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Economic News Release
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Employment Projections: 2022-2032 Technical Note

Technical Note

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

 --Labor force:
 --Industry output and employment:
 --Occupational employment:

   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. To meet this objective, specific assumptions are made about 
the labor force, macroeconomy, industry output and 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.

   Projections methods are heavily based on historical relationships in the data, but BLS also
conducts research on factors that are expected to impact employment, particularly those which
may not be reflected in historical data, such as new technologies and legislation. Projections
are always uncertain, and the exact impact of developments such as new technologies on the
labor market ten years out is impossible to predict with precision. BLS issues new projections
annually to incorporate new data, research, and analysis. BLS projections assume that 
technological change impacts the labor market gradually, not suddenly. This assumption has
been supported by the historical record; see Michael J. Handel, "Growth trends for selected
occupations considered at risk from automation," Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, July 2022,  

   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 employed people, and a person
is counted only once regardless of how many jobs they hold. 

   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. 

   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

Last Modified Date: September 06, 2023