Labor force projected at 164.2 million by 2016

December 05, 2007

The civilian labor force is projected to increase by 12.8 million over the 2006-16 decade, reaching 164.2 million by 2016.

Percent change in labor force by age, projected 2006-16
[Chart data—TXT]

This 8.5-percent increase is less than the 13.1-percent increase over the previous decade—1996 to 2006—when the labor force grew by 17.5 million.

The number of workers in the 55-and-older group is projected to grow by 46.7 percent, nearly 5.5 times the 8.5-percent growth projected for the labor force overall.

Youths—those between the ages of 16 and 24—will decline in numbers and will see their share of the labor force fall from 14.8 to 12.7 percent. The number of prime-age workers—those between the ages of 25 and 54—will increase by 2.4 percent, but their share of the labor force will decline from 68.4 to 64.6 percent.

These projections are from the BLS Employment Projections program. For more information, see "Employment Projections: 2006-16," news release USDL 07-1847.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force projected at 164.2 million by 2016 on the Internet at (visited September 26, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.