Defense-related employment decline projected to slow

October 08, 1998

After declining steeply from 1987 to 1996, defense-related employment is projected to fall at a slower pace through 2006. Total defense-related employment in the public and private sectors fell by 2.5 million from 1987 to 1996. BLS projects that such employment will decline by an additional 900,000 from 1996 to 2006, falling from 4.5 million to 3.6 million.

Defense-related employment, 1977-2006
[Chart data—TXT]

Most of the slowdown in employment declines is expected to occur in the public sector. The number of Armed Forces and civilian employees will decline from 2.4 million in 1996 to 2.2 million in 2002, before leveling off in 2006. This 7.6 percent decline from 1996 to 2006 is far less than the 30.3 percent decline reported from 1987 to 1996.

Private sector employment in defense, both in directly- and indirectly-related industries, will fall from 2.1 million to 1.5 million in 2002, and to 1.4 million in 2006. In contrast to public sector employment, this 34.2 percent expected decline from 1996 to 2006 is only slightly less rapid than the 40.1 percent decline reported in the private sector from 1987 to 1996.

These data are produced by the BLS Employment Projections program. For additional information, see "Defense-related employment and spending, 1996-2006", Monthly Labor Review, July 1998.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Defense-related employment decline projected to slow on the Internet at (visited July 25, 2016).


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