need for workers originates in the demand for the goods and services
they provide. So, as a first step in projecting employment, BLS
estimates the final demand for goods and services produced in the United
States, a measure called gross domestic product (GDP). Then, BLS
estimates the size of the five major categories that make up demand. The
categories are the following:
- Personal consumption expenditures. These include
purchases by individuals of goods (such as automobiles, clothes, and
food) and services (such as education, healthcare, and rent).
- Gross private domestic investment. This includes
business investment in equipment and software, the construction of
factories and office buildings, the construction of residential
structures, and changes in business inventories.
- Government purchases. Government purchases include
goods and services bought by Federal, State, and local governments.
- Exports. These are goods and services produced in
the United States and purchased in foreign countries.
- Imports. Imports are goods and services produced
abroad and purchased in the United States. Because GDP measures
production in the United States, the value of imports is subtracted
from the other four categories of GDP.
Finally, BLS breaks down these major categories into more detailed
ones, such as the demand for clothing.
Most charts in this section show changes in the level and composition
of demand. These changes affect industry employment levels. For example,
an increased level of business investment in microcomputers will
increase employment in the computer industry and in all those
industries, such as electronic components, that provide inputs to the
computer industry. In turn, occupations that those industries employ
also will grow.
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