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Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on the 2019–29 Employment and Labor Force Projections

The 2019–29 projections published September 1, 2020, do not include impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts. The BLS Employment Projections are developed using models based on historical data, which in this set of projections cover the period through 2019; all input data therefore precede the pandemic. In addition, the 2019–29 projections were finalized in the spring of 2020 when there was still significant uncertainty about the duration and impacts of the pandemic.

The BLS Employment Projections are long-term projections intended to capture structural change in the economy, not cyclical fluctuations. As such, they are not intended to capture the impacts of the recession that began in February 2020. However, besides the immediate recessionary impacts, the pandemic may cause new structural changes to the economy. BLS releases new employment projections annually, and subsequent projections will incorporate new information on economic structural changes as it becomes available.

To provide more information about potential impacts before the release of the 2020–30 projections, BLS developed alternate scenarios for the 2019–29 projection period that encompass possible impacts from the pandemic. Comparison of these alternate scenarios with the 2019–29 projections demonstrate how changes in consumer behavior caused by the pandemic may alter the projections for detailed occupations and industries. The analysis of these scenarios appears in the Monthly Labor Review article "Employment projections in a pandemic environment."

If you have questions, contact the Employment Projections staff.

Last Modified Date: March 4, 2021