expected to grow the fastest among the finance segments; the projected 20.3-percent employment increase by 2010 reflects the increased number of baby boomers in their peak savings years, the growth of tax-favorable retirement plans, and the globalization of the securities markets. However, employment in depository institutions should continue to decline due to an increase in the use of Internet banking, ATM machines, and debit cards.
The insurance sector-including insurance carriers and insurance agents and brokers-is expected to add 152,000 new jobs by 2010. The majority of job growth in the insurance carriers segment will be attributable to medical service and health insurance, in which employment is projected to increase by 16 percent. The number of jobs with insurance agents and brokers is expected to grow about 14.3 percent by 2010, as many insurance carriers downsize their sales staffs and as agents set up their own businesses.
The real estate sector is expected to add the most jobs out of the three sectors, 272,000 by 2010. As the population grows, demand for housing also will grow.
Government. Between 2000 and 2010, government employment, excluding public education and hospitals, is expected to increase by 6.9 percent, from 10.2 million to 10.9 million jobs. Growth in government employment will be fueled by growth at the State and local levels, in which the number of jobs will increase by 12.2 and 11.2 percent, respectively, through 2010. Growth at these levels is due mainly to an increased demand for services and the shift of responsibilities from the Federal Government to the State and local governments. Federal Government employment is expected to decline by 7.6 percent as the Federal Government continues to contract out many government jobs to private companies.
Employment in the goods-producing industries has been relatively stagnant since the early 1980s. Overall, this sector is expected to grow 6.3 percent over the 2000-10 period. Although employment is expected to increase more slowly than in the service-producing industries, projected growth within the goods-producing sector varies considerably (chart 6).
Construction. Employment in construction is expected to increase by 12.3 percent, from 6.7 million to 7.5 million. Demand for new housing and an increase in road, bridge, and tunnel construction will account for the bulk of job growth in this industry.
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing. Overall employment in agriculture, forestry, and fishing is expected to increase by 19.3 percent, from 2.2 million to 2.6 million. Three-fourths of this growth will come from veterinary services and landscape and horticultural services, which will add 96,000 and 229,000 jobs, respectively. Employment in crops, livestock, and livestock products is expected to continue to decline due to advancements in technology. The numbers of jobs in forestry and in fishing, hunting, and trapping are expected to grow only 1.9 percent by 2010.
Manufacturing. Rebounding from the 1990-2000 decline of 607,000 manufacturing jobs, employment in this sector is expected to grow modestly, by 3.1 percent, by 2010, adding 577,000 jobs. The projected employment growth is attributable mainly to the industries that manufacture durable goods. Durable goods manufacturing is expected to grow 5.7 percent, to 11.8 million jobs, over the next decade. Despite gains in productivity, the growing demand for computers, electronic components, motor vehicles, and communications equipment will contribute to this employment growth.
Nondurable manufacturing, on the other hand, is expected to decline by less than 1 percent, shedding 64,000 jobs overall. The majority of employment declines are expected to be in apparel and other textile products and leather and leather products industries, which together are expected to shed 131,000 jobs by 2010 because of increased job automation and international competition. On the other hand, drug manufacturing is expected to grow 23.8 percent due to an aging population and increasing life expectancies.
Mining. Employment in mining is expected to decrease 10.1 percent, or by some 55,000 jobs, by 2010. The majority of the decline will come from coal mining, in which employment is expected to decrease by 30 percent. The numbers of jobs in metal mining and nonmetallic mineral mining also are expected to decline by 13.8 and 3.2 percent, respectively. Employment decreases in these industries are attributable mainly to technology gains that boost worker productivity, growing international competition, restricted access to Federal lands, and strict environmental regulations that require cleaning of burning fuels.
Oil and gas field services is the only mining industry in which employment is projected to grow, by 3.7 percent, through 2010. Employment growth is due chiefly to the downsizing of the crude petroleum, natural gas, and gas liquids industry, which contracts out production and extraction jobs to companies in oil and gas field services.
Expansion of the service-producing sector is expected to continue, creating demand for many occupations. However, projected job growth varies among major occupational groups (chart 7).
