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November 1989, Vol. 112, No. 11
Projections of occupational employment, 1988-2000
George Silvestri and John Lukasiewicz
The total number of jobs is projected to increase by 18 million, or 15 percent, from 1988 to 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics moderate-growth scenario for the U.S. economy. Reflecting the slowing of labor force growth, the pace of increase in employment is expected to be only about half that of the previous 12-year period, 1976-88. Changes in the industrial composition of employment will have a major impact on the occupational structure, as will changes in technology, business practices, and other factors. In general, occupational growth will result in opportunities for workers at all levels of education. However, opportunities in the higher-paying occupations will necessarily be limited to persons with the education and other training such jobs require, effectively foreclosing an attractive and growing segment of the job market to those with low educational attainment or few practical skills.
This article discusses projected changes in the occupational structure of employment over the 1988-2000 period. It includes analyses of the impact of industry employment trends, technological change, and other factors on occupational employment; potential worker displacement stemming from occupations projected to decline; and the implications of the projections for education and training needs and for job opportunities for workers in minority groups. As indicated above, the discussion focuses on the moderate alternative of the three sets of occupational projections developed by BLS that are tied to the high, moderate, and low economic and industry employment projections alternatives presented elsewhere in this issue of the Review. The major differences among the alternatives are discussed at the end of the article.
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 1989 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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