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Employment Projections: 2018-2028 Technical Note

Technical Note

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

   --Labor force: www.bls.gov/emp/data/labor-force.htm
   --Macroeconomy: www.bls.gov/emp/data/aggregate-economy.htm
   --Industry employment: www.bls.gov/emp/data/industry-out-and-emp.htm
   --Occupational Employment: www.bls.gov/emp/data/occupational-data.htm 

The projections data provide an overview of expected changes in the economy over a
10-year period. The projections are focused on long-term structural trends of the
economy and do not try to anticipate future business cycle activity. To meet this
objective, specific assumptions are made 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
are a description of what would be expected to happen under these specific assumptions
and circumstances. When these assumptions are not realized, actual values will differ
from projections.

The difference between projected changes in the labor force and in employment does not 
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 employed people, 
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 www.bls.gov/emp/documentation/projections-methods.htm  

Frequently asked questions about the employment projections are 
online at www.bls.gov/emp/frequently-asked-questions.htm.

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 
demands of business. In addition, other federal agencies, researchers, and academics 
use the projections to understand trends in the economy and labor market. 

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 www.projectionscentral.com.



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Last Modified Date: September 04, 2019