2010-2020 US Labor Force forecast by race, ethnic groups and by age

2010 to 2020 US Jobs and Employment projections by race, ethnic groups and by age

Just like the US population, the American labor force is growing more slowly, becoming older and more diverse. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study highlights the jobs and employment projections by race, ethnic groups and by age.

The labor force, in these stats, is composed of all persons 16 years and older in the civilian noninstitutional population who either are employed or are unemployed but available and looking for work.
Here are the key highlights (Click on the charts on the right for bigger image):

  • The civilian labor force is projected to reach 164.4 million by 2020, an increase of 6.8 percent.
  • The U.S. workforce is projected to become more diverse by 2020.
  • Among racial groups, Whites are expected to make up a decreasing share of the labor force while Blacks, Asians, and all other groups will increase their share (Chart 2).
  • Among ethnic groups, persons of Hispanic origin are projected to increase their share of the labor force from 14.8 percent to 18.6 percent.
  • The Asians are projected to increase their share of the labor force from 4.7 percent to 5.7 percent.



  • The number of women in the labor force will grow at a slightly faster rate than men. The male labor force is projected to grow by 6.3 percent from 2010 to 2020, compared with 7.4 percent for the females.
  • The share of the youth labor force, workers ages 16 to 24, is expected to decrease from 13.6 percent in 2010 to 11.2 percent by 2020.
  • The primary working-age group, those between 25 and 54 years old, is projected to decline from 66.9 percent of the labor force in 2010 to 63.7 percent in 2020.
  • The share of workers ages 55 years and older, by contrast, are anticipated to leap from 19.5 percent to 25.2 percent of the labor force during this period (Chart 3).

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–13 Edition

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