About the Numbers


Occupational Data Definitions

Sources of the data

The National Industry-Occupation Employment Matrix is developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its ongoing Employment Projections program. Data from the 2016–26 matrix underlie information on occupational employment growth presented in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The 2016 matrix was developed primarily from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, and the Current Population Survey (CPS). The 2026 matrix was developed as part of the procedures used to project occupational employment.

The 2016–26 National Employment Matrix that presents employment for approximately 300 detailed industries and 800 occupations was used to develop data for this web site.

Occupational classification

The occupational structure of the Matrix is based on the structure used by the OES program, which includes detailed occupations from the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.

More information about the Standard Occupational Classification system is available at: www.bls.gov/soc/

More information about how the OES program classifies occupations is available at: www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm#def

Data on self-employed workers are based on Current Population Survey (CPS) data for equivalent occupations. A crosswalk was used to distribute CPS data to occupations in the National Employment Matrix.

Industry classification

Industries covered in the national employment matrix reflect the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Self-employed workers are listed separately in order to derive total employment.

Projections methodology

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projections of industrial and occupational employment are developed in a series of six interrelated steps, each of which is based on a different procedure or model and related assumptions: labor force, aggregate economy, final demand (GDP) by consuming sector and product, industry output, employment by industry, and employment by occupation. The results produced by each step are key inputs to following steps, and the sequence may be repeated multiple times to allow feedback and to ensure consistency.

Projections updates

National employment projections are developed every other year. The next National projections cycle will cover the 2018–2028 decade. Those projections are scheduled to be published in the Monthly Labor Review and to be available on this web site in late 2019.


The accuracy of projections for individual occupations is subject to error because of the many unknown factors that may affect the economy over the projection period. Furthermore, while occupational employment projections and related job outlook information can provide valuable inputs to the career decision-making process, they should not be the sole basis for a choice of career.


Last Modified Date: March 19, 2018