Health care and social assistance expected to add 5.0 million jobs, 2012 to 2022

January 10, 2014

BLS projects that total employment in the United States will reach 161.0 million in 2022, up 15.6 million from the 2012 level of 145.4 million. The 2012 employment level was 3.1 million higher than the 2002 level of 142.3 million; although the recent recession ended in 2009, total employment did not start to grow until 2011.



Employment by industry, 2002, 2012, and projected 2022
Industry20022012Projected 2022





Agriculture self-employed and unpaid family workers




Agriculture wage and salary


Federal government




Educational services


Transportation and warehousing


Wholesale trade


Other services




Financial activities


Nonagriculture self-employed and unpaid family workers




Leisure and hospitality


Retail trade


State and local government


Professional and business services


Health care and social assistance



The service-providing sector (which includes industries such as trade, transportation, education, health care, and leisure and hospitality) is expected to have the largest proportion of total employment and be responsible for most of the job growth over the 2012–2022 projection period, increasing from 116.1 million in 2012 to 130.2 million in 2022.

The health care and social assistance industry is expected to add the largest number of jobs over the projection period, almost 5.0 million. It will also become the largest industry (measured by the number of jobs) by 2022, overtaking state and local government, which had the most jobs in 2012.

Professional and business services is projected to see large growth in employment over the next decade. It is expected to add almost 3.5 million jobs, the third-largest increase among all major industries, to reach a level of more than 21.4 million jobs in 2022, up from just over 17.9 million in 2012.

Employment in state and local government is projected to increase by 929,000, to reach just over 20.0 million in 2022.

Retail trade employment is expected to rise by more than 1.0 million, to reach almost 16.0 million by 2022.

The goods-producing sector (mining, construction, and manufacturing) is expected to add nearly 1.2 million jobs, increasing from almost 18.4 million in 2012 to almost 19.6 million in 2022.

The recovery in the construction industry will account for almost all of the job growth among goods-producing industries over the projection period. Construction is projected to add just over 1.6 million jobs, reaching an employment level of almost 7.3 million by 2022.

By contrast, manufacturing is expected to experience a slight decline in employment over the 2012–2022 period.

These projections are from the BLS Employment Projections program. To learn more, see “Industry employment and output projections to 2022” by Richard Henderson, Monthly Labor Review, December 2013.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Health care and social assistance expected to add 5.0 million jobs, 2012 to 2022 on the Internet at (visited September 28, 2016).


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