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.
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. See http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_301.htm.
–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 http://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. See ww.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_301.htm.
–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 http://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 http://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 http://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 www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_101.htm.
–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 http://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 http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_102.htm.
Manufacturing will fall. Retail will wobble. Automation will inch along but stay off the roads, for now. The rich will keep getting richer. And more and more of the country will be paid to take care of old people. That is the future of the labor market, according to the latest 10-year forecast from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These 10-year-forecast reports—the products of two years’ work from about 25 economists at the BLS —document the government’s best assessment of the fastest and slowest growing jobs of the future. On the decline are automatable work, like typists, and occupations threatened by changing consumer behavior, like clothing store cashiers, as more people shop online.
The fastest-growing jobs through 2026 belong to what one might call the Three Cs: care, computers, and clean energy. No occupation is projected to add more workers than personal-care aides, who perform non-medical duties for older Americans, such as bathing and cooking. Along with home-health aides, these two occupations are projected to create 1.1 million new jobs in the next decade. Remarkably, that’s 10 percent of the total 11.5 million jobs that the BLS expects the economy to add. Clean-energy workers, like solar-panel installers and wind-turbine technicians, are the only occupations that are expected to double by 2026. Mathematicians and statisticians round out the top-10 list…
Is the government any good at predicting the future? The BLS’s early-century forecasts of the next decade didn’t anticipate the Great Recession, which restrained overall job growth and decimated construction, or the natural gas revolution, which created a mining boom. On the other hand, it nailed the growth of education and health care within a percentage point.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Why Nerds and Nurses Are Taking Over the U.S. Economy – The Atlantic