Now that the economy is recovering from the most recent recession, what kind of growth should we expect going forward?
Over the next decade, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects slower economic growth than in years past. New BLS data show the value of goods and services produced in the United States—real gross domestic product, or real GDP—is projected to grow on average by 2.2 percent each year between 2014 and 2024.
Changes in the labor force are expected to contribute to this slowing growth. Many baby boomers are likely to retire over the decade, resulting in slower growth in both the labor force and GDP. But the projected annual growth rate is faster than that of the previous decade, when the U.S. economy was affected by the 2007–09 recession.
GDP growth is at the heart of the BLS employment projections: As demand for U.S. goods and services rises, more jobs are created for the workers who produce those goods and services.
When making its projections, BLS estimates the value of GDP in the projected year using chain-weighted dollars, which adjusts for changing prices over time. For 2024, the projected value of GDP is $19.9 trillion in chained 2009 dollars. BLS then uses the GDP estimate, along with other assumptions, to project industry output. And industry output, in turn, is used to project employment in industries and occupations.
"Projections of the U.S. economy, 2014–24: Slow growth, but improving," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2015.