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September 1997, Vol. 120, No. 9
BLS industry employment projections correctly described most broad industry trends over the 1984-95 period. Most of the major industry sectors projected to have faster-than-average growth did so, and 2 of the 3 major sectors projected to decline did lose employment from 1984-95. Services and retail trade were projected to account for 65 percent of the net change in employment, which was very close to the actual 72 percent they attained. Downsizing, which has resulted in the contracting out of many operations, especially in manufacturing industries, is one of many factors that have led to a growth in services faster than that projected.
Major industry sectors. Total wage and salary employment was underprojected by 6.6 million, reflecting chiefly the 3.1 million underprojection of the labor force, but also the unforeseen faster growth of wage and salary employment, compared with that of the labor force. The faster growth stemmed from an unexpected increase in dual jobholders over the projection period. Despite the large numerical underprojection of total employment, the projected 1995 distribution of employment by major industrial sector closely matched the actual distribution. Indeed, the shares of total employment for all but two sectors, agriculture and wholesale trade, were projected to change in the correct direction.
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