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November 1995, Vol. 118, No. 11
Occupational employment to 2005
George T. Silvestri
Total employment in the U.S. economy is projected to increase by 17.7 million jobs between 1994 and 2005, rising from 127.0 million to 144.7 million, according to the moderate alternative projection of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The projected 14-percent rate of employment growth is considerably slower than the 24-percent increase attained during the previous 11-year period, 1983-94, during which the economy added 24.6 million jobs. The faster rate of growth in the recent past reflects the entry of baby-boomers to the labor force well into the 1980's.1
Growth rates are projected to be very different among the major occupational groups, resulting in a change in the structure of employment from 1994 to 2005.2 In general, occupations that require a bachelor's degree or other post-secondary education or training are projected to have faster than average rates of employment growth.
However, many occupations requiring less formal education or training also are projected to have above average growth. In addition to the growth rate, employment size is an important factor in determining the numerical change in an occupation. Many slower growing occupations, some requiring little education and training and others having considerable educational requirements, are expected to add significant numbers of jobs primarily because of their large employment bases. As a result, the economy is projected to continue generating jobs for workers at all levels of education and training.
This article compares 1994-2005 projected changes in the structure of employment at the major occupational group level with the changes that occurred over the previous 11-year period, 1983-1994.
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 See Howard N Fullerton, Jr., "The 2005 labor force:growing, but slowly," elsewhere in this issue.
2 The 1994 employment estimates described in this article are derived from the Bureau's industry-occupation employment matrix, which includes data for more than 500 detailed occupations and 250 detailed industries. The main sources of data used in the matrix are Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates for total wage and salary jobs by industry and Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) data for employment by occupation within detailed industries. Total employment and occupational staffing patterns of wage and salary workers in agriculture (except agricultural services), forestry, fishing, hunting, and trapping, and in private households are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Economy-wide data on self-employed and unpaid family workers by occupation are also derived from the CPS. The estimates derived from the CES and OES differ from those obtained from the CPS in a number of important ways. For example, employed persons who hold more than one job are included twice in the CES and OES estimates, but only once in the CPS data, which excludes the secondary jobs of workers.
How accurate are recent BLS occupational projections? October 1991.
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