Professional and related occupations. Professional and related occupations will grow the fastest and add more new jobs than any other major occupational group. Over the 2000-10 period, a 26-percent increase in the number of professional and related jobs is projected, a gain of 6.9 million. Professional and related workers perform a wide variety of duties, and are employed throughout private industry and government. Nearly three-quarters of the job growth will come from three groups of professional occupations-computer and mathematical occupations, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, and education, training, and library occupations-which will add 5.2 million jobs combined.
Service occupations. Service workers perform services for the public. Employment in service occupations is projected to increase by 5.1 million, or 19.5 percent, the second largest numerical gain and second highest rate of growth among the major occupational groups. Food preparation and serving related occupations are expected to add the most jobs among the service occupations, 1.6 million by 2010. However, healthcare support occupations are expected to grow the fastest, 33.4 percent, adding 1.1 million new jobs.
Transportation and material moving occupations. Transportation and material moving workers transport and transfer people and materials by land, sea, or air. These occupations should grow 15.2 percent and add 1.5 million jobs by 2010. Among transportation occupations, motor vehicle operators will add the most jobs, 745,000. Rail transportation occupations are the only group in which employment is projected to decline, by 18.6 percent, through 2010. Material moving occupations will grow 14 percent and will add 681,000 jobs.
Management, business, and financial occupations. Workers in management, business, and financial occupations plan and direct the activities of business, government, and other organizations. Employment is expected to increase by 2.1 million, or 13.6 percent, by 2010. Among managers, the numbers of computer and information systems managers and of public relations managers will grow the fastest, by 47.9 and 36.3 percent, respectively. General and operations managers will add the most new jobs, 363,000 by 2010. Agricultural managers and purchasing managers are the only workers in this group whose numbers are expected to decline, losing 325,000 jobs combined. Among business and financial occupations, accountants and auditors and management analysts will add the most jobs, 326,000 combined. Management analysts also will be one of the fastest growing occupations in this group, along with personal financial advisors, with job increases of 28.9 and 34 percent, respectively.
Construction and extraction occupations. Construction and extraction workers construct new residential and commercial buildings, and also work in mines, quarries, and oil and gas fields. Employment of these workers is expected to grow 13.3 percent, adding 989,000 new jobs. Construction trades and related workers will account for the majority of these new jobs, 862,000 by 2010. Most extraction jobs will decline, reflecting overall employment losses in the mining and oil and gas extraction industries.
Sales and related occupations. Sales and related workers transfer goods and services among businesses and consumers. Sales and related occupations are expected to add 1.9 million new jobs by 2010, growing by 11.9 percent. The majority of these jobs will be among retail salespersons and cashiers, occupations that will add almost 1 million jobs combined.
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations install new equipment and maintain and repair older equipment. These occupations will add 662,000 jobs by 2010, growing by 11.4 percent. Automotive service technicians and general maintenance and repair workers will account for 3 in 10 new installation, maintenance, and repair jobs. The fastest growth rate will be among telecommunications line installers and repairers, an occupation that is expected to grow 27.6 percent over the 2000-10 period.
Office and administrative support occupations. Office and administrative support workers perform the day-to-day activities of the office, such as preparing and filing documents, dealing with the public, and distributing information. Employment in these occupations is expected to grow by 9.1 percent, adding 2.2 million new jobs by 2010. Customer service representatives will add the most new jobs, 631,000. Desktop publishers will be among the fastest growing occupations, growing 66.7 percent over the decade. Order clerks, tellers, and insurance claims and policy processing clerks will be among the jobs with the largest employment losses.
Production occupations. Production workers are employed mainly in manufacturing, assembling goods and operating plants. Production occupations will grow 5.8 percent and add 750,000 jobs by 2010. Metal and plastics workers and assemblers and fabricators will add the most production jobs, 249,000 and 171,000, respectively. Textile, apparel, and furnishings occupations will account for much of the job losses among production occupations.
