Posted on Friday, 14th July 2017 by

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “the labor force is projected to grow over the next 10 years at an average annual rate of 0.5 percent, a slower rate than in recent decades. Demographic factors—including slower population growth and the aging of the U.S. population—in addition to the declining labor force participation rate will be responsible for the projected growth of the labor force.”

The BLS also indicates that “the labor force is anticipated to grow by 7.9 million, reflecting an average annual growth rate of 0.5 percent, over the 2014–24 period. The growth in the labor force during that time span, is projected to be smaller than in the previous 10-year period, 2004–14, when the labor force grew by 8.5 million, or 0.6 percent, annually, on average.

Individual trends for federal government employment are incorporated within each occupational BLS profile.  The federal sector is projected to decrease by up to 15% by 2024 however that isn’t across the board. Certain federal  occupations may increase their numbers during this time period depending on proposed organizational changes implemented by the party in power. You have to use the BLS’s detailed statistical tables to view the changes in each government and private sector occupational category.

Women will have an increased role in the labor force and their numbers will grow from 46.8 percent in 2014 to 47.2 percent in 2024. During this same period, the number of men is projected to grow by 0.4 percent, which is slower than the previous decade. The rate will be downward from 53.2 percent in 2014 to 52.8 percent in 2024.

According to BLS “The labor force will continue to age, with the average annual growth rate of the 55-years-and-older group projected to be 1.8 percent, more than 3 times the rate of growth of the overall labor force. The group’s share of the labor force is anticipated to increase from 21.7 percent in 2014 to nearly 25 percent in 2024.”

The BLS does analysis every two years on the various job categories that will be relevant for the next ten years. The latest data available, December 2015 for the 2014-2024-time period. BLS indicates “these projections, labor force participation rates are analyzed and projected for more than 136 different groups, including men and women as well as 17 age groups and 4 race and ethnic groups. The basis of these projections is the past long-term behavior of the labor force participation rate in each of a number of detailed categories according to the data provided by the BLS Current Population Survey (CPS) Program.”

To get more information about labor force projections visit the BLS website.

Hot Job Trends

The BLS cites, “Healthcare occupations and industries are expected to have the fastest employment growth and to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024. With the increase in the proportion of the population in older age groups, more people in the labor force will be entering prime retirement age.”

Additionally, the BLS states, “the labor force participation rate is projected to decrease and labor force growth to slow. This slowdown of labor force growth is expected, in turn, to lead to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.2 percent annually over the decade. This economic growth is projected to generate 9.8 million new jobs—a 6.5-percent increase between 2014 and 2024.”

Here are some interesting statics from the BLS on why the health care and related industries will be at the top:

Labor Force and the Macroeconomy 

  • The civilian labor force is projected to reach 163.8 million in 2024, growing at an annual rate of 0.5 percent.
  • The labor force continues to age. The median age of the labor force was 37.7 in 1994, 40.3 in 2004, 41.9 in 2014, and is projected to be 42.4 in 2024. At the same time, the overall labor force participation rate is projected to decrease from 62.9 percent in 2014 to 60.9 percent in 2024.
  • The labor force participation rate for youth (ages 16 to 24) is projected to decrease from 55.0 percent in 2014 to 49.7 percent in 2024. The youth age group is projected to make up 11.3 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 13.7 percent in 2014. In contrast, the labor force participation rate for the 65-and-older age group is projected to increase from 18.6 percent in 2014 to 21.7 percent in 2024. This older age group is projected to represent 8.2 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 5.4 percent in 2014.
  • Labor force diversity is projected to increase, with white non-Hispanics making up 59.6 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024, compared with 64.6 percent in 2014.
  • Real GDP (2009 chained dollars) is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, from $16.1 trillion in 2014 to $19.9 trillion in 2024.
  • Within GDP, medical services will continue to grow as a share of nominal personal consumption expenditures. This category is projected to account for 18.0 percent of consumption in 2024— higher than its 16.7-percent share in 2014 and 15.0-percent share in 2004.

The BLS not only looks at age groups, demographics, ethnicities, but the projections of economic conditions.

On the flip side, BLS predicts that construction, and manufacturing jobs will still have some growth but will decline and will not be at the peaks they once were.

The BLS indicates:

  • Service-providing sectors are projected to capture 94.6 percent of all the jobs added between 2014 and 2024. Of these 9.3 million new service sector jobs, 3.8 million will be added to the healthcare and social assistance major sector.
  • The healthcare and social assistance major sector is expected to become the largest employing major sector during the projections decade, overtaking the state and local government major sector and the professional and business services major sector. Healthcare and social assistance is projected to increase its employment share from 12.0 percent in 2014 to 13.6 percent in 2024.

For more information relating to the trends in job occupations is located at: www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf

This article provides an overview on the trends and economic outlook that is based on BLS analysis for the next ten years (2014-2024).

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages

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