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November 2009, Vol. 132, No. 11
Industry output and employment projections to 2018
Rose A. Woods
Rose A. Woods is an economist formerly in the Division of Industry Employment Projections, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics. E-mail: Woods.Rose.A@bls.gov
Professional and business services and the health care and social assistance sectors account for more than half of the projected job growth from 2008 to 2018; construction also is expected to add jobs, while agriculture and manufacturing employment is expected to decline over the period.
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The most recent BLS projections have the labor force increasing at 0.8 percent per year and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing 2.4 percent annually over the coming decade. How do these predictions affect specific industries? With the foundation for the labor force and macroeconomy laid, the BLS develops industry employment projections every 2 years, which, in turn, are used to project growth for detailed occupations.1 This article examines and reports on the results for detailed industry employment and output projections from 2008 to 2018.
These results project total employment in the United States to increase by 15.3 million over the 2008–18 period, rising from 150.9 million to 166.2 million.2 This represents a 1.0-percent average annual growth rate, which is somewhat faster than the 0.7-percent annual rate experienced during the 1998–2008 period, when employment increased by 10.4 million jobs. The slower growth in the earlier period was due in large part to the recession which began in December 2007.3
Over the 2007-08 period, average annual employment fell by 803,900 jobs, down 0.5 percent over the year. Since 2008, further declines in employment have worsened the labor market. From December 2008 through August 2009, monthly employment (seasonally adjusted) for nonfarm wage and salary workers fell by more than 3.8 million jobs. These relatively large losses in employment since 2008 are not part of the analysis in the present article. Rather, the purpose of this article is to evaluate and present the long-term trends in industry employment, as well as the factors affecting these trends over the 10-year projection period from 2008 through 2018. Nevertheless, because of the relatively low levels for the base year employment, the projected growth rates over the 2008–18 period for some industries may be uncharacteristically high, as part of this growth will likely be due to the recovery of jobs lost during the recession.4
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 2009 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 For a detailed description of the methods used in projecting Industry output and employment, see BLS Handbook of Methods, chapter 13, “Economic growth and employment projections,” on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch13.pdf.
2 Total employment is a summation of nonagricultural wage and salary workers; the data are from the BLS Current Employment Statistics survey, and self-employed, unpaid family workers, and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting workers, which are from the Current Population Survey.
3 The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is generally recognized as the official arbiter of recessions in the United States. The NBER identified December 2007 as the beginning of a recession. The NBER has not yet determined an end point for the recession that began in December 2007. For further information, visit the NBER Web site on the Internet at www.nber.org (visited Nov. 12, 2009).
4 This effect is somewhat dampened by the use of average annual employment, as opposed to monthly employment. From 2007 to 2008, the average annual employment for nonfarm wage and salary workers fell by 532 thousand jobs, compared with over 3.0 million (seasonally adjusted) from December 2007 to December 2008.
Industry output and employment projections to 2016—Nov. 2007.
Industry output and employment projections to 2014.—Nov. 2005.
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