Bureau of Labor Statistics

Labor force projected at 164.2 million by 2016

December 05, 2007

The civilian labor force is projected to increase by 12.8 million over the 2006-16 decade, reaching 164.2 million by 2016.

Percent change in labor force by age, projected 2006-16
[Chart data—TXT]

This 8.5-percent increase is less than the 13.1-percent increase over the previous decade—1996 to 2006—when the labor force grew by 17.5 million.

The number of workers in the 55-and-older group is projected to grow by 46.7 percent, nearly 5.5 times the 8.5-percent growth projected for the labor force overall.

Youths—those between the ages of 16 and 24—will decline in numbers and will see their share of the labor force fall from 14.8 to 12.7 percent. The number of prime-age workers—those between the ages of 25 and 54—will increase by 2.4 percent, but their share of the labor force will decline from 68.4 to 64.6 percent.

These projections are from the BLS Employment Projections program. For more information, see "Employment Projections: 2006-16," news release USDL 07-1847.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor force projected at 164.2 million by 2016 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/dec/wk1/art03.htm (visited November 29, 2021).


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