November, 2001, Vol. 124, No. 11
Labor month in review
Town and country
Labor’s disaster response
The November Review
Even in the most stable environment, projecting longer-term economic trends is a tricky business. In an environment that has changed much in a short time, such projections are even more difficult. The projections set forth in this issue were prepared before the events of September 11 and before the recent increases in unemployment. As longer-term projections, however, the underlying assumptions should be viewed independently from short-term developments.
It is thus important that readers take the time to review the article by Betty W. Su outlining the projected economic environment that drives the rest of the package. The projection sees output rising somewhat more quickly from 2000 to 2010 than it had in the decade immediately preceding the projection period. The rate of employment growth is projected to be slightly lower than it had been. Therefore, as a matter of arithmetic, the projection incorporates a continued trend toward higher productivity growth. This final assumption is consistent with the continued growth of capital stocks resulting from relatively robust projected rates of business investment.
Howard N Fullerton, Jr. and Mitra Toossi find that the labor force is projected to grow at almost the same rate from 2000 to 2010 as it had in the 10 years ended in 2000. After the projected 11.9– percent increase, the labor force will number almost 158 million in 2010. While the overall rate of growth in the labor force isn’t projected to change much, changes in demographic structure will proceed apace. Both younger and older workers will make up higher proportions of the workforce, both Hispanic and Asian workers will continue to make up growing shares of the labor force, and the portion of the labor force that is female will continue to edge up, reaching 48 percent in 2010.
Longstanding trends in industry employment structure are also projected to continue, according to Jay M. Berman: "The service-producing sector continues to be the dominant employment generator in the economy, as has been the case historically. Business services and health services are projected to remain responsible for the majority of employment growth in the service-producing sector."
Daniel E. Hecker concludes the package with a description of projected occupational employment. While jobs requiring a college degree of one sort or another are projected to grow at the fastest rates, most new jobs will be in occupations asking only for work experience or on-the-job training. This reflects the fact that the latter set of occupations accounted for about 7 out of 10 jobs in 2000.
Town and country
Average annual pay within the Nation’s nonmetropolitan areas rose by 4.9 percent in 2000, compared with 6.0 percent in metropolitan areas. The difference between nonmetropolitan and metropolitan pay has gradually widened over the years. In 1990, the difference between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan pay levels amounted to approximately 16 percent. In 1995, the difference was 23 percent and in 2000, nonmetropolitan average annual pay was 26 percent less than pay in metropolitan areas.
Average annual pay in nonmetropolitan areas in 2000 was $27,311. In comparison, annual pay in metropolitan areas averaged $36,986. Find additional information in "Average Annual Pay Levels in Metropolitan Areas, 2000," news release USDL 01–318.
Labor’s disaster response
The events of September 11, 2001, resulted in a tragic loss of life and significant disruptions to workers in the local affected economies. The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to assist the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, those involved in the recovery effort in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and ongoing concerns related to America’s war on terrorism.
The Department of Labor’s toll-free information lines in the box below can assist workers and employers with questions about job loss, business closures, pay, leave, workplace injuries, safety and health, pension and health benefits, and reemployment rights for reservists.
Toll-free information numbers
Job Loss, Layoffs, Business Closures,
Reemployment Rights for Veterans,
Loss of Pension and Health Benefits,
Injuries and Fatalities......................................... 1–866–999–3322
Pay, Overtime, and Family Medical Leave......... 1–866–4–US-WAGE
Workplace Safety and Health............................ 1–866–4–USA-DOL
Other Department of Labor questions................ 1–866–4–USA-DOL
TTY number for all Department
Communications regarding the Monthly Labor Review may be sent to the Editor-in-Chief at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Room 2850, Washington, DC, 20212, or faxed to (202) 6917890.
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