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Friday, December 20, 2013

New Spotlight celebrates International Year of Statistics; long-term employment projections released

BLS published several new items this week that I think you will agree are especially interesting. On Wednesday we published a new edition of Spotlight on Statistics to commemorate 2013 as the International Year of Statistics. I have noted previously in the Commissioner’s Corner that the International Year of Statistics is a worldwide celebration of the powerful and far-reaching effects of statistics on people’s lives. The Spotlight on Statistics presents some interesting graphics on employment, unemployment, prices, spending, compensation, and productivity. The Spotlight also discusses how BLS produces the statistics and what they tell us about our economy.

On Thursday BLS published our latest set of long-term projections about the U.S. labor market. We update these projections every 2 years. The latest projections, which look at the changes we expect to see over the 2012–2022 period, are summarized in a news release. BLS projects that the labor force will grow 0.5 percent per year from 2012 to 2022, compared with an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent during the 2002–2012 decade. Projected declines in the labor force participation rates for both men and women are expected to slow labor force growth. As the baby-boom generation ages, workers age 55 and older are expected to make up over one-quarter of the labor force in 2022. Of the 30 occupations projected to have the largest percentage employment increase from 2012 to 2022, 14 are related to healthcare and 5 are related to construction. Nineteen of the 30 occupations projected to grow fastest from 2012 to 2022 typically require some form of postsecondary education for entry. Occupations that do not typically require postsecondary education are projected to add 8.8 million jobs between 2012 and 2022, accounting for more than half of all new jobs. The Monthly Labor Review features a series of articles that examine all the projections in more depth. Here is the list of the articles: