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BLS Releases 2008-18 Projections

December 10, 2009 by Joshua Wright

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its 2008-18 employment projections (see here), and there are some interesting things to be gleaned from them — especially when compared to the 2006-16 projections that came out in December 2007.

First, here are some of the highlights of the new numbers:

  • The fastest growth is projected to come from occupations requiring an associate degree. This, of course, puts community colleges front and center when it comes to training.
  • There is a definite parallel between education and job growth — 17 of the 30 occupations projected to decline the most require, on average, short-term on-the-job training while 14 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations require a bachelor’s degree.
  • Registered nurses are projected to add 582,000 jobs, hardly a surprise as the top expected gainer.
  • Service sectors are projected to make up 96% of new jobs (14.8 million) from ’08-18. Professional and business services and health care/social assistance are two largest industries in that category.
  • Goods-producing industries are projected to show no growth, with manufacturing and mining being the hardest hit through 2018 and construction showing modest growth. According to the press release, “By 2018, the goods-producing sector is expected to account for 12.9 percent of total jobs, down from 17.3 percent in 1998 and 14.2 percent in 2008.”

If you compare the latest projections to the 2006-16 numbers, some trends stand out:

  • Construction is actually projected to gain substantially more jobs through 2018 than what was expected in the last projections (781,000 to 1.3 million). However, the percentage increase (5.1) is the same.
  • The steady increase in health care and social assistance is well documented but nonetheless staggering. From 2006-16, BLS projected an 11.4% increase in employment. In the latest numbers, it is 11.9%.

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