Occupational Employment Projections to 2010: Occupations Requiring a Postsecondary Vocational Award or an Academic Degree, Which Accounted for 29 Percent of All Jobs in 2000, Will Account for 42 Percent of Total Job Growth from 2000 to 2010. (Employment Outlook: 2000-10)

By Hecker, Daniel E. | Monthly Labor Review, November 2001 | Go to article overview

Occupational Employment Projections to 2010: Occupations Requiring a Postsecondary Vocational Award or an Academic Degree, Which Accounted for 29 Percent of All Jobs in 2000, Will Account for 42 Percent of Total Job Growth from 2000 to 2010. (Employment Outlook: 2000-10)


Hecker, Daniel E., Monthly Labor Review


Total employment is projected to increase by 22.2 million jobs over the 2000-10 period, rising to 167.8 million, according to the latest projections of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This increase represents about a million more jobs than were added over the previous 10-year period (1990-2000). The projected 15.2-percent increase, however, is less than the 17.1-percent increase of the previous 10-year period. (1) Self employed is projected to grow from 11.5 to 11.7 million, or 1.7 percent.

The economy will continue generating jobs for workers at all levels of education and training, although growth rates are projected to be faster, on average, for occupations generally requiring a postsecondary award (a vocational certificate or other award or an associate or higher degree), than for occupations requiring less education or training. Most new jobs, however, will arise in occupations that require only work-related training (on-the-job training or work experience in a related occupation), even though these occupations are projected to grow more slowly, on average. This reflects the fact that these occupations accounted for about 7 out of 10 jobs in 2000.

This article discusses a number of aspects of the 2000-2010 projections along with related information:

* changes in the structure of employment at the major occupational group level;

* the detailed occupations that are projected to grow fastest as well as those with the largest numerical increases and decreases, along with their current educational or training requirements and earnings;

* the total job openings projected to occur due to growth in the economy and the net replacement needs resulting from workers who leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations; and

* the distribution of employment in 2000 and projected 2000-10 job openings by level of education or training.

In this article, projected employment is analyzed from two perspectives--percent change and numerical change--because one can be large and the other small, depending on the size of employment in the base year. The following example, using data for two occupations generally requiring the same level of education--a bachelor's degree--serves to illustrate the importance of viewing job outlook from both perspectives. Employment of physician assistants numbered only 58,000 in 2000, and despite rapid projected growth over the 2000-10 period (53.5 percent), this occupation will add only 31,000 jobs. In contrast, employment of elementary school teachers, except special education, was 1,532,000 in 2000; while employment is expected to grow by only 13 percent, the number of new jobs over the 2000-10 period will total 202,000-nearly 7 times as many as for physician assistants.

Major occupational groups

Among the major occupational groups, employment in the two largest in 2000--professional and related occupations and service occupations--will increase the fastest and add the most jobs from 2000 to 2010. (See table 1.) These major groups, which are on opposite ends of the educational attainment and earnings spectrum, are expected to provide more than half of the total job growth from 2000 to 2010. Employment in transportation and material moving occupations is projected to grow as fast as overall employment; management, business, and financial occupations; construction and extraction occupations; sales and related occupations; and installation, maintenance, and repair occupations will grow somewhat more slowly. The three slowest growing groups, all under 10 percent, are office and administrative support occupations; production occupations; and farming, fishing, and forestry occupations.

As a result of the different growth rates among the major occupational groups, the occupational distribution of total employment will change somewhat by the year 2010, but the relative ranking of the groups by employment size is not expected to change. …

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Occupational Employment Projections to 2010: Occupations Requiring a Postsecondary Vocational Award or an Academic Degree, Which Accounted for 29 Percent of All Jobs in 2000, Will Account for 42 Percent of Total Job Growth from 2000 to 2010. (Employment Outlook: 2000-10)
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