Millennial themes: age, education, services

December 01, 1999

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its work force projections for the period 1998-2008.

Median age of the labor force, selected historical years and projected 2008
[Chart data—TXT]

Some of the themes that may be important to watch unfolding over the next several years include:

  • The continuing aging of the labor force. The median age of workers is projected to rise to nearly 41 years. At that level, the median age of the labor force will just exceed the previous high of 40.5 years reached in 1962.
  • The growing importance of education. Occupations that require at least an associate degree will account for 40 percent of all job growth out to 2008, compared to a one-quarter share of all jobs that existed in 1998.
  • The dominance of the service-producing sector as a source of employment growth. In the projection period—1998 to 2008—the service sector will account for more than 90 percent of job growth.
  • Projections of the labor force and the industrial and occupational composition of employment are a product of the Employment Projections program. To find out more, see articles from the November 1999 issue of Monthly Labor Review.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Millennial themes: age, education, services on the Internet at (visited September 20, 2014).


Spotlight on Statistics: Productivity

This edition of Spotlight on Statistics examines labor productivity trends from 2000 through 2010 for selected industries and sectors within the nonfarm business sector of the U.S. economy.  Read more »