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Winter 2011-12
Vol. 55, Number 4
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Winter 2011-12 Vol. 55, Number 4

Industry employment



This section illustrates projected employment change for industries over the 2010–20 decade. Workers are grouped into an industry according to the type of good produced or service provided by the establishment for which they work. For example, everyone who is on a construction company's payroll is part of the construction industry, regardless of his or her job duties. The construction industry includes not only construction workers, such as carpenters and roofers, but also other workers, such as office managers and truck drivers.

Industry employment projections are shown in terms of numeric change (growth or decline in the total number of jobs) and percent change (the rate of job growth or decline). Unlike the employment totals in the occupational charts, however, the employment totals in this section cover only wage and salary workers and do not include self-employed or unpaid family workers.

Employment growth for all wage and salary workers is projected to average about 15 percent between 2010 and 2020. This average is shown as a dotted vertical line in two charts.

As discussed in the introduction to this issue of the Quarterly, job growth or decline in some industries affects particular occupations significantly. The number of jobs for registered nurses, for example, is highly dependent on the growth of the hospital industry. Many occupations, however—from accountants to computer systems analysts—are found in nearly every industry.

Employment growth in industries depends on industry output (the total amount produced) and worker productivity (how much each worker produces). Laborsaving technologies and methods can increase productivity, limiting employment growth even as output increases. For example, even as domestic manufacturing output is projected to increase, employment in factories is projected to decline as advanced methods and machines reduce the number of workers needed to produce goods.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: April 3, 2012