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Employment Projections

Labor Force Projections: Summary of Evaluations

This page compares the most recent set of labor force projections evaluations with previous sets. This comparison is meant to give the reader an idea of how well the BLS method works over time. The projections evaluations covered are for 2008–18, 2006–16, 2004–14, and 2002–12. For more information, refer to our evaluation methodology.


In past projections BLS has correctly projected the growth or decline (that is, the direction of change) for the majority of demographic groups in the labor force.

Percent of labor force segments correctly projected to grow or decline



Actual growth in the labor force has consistently fallen short of the BLS projections and the naïve model, due at least in part to recessionary effects.

Labor force growth rates, projected vs actual


Performance compared to naïve model

The naïve and BLS models have generally performed similarly.

Weighted mean absolute percent error in projected labor force levels


Projections' Periods that have been Compared

Return to Projections Evaluation Homepage


Last Modified Date: March 16, 2020