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Economic News Release
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Employment Projections and Occupational Outlook Handbook News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, September 8, 2021 	               USDL-21-1615

Technical information:   (202) 691-5700  *  *
Media contact: 	         (202) 691-5902  *

                          EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS -- 2020-2030

Total employment is projected to grow from 153.5 million to 165.4 million over the
202030 decade, an increase of 11.9 million jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. This increase reflects an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent, which
is higher than recent projections cycles and accounts for recovery from low base-
year employment for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated recession.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is projected to increase the fastest,
largely driven by recovery growth, while the healthcare and social assistance sector
is projected to add the most new jobs. Among occupational groups, healthcare support
occupations are projected for the fastest job growth. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
is projected to grow 2.3 percent annually from 2020 to 2030, relatively quickly compared
to the prior two decades, when GDP grew 1.7 percent annually. Meanwhile, labor
productivity also is projected to increase, from 1.1 percent annually over the 201020
decade to 1.7 percent annually from 2020 to 2030.

 |										    |
 |                          Occupational Outlook Handbook			    |
 |										    |
 | The BLS projections are the foundation of the Occupational Outlook Handbook	    |
 | (OOH), one of the nation's most widely used career information resources. The    |
 | OOH reflects BLS employment projections for the 202030 decade. The updated	    |
 | OOH is available online at					    |
 | 										    |
 |            Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the 202030 Projections	    |
 |										    |
 | The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an economic recession from February to April	    |
 | 2020, which led to substantial and immediate declines in output and employment.  |
 | Because 2020 serves as the base year for the 202030 projections, these	    |
 | recession impacts translate to lower base-year values than seen in recent	    |
 | projections and, therefore, higher projected employment growth.		    |
 |										    |
 | Many industries are expected to experience cyclical recoveries in the earlier    |
 | part of the projections decade as industry output and employment normalize,	    |
 | returning to their long-term growth patterns. Projected robust growth for	    |
 | industries in which employment fell in 2020 also is projected to result in	    |
 | strong growth for the occupations employed by those industries. 		    |
 |										    |
 | In addition, some industries and occupations are projected to have altered	    |
 | long-term structural demand arising from economic changes spurred by the	    |
 | pandemic (see Technical Note for discussion of the difference between cyclical   |
 | and structural changes). For example, many computer-related occupations are	    |
 | expected to have elevated long-term demand, in part due to demands for 	    |
 | telework computing infrastructure and IT security. Conversely, retail trade	    |
 | is projected to experience an amplification of its long-term decline, because    |
 | brick-and-mortar retail is projected to lose employment to e-commerce as those   |
 | spending habits from the pandemic persist long-term.				    |
 |										    |
 | Fast growth rates in this projections set generally can be categorized as	    |
 | either predominantly cyclically driven, long-term structurally driven, or	    |
 | a combination of a recovery from a low base point and additional growth due	    |
 | to long-run structural drivers.						    |
 |										    |
 | BLS developed alternate employment projections scenarios for the 201929	    |
 | projections decade that encompassed possible impacts from the pandemic. An	    |
 | analysis of these scenarios is available in the Monthly Labor Review (MLR)	    |
 | article "Employment projections in a pandemic environment." BLS will publish	    |
 | a follow-up analysis comparing the alternate projections to the 202030 	    |
 | projections in a Fall 2021 MLR article.					    |

Highlights of the BLS projections for the labor force, macroeconomy, industry employment,
and occupational employment are included below.

Population and Labor Force

 --The civilian noninsitutional population growth rate is projected to decline slightly,
   from 0.9 percent annually in 201020 to 0.8 percent annually in 202030. This declining
   growth rate nonetheless results in an increase of 20.8 million over the 202030 projections
   decade, to a level of 281.1 million. By comparison, the population increased by 22.5 million
   from 2010 to 2020.

 --The labor force is expected to increase by 8.9 million, from 160.7 million in 2020 to
   169.6 million in 2030. The labor force participation rate is projected to decline, 
   from 61.7 percent in 2020 to 60.4 percent in 2030. The decline in labor force
   participation is due to the aging of the baby-boom generation, a continuation of the
   declining trend in men's participation, and a slight decline in women's participation.

 --By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old. The increasing share of people
   ages 65 and older contributes to a projected labor force growth rate that is slower than
   much of recent history, as well as a continued decline in the labor force participation
   rate, because older people have lower participation rates compared with younger age groups. 


 --Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to continue growing during the 202030
   decade at 2.3 percent annually compounded through the projections decade, reflecting
   recovery growth from the low 2020 base-year GDP.

 --Due in part to a projected increase in the capital-to-labor ratio, productivity is expected
   to grow at an annual rate of 1.7 percent from 2020 to 2030. This projected growth is
   faster than the 1.1 percent historical growth that occurred from 2010 to 2020. This rebound
   in productivity over the projections decade represents a growth rate more in line with
   the long-term historical pattern.

Industry Employment

 --Total employment is projected to grow 7.7 percent over the 202030 projections decade, in
   part reflecting recovery growth from the low 2020 base-year employment.

 --Employment in leisure and hospitality is projected to grow the fastest among all sectors
   over the 202030 decade, accounting for 7 of the 20 fastest growing industries (employment
   change for industries references wage and salary employment). This growth is largely driven
   by recovery from the pandemic, as restaurants, hotels, and arts, cultural, and recreational
   related establishments with low 2020 base-year employment levels see restored demand from
   the public resuming recreational and in-person activities.

