Bureau of Labor Statistics

Projections of industry employment, 2016–26

December 2017

Knowing which industries are projected to grow or decline helps jobseekers make more informed career decisions. The charts in this article show employment change in particular industries from 2016 to 2026 as projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Industry employment projections are shown in terms of percent change (the rate of job growth or decline) and numeric change (the total number of jobs projected to be added or lost) over the 2016–26 decade. The average growth rate of 7 percent for all wage and salary workers is shown as a dashed vertical line in chart 1.  

Some industries with fast rates of growth have a relatively small number of workers. Examples include oil and gas extraction and museums, historical sites, and similar institutions. These small, fast-growing industries may not offer as many new jobs as some larger industries that are projected to grow more slowly, such as state and local government. To understand the differences between growth rates (percent) and growth in new jobs (numeric), see the following video about understanding the data:

BLS projects employment for 205 detailed industries. In the charts shown in this article, industries are categorized into two groups: service-providing industries and goods-producing industries.

Fastest growing industries

As chart 1 shows, the fastest employment growth is projected to be concentrated in industries that provide services.

View Chart Data

Chart 1. Fastest growing industries

Percent growth in employment of wage and salary workers by detailed industry, projected 2016–26
Industry Percent change in employment

Home health care services

54.2%

Other information services

48.4%

Individual and family services

39.1%

Outpatient care centers

37.7%

Offices of other health practitioners

30.8%

Medical and diagnostic laboratories

27.4%

Other ambulatory health care services

26.5%

Support activities for mining

26.2%

Other personal services

25.4%

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services

23.2%

Office administrative services

22.9%

Offices of physicians

21.7%

Warehousing and storage

21.4%

Computer systems design and related services

21.3%

Software publishers

19.7%

Offices of dentists

18.9%

Oil and gas extraction

18.9%

Other educational services

18.8%

Local government passenger transit

17.0%

Museums, historical sites and similar institutions

16.4%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Most new jobs

The food services and drinking places industry is expected to add the most jobs. (See chart 2.) Construction is the only goods-producing industry among the top 20 in job gains.

View Chart Data

Chart 2. Industries with the most new jobs

Numeric growth in employment of wage and salary workers, by detailed industry, projected 2016–26
Industry Employment change

Food services and drinking places

1,077,000

Individual and family services

871,400

Construction

864,700

Home health care services

738,200

Offices of physicians

548,800

Nursing and residential care facilities

429,100

Computer systems design and related services

425,000

Hospitals

419,000

Local government educational services compensation

413,100

Outpatient care centers

322,600

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services

319,000

Offices of other health practitioners

264,000

Services to buildings and dwellings

252,300

Junior colleges, colleges, universities, and professional schools

239,100

Warehousing and storage

195,700

Employment services

194,400

Offices of dentists

175,400

Motor vehicle and parts dealers

163,900

Wholesale trade

145,800

Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities

143,500

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Most job losses

Of the industries projected to lose the most jobs, more than half are in the manufacturing sector. (See chart 3.)

View Chart Data

Chart 3. Industries with the most job losses

Numeric decline in employment of wage and salary workers, by detailed industry, projected 2016–26
Industry Employment change

Wired telecommunications carriers

-102,500

Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers

-88,000

Postal service

-80,700

Printing and related support activities

-73,200

Apparel, leather and allied product manufacturing

-48,200

Textile mills and textile product mills

-44,200

Plastics product manufacturing

-43,700

Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing

-37,700

Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing

-35,500

Other miscellaneous manufacturing

-25,800

Foundries

-25,100

Communications equipment manufacturing

-23,700

Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, excluding digital camera manufacturing

-23,100

Rubber product manufacturing

-21,500

Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills

-20,800

Travel arrangement and reservation services

-20,700

Civic, social, professional, and similar organizations

-20,500

Radio and television broadcasting

-19,900

Converted paper product manufacturing

-17,700

Ventilation, heating, air-conditioning, and commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturing

-17,000

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Healthcare workers.

 

How BLS develops the projections

Every 2 years, BLS releases projections of the labor force, the overall economy, industry employment, and occupational employment. Economists in the BLS Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections develop these data in a number of steps, first by analyzing broad trends and then by examining more closely several hundred industries and occupations.

Population and labor force

Using population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, BLS analyzes how much the U.S. population and labor force are expected to grow over the 2016–26 decade. BLS then produces projections of the labor force—the civilian noninstitutional population ages 16 and older that is working or actively seeking work—by looking at historical trends in labor force participation for each age, gender, and race or ethnic group.

Overall economy 

BLS then creates a model of an economy that is operating at full potential, given the projected labor force and several other factors. Using this framework, BLS estimates the dollar value of each industry’s total output of goods or services. Some of these goods and services are sold to other industries; for example, corn is used in making cereal. Other goods and services, such as the cereal itself or grocery delivery services, are sold directly to consumers.

Industry employment 

BLS also studies trends in productivity—the amount of output produced per hour of work. Because of technological advances, for example, some industries are able to increase output without increasing the number of hours worked by employees. BLS uses this information to translate projected output into the number of jobs that each industry needs to produce its goods and provide its services.

Occupational employment 

Next, BLS projects how jobs in industries are expected to be distributed across detailed occupations, using 2016 employment data from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey and information from other sources for sectors not covered by the survey.

BLS then analyzes how the job distribution is likely to change over the 2016–26 decade, studying trends in technology, changing skill requirements, and other factors. And because employment trends in most occupations are closely tied to trends in particular industries, BLS used the job distribution information to project employment by occupation to 2026.

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