In almost anything you do, you’re more likely to succeed if you have a plan. Deciding on a career is no exception.
If you’re making a decision about education, training, or a career—or if you are helping someone else who is making such decisions—you need to know how the labor market is expected to unfold in the future. How many jobs are likely to be available in the career you want? How much will they pay? What kind of training will you need?
Projections and related information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide the answers to these questions. In a changing economy, these projections help you to glimpse the future—and to plan for it.
Numeric change in employment by major occupational group, projected 2008–18, in thousands
Total employment is projected to reach 166 million by 2018, reflecting the addition of about 15 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018. Behind this total employment projection are trends and major findings depicted in charts for four areas: occupations, the labor force, industries, and the overall economy.
* Among all occupational groups, the professional and related occupations group and the service occupations group are expected to gain the most new jobs and produce the largest numbers of job openings.
* Within the professional and related occupations group, healthcare practitioner and technical occupations are projected to gain the most jobs, about 1.6 million. Education, training, and library occupations are projected to gain more than 1.3 million jobs.
* Registered nurses, home health aides, and customer service representatives are expected to gain the most new jobs. Registered nurses will add more than half a million jobs.
* Most job openings for workers entering an occupation come from the need to replace workers who have left the occupation, rather than from the need to fill newly created jobs. The 20 occupations that are expected to have the most openings from growth and replacement include jobs in a variety of fields, such as office support, sales, and service occupations.
* The 20 occupations expected to have the most openings also range widely in median annual wages, from more than $91,000 for general and operations managers to nearly $59,000 for postsecondary teachers to less than $17,000 for waiters and waitresses.
* Job openings are expected in occupations that require every level of education and training. But, in general, workers in occupations with higher education and training requirements earn higher wages.
The labor force
* By 2018, the number of people in the labor force—those working or looking for work—is expected to increase by nearly 13 million people between 2008 and 2018. This is a smaller gain than the nearly 17 million people added to the labor force during the previous decade.
* As the baby-boom generation ages, the number of people in the labor force aged 65 and older is projected to grow very rapidly, by 78 percent over the projections decade. At the same time, the labor force in younger age groups is expected to either decline or increase at much slower rates.
* The labor force will continue to become more diverse. The share of the labor force that is Asian, black, or in other non-white race groups is expected to increase to 21 percent, up from 19 percent a decade earlier. And Hispanics are expected to constitute 18 percent of the labor force in 2018, up from 14 percent in 2008.
* Job growth over the 2008–18 decade will be concentrated in service-providing industries. In 2018, service-providing industries are expected to account for 131 million out of 154 million wage and salary jobs overall. (See chart here.)
* The professional and business services sector is projected to gain the most new jobs, nearly 4.2 million. Two sectors—health care and social assistance and professional and business services—are each projected to grow 24 percent over the decade, the fastest rate for all sectors. (See chart here.)
* Among goods-producing industries, construction is projected to gain about 1.3 million jobs from 2008 to 2018. Some of this growth will be recovering jobs lost between 2006 and 2008, however. Employment is expected to decline in manufacturing and natural resources and mining, the other goods-producing sectors. (See chart here.)
* Among detailed industries, the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry is projected to be the fastest growing. It is also expected to provide the most new jobs. (See chart here.)
* Personal consumption expenditures on goods are projected to grow an average of 2.3 percent each year between 2008 and 2018. The largest growth in personal consumption expenditures on goods is expected to be for computers and software.
* Personal consumption expenditures on services are projected to increase by 2.6 percent annually. Spending on medical care and insurance services will add the most to expenditures on services
Source:BLS Occupational Handbook Quarterly