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The 2006–16 projections: How did fast-growing occupations fare?

| February 2019

Information about future employment helps guide people in making decisions about their careers. That’s why so many people look to employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But how can we be sure those projections are reliable?

Periodically, BLS evaluates prior projections. The chart compares projected employment with actual data for the 2006–16 decade in eight occupations that BLS projected to have rapid growth. In all of the occupations in the chart, actual employment growth surpassed the BLS projection. And their rate of employment growth was much faster than the 4-percent average rate for all occupations.

View Chart Data

Rates of employment growth in selected fast-growing occupations, actual and projected, 2006–16 (percent)
Occupation Actual growth Projected growth

Computer software engineers, applications

64 45

Skincare specialists

60 34

Mental health counselors

58 30

Personal financial advisors

54 41

Medical assistants

52 35

Physical therapist assistants

47 32

Veterinary technologists and technicians

43 41

Pharmacy technicians

41 32

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.

Data in the chart are based on an analysis of the 2006–16 projections. Read more on the projections evaluations page.

For the most recent set of projections, visit www.bls.gov/emp. And you can learn about the occupations shown here, as well as hundreds of others, in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH).

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About the Author

Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at torpey.elka@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "The 2006–16 projections: How did fast-growing occupations fare?," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2019.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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