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Projected openings in occupations with large shares of African Americans

| February 2019

Blacks or African Americans made up about 12 percent of all workers in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But in some occupations, their share was more than double or even triple that. And, as the chart shows, these occupations are projected to have thousands of openings each year, on average, from 2016 to 2026 for workers of all races.

Collectively, the occupations in the chart are projected to have more than 725,000 annual openings, on average, over the decade. More than half of those openings (379,100 per year) are expected to be for nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides, the occupation in the chart with the second-largest share (about 36 percent) of Black workers. About 41 percent of mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators were Black, the highest percentage of any occupation for the race group.

Data on shares of Blacks or African Americans are from the BLS Current Population Survey. Data on projected openings are from the BLS Employment Projections Program. Learn about the occupations in the chart and hundreds of others in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "Projected openings in occupations with large shares of African Americans," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2019.

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