US Employment forecast by industry: 2010-2020

2010 to 2020: US Jobs and Employment change projections by industry

Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the total employment is expected to increase by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020. However, the 20.5 million jobs expected to be added by 2020 will not be evenly distributed across major industry and occupational groups. Changes in consumer demand, improvements in technology, and many other factors will contribute to the continually changing employment structure of the U.S. economy.

The underlying analysis (of BLS employment projections) uses currently available information to focus on long-term structural changes in the economy. This post examines the projected employment change within the industries:

Service-providing industries

The employment shift in the U.S. economy away from goods-producing in favor of service-providing industries is expected to continue. Service-providing industries are anticipated to generate nearly 18 million new jobs. As with goods-producing industries, growth among service-providing industries will vary (Chart 5 below).

Healthcare and social assistance: The healthcare and social assistance industry is projected to create about 28 percent of all new jobs in the U.S. economy. This industry—which includes public and private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and individual and family services—is expected to grow by 33 percent, or 5.7 million new jobs. Employment growth will be driven by an aging population and longer life expectancies, as well as new treatments and technologies.

Professional, scientific, and technical services: Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is projected to grow by 29 percent, adding about 2.1 million new jobs by 2020. Employment in computer systems design and related services is expected to increase by 47 percent, driven by growing demand for sophisticated computer network and mobile technologies. Employment in management, scientific, and technical consulting services is anticipated to expand, at 58 percent. Demand for these services will be spurred by businesses’ continued need for advice on planning and logistics, the implementation of new technologies, and compliance with workplace safety, environmental, and employment regulations. Combined, the two industries—computer systems design and related services and management, scientific, and technical consulting services—will account for more than half of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services.

Educational services: Employment in public and private educational services is anticipated to grow by 14 percent, adding about 1.8 million new jobs through 2020. Rising student enrollments at all levels of education are expected to create demand for educational services.

Retail trade: Employment in retail trade is expected to increase by 12 percent, adding approximately 1.8 million new jobs from 2010 to 2020. This growth reflects an increasing population and a projected rise in personal consumption over the next decade.

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services: Employment in this sector is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2020. Many new jobs will be created in employment services, an industry that is anticipated to account for 40 percent of all new jobs in the sector. Projected growth stems from the strong need for seasonal and temporary workers and for human resources services. The fastest growth in the industry is anticipated to be in waste collection, expected to grow 35 percent by 2020 through population growth and the privatization of waste collection services.

Accommodation and food services: Employment in accommodation and food services is projected to grow by 9 percent, adding about 1 million new jobs through 2020. Job growth is expected to be concentrated in food services and drinking places, reflecting an increase in the population and the desire of time-conscious individuals to eat out.

Transportation and warehousing: Employment in transportation and warehousing is expected to increase by 20 percent during 2010–20, adding about 853,000 jobs to the industry total. Truck transportation is anticipated to grow by 24 percent, and the warehousing and storage sector is projected to grow by 26 percent. Demand for truck transportation and warehousing services will expand as global trade grows and more goods are transported into and around the country.

Wholesale trade: The number of workers in wholesale trade is projected to increase by 14 percent over the next decade, adding about 744,100 jobs. Wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers are expected to see the most growth in the industry, adding 342,100 new jobs.

Finance and insurance: The finance and insurance industry is projected to increase by 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in 505,100 new jobs. Many of these jobs will stem from a recovery of the jobs lost during the recession. Employment in securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities is expected to expand 25 percent by 2020. Growth will be driven by the wide range of financial assets available for trade, the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age and therefore seeking advice on retirement options, and the globalization of securities markets. Employment in insurance carriers and related activities is expected to grow by 9 percent, adding 194,800 new jobs by 2020. Growth will stem from both the needs of an increasing population and new insurance products on the market.

Arts, entertainment, and recreation: The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry is expected to grow by 18 percent through 2020. Most of the growth will be in the amusement, gambling, and recreation sector. Job growth will stem from public participation in arts, entertainment, and recreation activities—reflecting increasing incomes, leisure time, and awareness of the health benefits of physical fitness.

Real estate and rental and leasing: The real estate and rental and leasing industry is expected to grow by 14 percent through 2020, a rate that will recover many of the jobs lost during the housing downturn. Growth will be due to increased demand for housing as the housing market recovers and the population continues to expand. Activities related to real estate, which includes the offices of property managers and real estate appraisers, is expected to add the most jobs within this industry over the 2010–20 period.

Government. Between 2010 and 2020, government employment, excluding employment in public education and hospitals, is expected to increase by 2 percent. Growth in government employment will be dampened by budgetary constraints and the outsourcing of government jobs to the private sector. Federal government employment, including jobs in the Postal Service, is expected to decline by 13 percent, as officials work to reduce the budget deficits and curb government spending. State and local governments, excluding education and hospitals, are anticipated to grow by 7 percent.

Information: Employment in the information sector is projected to increase by 5 percent, adding 140,300 jobs by 2020. The sector contains software publishing, which is expected to grow by 35 percent as organizations continue to adopt the newest software products. In addition, other information services, which includes Internet publishing and broadcasting, is expected to grow 16 percent as these services gain market share from newspapers and other traditional media.

The information sector also includes the telecommunications industry, in which employment is projected to grow 8 percent because of an increase in wireless and satellite telecommunications services. However, employment in newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers is expected to decline by 12 percent.

Management of companies and enterprises: Management of companies and enterprises is projected to grow relatively slowly, by 6 percent, as companies focus on reorganization to increase efficiency.

Utilities: Overall employment in utilities is projected to decrease by 6 percent through 2020. Despite increased output, employment in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution is expected to decline because of improved technology that will increase worker productivity. However, employment in the water, sewage, and other systems industry is anticipated to increase 26 percent by 2020. As the population continues to grow, more water treatment facilities are being built, driving growth in this industry.

Goods-producing industries

Overall employment in these industries is expected to increase by 1.7 million new jobs, driven largely by rapid growth in construction. However, projected growth among the remaining goods-producing industries is expected to be slow or negative (Chart 4 below).

Construction: Employment in construction is expected to rise 33 percent by 2020, adding about 1.8 million jobs. All areas of construction are projected to contribute to the rapid job growth. The construction industry was hit hard by the recession, losing 2.2 million jobs from 2006 to 2010. Despite the fast projected growth rate, employment in the industry is not expected to recover to its pre-recession level by 2020.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: Employment in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction is projected to increase by 4 percent over the 2010–20 decade. Oil and gas extraction and nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying are expected to account for nearly all of the job growth in this industry. Coal and metal ore mining are expected to decline as support activities for mining is projected to experience little or no growth.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting: Overall employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is expected to decrease by 4 percent. Employment is projected to continue to decline because of rising costs of production, more consolidation, and increases in productivity. Within this sector, the only industry that is expected to add jobs is logging.

Manufacturing: Although output of manufactured goods is anticipated to increase, overall employment in this sector is projected to decline by 1 percent as productivity gains, automation, and international competition reduce the demand for labor in most manufacturing industries. The decline continues a trend witnessed during the recession, when the industry shed 2.6 million jobs from 2006 to 2010. Employment in computer and electronic product manufacturing is expected to decline by 14 percent over the decade, representing a loss of 156,800 jobs. Similarly, employment in machinery manufacturing, apparel manufacturing, and chemical manufacturing is expected to decline. However, employment in other manufacturing industries is projected to increase. For example, employment in fabricated metal product manufacturing is expected to grow by 12 percent. Other industries expected to add jobs are plastics and rubber products manufacturing and wood product manufacturing.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–13 Edition

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