For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, September 4, 2019 USDL-19-1571
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Employment is projected to grow by 8.4 million jobs to 169.4 million jobs over the 2018–28 decade, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. This expansion reflects an annual growth rate of 0.5 percent,
which is slower than the 2008–18 annual growth rate of 0.8 percent. An aging population and labor force will
contribute to changes expected over the coming decade including a continued decline in the labor force
participation rate and continued growth in employment in healthcare and related industries and occupations.
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to grow at much the same rate from 2018 to
2028 as it did in the previous decade; labor productivity is projected to accelerate slightly from the
previous decade to an annual rate of 1.6 percent, higher than the previous decade's annual rate of 1.3 percent.
| Occupational Outlook Handbook |
| The projections are the foundation of the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook |
| (OOH), one of the nation's most widely used career information resources. |
| The OOH reflects BLS employment projections for the 2018–28 decade. The |
| updated OOH is available online at www.bls.gov/ooh. |
The following are highlights of BLS projections for the labor force, the macroeconomy, and industry and occupational
--The labor force is projected to increase at an annual rate of 0.5 percent from 2018 to 2028. This growth
represents an increase of 8.9 million over the decade to 171 million by 2028. The labor force participation
rate is projected to decline to 61.2 percent. See www.bls.gov/emp/tables/civilian-labor-force-summary.htm.
--Older workers, those ages 65 years and older, are increasingly staying in the workforce. The labor force
participation rate for these workers is expected to increase to 23.3 percent by 2028. Conversely, the
labor force participation rate for those ages 16 to 24 is projected to continue to decline, to 51.7 percent.
This decline is expected due to increased time spent in school and displaced opportunities as older workers
fill jobs historically held by younger workers.
--The share of workers ages 55 and older--a group that includes baby boomers, who are staying in the workforce
longer--is projected to continue to increase over the 2018–28 decade, from 23.1 percent to 25.2 percent.
--Much of the projected decline in the overall labor force participation rate from 2018 to 2028 is due to
a decrease in the participation rate for men, from 69.1 percent to 66.1 percent. However, the
participation rate for women is also expected to decline over the decade, from 57.1 percent to 56.6 percent.
--Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 chained dollars is projected to grow at an annual rate of
1.8 percent from 2018 to 2028, the same rate as that of the 2008–18 decade.
--Although GDP growth is projected to remain steady, labor productivity is expected to accelerate. Productivity
is projected to grow at an annual rate of 1.6 percent from 2018 to 2028, slightly faster than the 2008–18 rate
of 1.3 percent. The projected growth indicates a recovery back to long-run productivity growth rates, and is
expected due to a combination of factors, such as capital investment, technological advancement, and workforce
education. See www.bls.gov/emp/tables/labor-supply-factors-affecting-productivity.htm.
--Industry employment is projected to grow at an annual rate of 0.5 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than
the annual rate of 0.8 percent from 2008 to 2018. Employment will increase to about 169.4 million over
the projections decade. See www.bls.gov/emp/tables/employment-by-major-industry-sector.htm.
--The service-providing sector as a whole will grow at a projected rate of 0.6 percent annually, slightly faster
than the annual rate of 0.5 percent for industry employment overall. This growth is projected to add
more than 7.6 million jobs, resulting in 136.8 million jobs in the service-providing sector by 2028. After
declining slightly from 2008 to 2018 (-0.3 percent annually), the goods-producing sector is expected to
change little from 2018–28, with an annual growth rate of 0.1 percent.
--The sectors projected to experience the fastest annual employment growth are health care and social
assistance (1.6 percent), private educational services (1.2 percent), and construction (1.1 percent). These
three sectors alone are projected to add more than 4.6 million jobs by 2028--including 3.4 million new jobs
projected in healthcare and social assistance.
--Five sectors are projected to experience employment declines from 2018 to 2028: retail trade, wholesale trade,
utilities, federal government, and manufacturing. Retail trade is projected to decline by 0.1 percent annually,
resulting in an employment decrease of 153,700 jobs. One factor contributing to this decline is a shift to
e-commerce, which is also driving employment growth in the transportation and warehousing sector.
--Occupational employment is projected to grow by 5.2 percent from 2018 to 2028, an increase of 8.4 million jobs.
Many of the fastest growing occupations are in healthcare and related services. Other rapid-growth occupations
are in computer and mathematics and in renewable energy fields.
--Employment in nearly all major occupational groups is projected to increase from 2018 to 2028. The fastest
growing groups include healthcare support occupations (18.2 percent), personal care and service occupations
(17.4 percent), computer and mathematical occupations (12.7 percent), healthcare practitioners and technical
occupations (11.9 percent), and community and social service occupations (11.2 percent).
--Three occupational groups are projected to have declining employment over the 2018–28 decade. Employment in
sales and related occupations is expected to decline by 0.5 percent as consumers increasingly make purchases
online through e-commerce. Office and administrative support occupations and production occupations are also
expected to have employment declines, 2.6 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, as advancements in
technology and automation increase productivity or shift work to other occupations.
--Of the 30 fastest growing occupations, 18 are in healthcare and related occupations. Increased demand for
healthcare services from an aging population and people with chronic conditions will drive much of the
expected employment growth. The fastest growing among these occupations are home health aides and personal
care aides. Other healthcare occupations with rapid projected growth--including nurse practitioners, physician
assistants, and medical assistants--will be in greater demand as the healthcare industry moves toward delivery
of team-based care. See www.bls.gov/emp/tables/fastest-growing-occupations.htm.
--Computer and mathematical occupations account for 6 of the 30 fastest growing occupations. Increasing use of
mobile and connected devices will drive demand for application software developers, which is projected to
experience employment growth of 25.6 percent. The need for robust online security will also rise as more
connected devices enter homes and workplaces. This increased need for cybersecurity will drive demand for
information security analysts, employment of which is projected to grow by 31.6 percent.
--Advances in, and implementation of, renewable energy technologies are expected to drive employment growth
in the two occupations with the highest projected growth rates: solar photovoltaic installers (63.3 percent)
and wind turbine technicians (56.9 percent). Despite the rapid growth projected in these occupations, their
small employment size means that the growth is projected to yield only 6,100 new jobs and 3,800 new jobs,
--The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) includes information about 568 detailed occupations in 325
occupational profiles, covering about 4 out of 5 jobs in the economy. Each profile features the 2018–28
projections, along with assessments of the job outlook, work activities, wages, education and training
requirements, and more.
--Many profiles in the OOH now include career videos produced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) CareerOneStop.
Links to videos appear on the Summary tab of profiles to the right of the Quick Facts box. In addition,
projections data and wage information in the OOH are now updated on an annual basis. The OOH reflects
the 2018–28 projections and May 2018 wages from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program.
The OOH will be updated with May 2019 wages in the spring of 2020.
--The OOH is available online at www.bls.gov/ooh.
--Detailed information on the 2018–28 projections will appear in an upcoming Monthly Labor Review article at
--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 www.bls.gov/bls/glossary.htm.
Information from this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone:
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