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The economy and labor force, projected 2022–32: Slow growth continues

| September 2023

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the economy to grow by 1.9 percent each year, on average, from 2022 to 2032. As the bars in the chart show, this rate is close to the average growth rates of the previous two decades but slower than those in the 1980s and 1990s. The line on the chart shows growth rates for the labor force (those working or looking for work) following a similar trend.

Looking at the chart, you might think economic and labor force growth are connected. And you'd be right. Economic growth is measured as the increased value of goods produced and services provided in the United States: gross domestic product, or real GDP. Slower economic growth in recent decades is attributable, in part, to a decline in labor force growth. As the population continues to age, the rate at which people enter the labor force is expected to slow. Fewer new workers to produce goods and provide services means, in turn, limited overall growth of the economy.

BLS uses estimates of the future GDP and labor force to help project employment for hundreds of industries and occupations. To learn more, visit the BLS Employment Projections webpage.

Kevin Dubina is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS.

Suggested citation:

Kevin Dubina, "The economy and labor force, projected 2022–32: Slow growth continues," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2023.

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