 --Employment in healthcare and social assistance is projected to add the most jobs of all
   industry sectors, about 3.3 million jobs over 202030. Within healthcare, employment in
   the individual and family services industry is projected to increase the fastest, with
   an annual growth rate of 3.3 percent. Factors that are expected to contribute to the
   large increase include rising demand for the care of an aging baby-boom population, longer
   life expectancies, and continued growth in the number of patients with chronic conditions.

 --Technological advancements are expected to support strong employment growth in professional,
   business, and scientific services industries, including computer systems design and related
   services (2.1 percent projected annual employment growth from 202030) as well as management,
   scientific, and technical consulting services (2.0 percent). 

 --Retail trade is projected to lose 586,800 jobs over the 202030 decade, the most of any
   sector. As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, accelerated by spending patterns in
   the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for brick-and-mortar retail establishments is expected to decline. 
 --While the manufacturing sector as a whole is projected to have some recovery-driven employment
   growth, it also contains 11 of the 20 industries projected to have the most rapid employment
   declines. Factors contributing to the loss of manufacturing jobs include continued global
   competition and adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies, such as robotics.

Occupational Employment 

 --Healthcare support occupations are projected for the fastest employment growth among all
   occupational groups. Personal care and service occupations and food preparation and serving
   related occupations are also projected for rapid employment growth, mainly due to recovery
   growth following low 2020 base-year employment.

 --Healthcare occupations and those associated with healthcare (including mental health) account
   for 7 of the 30 fastest growing occupations from 2020 to 2030. Demand for healthcare services,
   from both aging baby boomers and from people who have chronic conditions, will drive the
   projected employment growth. 

 --Motion picture projectionists; ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers; and restaurant
   cooks are among the fastest growing occupations due to their expected cyclical recovery.
   Employment of these occupations is concentrated in industries which saw substantial employment
   losses in 2020 and are projected for large recovery growth over the projections decade.

 --Several of the fastest growing healthcare occupations--including nurse practitioners, physical
   therapist assistants, and physician assistants--are projected to see strong demand as team-based
   healthcare models are increasingly used to deliver healthcare services.

 --Computer and mathematical occupations are expected to see fast employment growth as strong
   demand is expected for IT security and software development, in part due to increased prevalence
   of telework spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for new products associated with the
   Internet of Things (IoT), and for analyzing and interpreting large datasets are also expected
   to contribute to fast employment growth for these occupations, which include statisticians,
   information security analysts, and data scientists.

 --Technological changes facilitating increased automation are expected to result in declining
   employment for office and administrative support occupations, sales occupations, and production

More Information

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) includes information about more than 500 detailed occupations
in over 300 occupational profiles, covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy.

Each profile features the 202030 projections, along with assessments of the job outlook, work 
activities, wages, education and training requirements, and more.

 --The OOH is available online at

 --New field of degree pages are available online at 

 --Detailed information on the 202030 projections will appear in the Monthly Labor Review in
   Fall 2021.

 --Tables with detailed, comprehensive statistics used in preparing the projections are available
   online at

 --Definitions for terms used in this news release are available in the BLS Glossary at 

Information from this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon
request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Services: 1 (800) 877-8339.

Technical Note

BLS publishes projections for the labor force, the macroeconomy, industry employment, and occupational
employment. More information is available online:

 --Labor force:
 --Industry employment:

 --Occupational employment:

Projections of industry and occupational employment are prepared by each state, using input from the BLS
National projections. State projections data are available at Projections Central:

The projections data provide an overview of expected changes in the economy over a decade. The projections
focus on long-term structural trends of the economy and do not try to anticipate future business cycle activity.
Cyclical change refers to short-term business cycle fluctuations around a trend. For example, employment may
decline in a particular industry during a recession (cyclical decline) and grow during the recovery immediately
following the recession (cyclical growth), eventually returning to the long-term trend level. Structural change
refers to the long-term trend and in the case of employment reflects changes in the allocation of employment
by industry and occupation. Structural changes in industry or occupational employment are based on factors 
such as changes in consumer preferences that affect the demand for goods and services or new technology that
affects production practices.

To maintain a focus on long-term trends, BLS makes specific assumptions about the labor force, macroeconomy,
industry employment, and occupational employment. Critical to the production of these projections is the
assumption of full employment for the economy in the projected year. The projections are not intended to be
a forecast of what the future will be but instead to describe what is expected under these specific assumptions
and circumstances. When these assumptions are not realized, actual values will differ from projected values.

The difference between projected changes in the labor force and in employment does not necessarily imply a 
labor shortage or surplus. The BLS projections assume labor market equilibrium; that is, one in which labor
supply meets labor demand except for some level of frictional unemployment. In addition, the employment and
labor force measures use different definitional and statistical concepts. For example, employment is a count
of jobs, and one person may hold more than one job. Labor force is a count of all individuals who are either
employed or unemployed and actively looking for work, and a person is counted only once regardless of how many
jobs he or she holds.

For more information, visit the Employment Projections Methodology page online at

Frequently asked questions about the employment projections are online at

Users and Uses

The BLS projections are used by high school and college students, their teachers and parents, jobseekers,
career counselors, and guidance specialists to determine jobs in demand. The projections also are used by
state workforce agencies to prepare state and area projections that, together with the national projections,
are widely used by policymakers to make decisions about education and training, funding allocations, and
program offerings. These projections of jobs in demand help improve the alignment between education and
training and the hiring needs of employers. In addition, other federal agencies, researchers, and academics
use the projections to understand trends in the economy and labor market. 

Last Modified Date: September 08, 2021