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. Farming, fishing, and forestry workers cultivate plants, breed and raise livestock, and catch animals. These occupations will have the slowest job growth among the major occupational groups, 5.3 percent, adding 74,000 new jobs by 2010. Farmworkers account for nearly 3 out of 4 new jobs in this group. The numbers of both fishing and logging workers are expected to decline, by 12.2 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Computer occupations are expected to grow the fastest over the projection period (chart 8). In fact, these jobs account for 8 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the economy. In addition to high growth rates, these eight occupations combined will add more than 1.9 million new jobs to the economy. Health occupations comprise most of the remaining fastest growing occupations. High growth rates among computer and health occupations reflect projected faster-than-average growth in the computer and data processing and health services industries.
The 20 occupations listed in chart 9 will account for over one-third of all new jobs, 8 million combined, over the 2000-10 period. The occupations with the largest numerical increases cover a wider range of occupational categories than those occupations with the fastest growth rates. Computer and health occupations will account for some of these increases in employment, as well as occupations in education, sales, transportation, office and administrative support, and food service. Many of these occupations are very large, and will create more new jobs than those with high growth rates. Only 4 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations-computer software engineers, applications; computer software engineers, systems software; computer support specialists; and home health aides-also are projected to be among the 20 occupations with the largest numerical increases in employment.
Table 1 lists occupations projected to grow the fastest and to generate the largest numbers of new jobs over the 2000-10 period, by level of education or training required.
Declining occupational employment stems from declining industry employment, technological advancements, changes in business practices, and other factors. For example, increased productivity and farm consolidations are expected to result in a decline of 328,000 farmers over the 2000-10 period (chart 10). The majority of the 20 occupations with the largest numerical decreases are office and administrative support and production occupations, which are affected by increasing automation and the implementation of office technology that reduces the needs for these workers. For example, the increased use of ATM machines and Internet banking will reduce the number of tellers.
Job openings stem from both employment growth and replacement needs (chart 11). Replacement needs arise as workers leave occupations. Some transfer to other occupations while others retire, return to school, or quit to assume household responsibilities. Replacement needs are projected to account for 60 percent of the approximately 58 million job openings between 2000 and 2010. Thus, even occupations with little or no change in employment still may offer many job openings.
Professional and related occupations are projected to grow faster and add more jobs than any other major occupational group, with 7 million new jobs by 2010. Three-fourths of this job growth is expected among computer and mathematical occupations; healthcare practitioners and technical occupations; and education, training, and library occupations. With 5.2 million job openings due to replacement needs, professional and related occupations are the only major group projected to generate more openings from job growth than from replacement needs.
Due to high replacement needs, service occupations are projected to have the largest number of total job openings, 13.5 million. A large number of replacements are expected to arise as young workers leave food preparation and service occupations. Replacement needs generally are greatest in the largest occupations and in those with relatively low pay or limited training requirements.
Office automation will significantly affect many individual office and administrative support occupations. Overall, these occupations are projected to grow more slowly than the average, while some are projected to decline. Office and administrative support occupations are projected to create 7.7 million job openings over the 2000-10 period, ranking third behind service and professional and related occupations.
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing occupations are projected to have the fewest job openings, approximately 500,000. Because job growth is expected to be slow, and levels of retirement and job turnover high, more than 80 percent of these projected job openings are due to replacement needs.
Employment in occupations requiring an associate degree is projected to increase 32 percent, faster than any other occupational group categorized by education or training. However, this category ranks only eighth among the 11 education and training categories in terms of job openings. The largest number of job openings will be among occupations requiring short--term on-the-job training (chart 12).
Almost two-thirds of the projected job openings over the 2000-10 period will be in occupations that require on-the-job training, and arise mostly from replacement needs. These jobs will account for 37.3 million of the projected 57.9 million total job openings through 2010. However, many of these jobs typically offer low pay and benefits; this is more true of jobs requiring only short-term on-the-job training, which will account for 24.8 million openings, than of the occupations in any other education or training category.
Jobs requiring a bachelor's degree, and which usually offer higher pay and benefits, will account for about 7.3 million job openings through 2010. Most of these openings will result from job growth.
|The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor.|