Industry Output and Employment Projections to 2010: U.S. Employment to 2010 Is Expected to Rise, Although Not as Quickly as in the 1990s; Nonfarm Wage and Salary Workers Should Account for Most of the New Jobs. (Employment Outlook: 2000-10)

By Berman, Jay M. | Monthly Labor Review, November 2001 | Go to article overview

Industry Output and Employment Projections to 2010: U.S. Employment to 2010 Is Expected to Rise, Although Not as Quickly as in the 1990s; Nonfarm Wage and Salary Workers Should Account for Most of the New Jobs. (Employment Outlook: 2000-10)


Berman, Jay M., Monthly Labor Review


Employment in the United States is projected to increase by 22.2 million over the LJ 2000-10 period. Even though the growth (1.4 percent) is slightly slower than that experienced during the past decade, employment in the economy is expected to reach 167.8 million. Nonfarm wage and salary workers are expected to account for most of the projected employment gains, 152.5 million. Agricultural employment--including wage and salary workers, self-employed persons, and unpaid family workers--is projected to increase by 323,000. Nonfarm self-employed and unpaid family workers are also expected to increase--to 9.1 million--while private household wage and salary jobs are projected to decline by 226,000. (See table 1 .)

Real output among industries is expected to expand by nearly $6.1 trillion between 2000 and 2010, to $22.3 trillion from $16.2 trillion. (1) The resulting average annual growth rate of 3.3 percent closely mirrors that experienced during the 1990-2000 period. Nearly 60 percent of total output growth will be attributed to the service-producing industries, where real output is expected to expand at about the same rate experienced during the past decade--3.4 percent--and reach $13.1 trillion by 2010. Real output growth in the goods-producing sector is projected to increase 3 percent annually, slightly slower than that of the 1990-2000 period. Although comprising just 1.8 percent of the economy's total output, agriculture output is expected to grow at 1.9 percent annually, slightly lower than its previous 10-year growth rate. (See table 2.)

The aggregate picture of the economy for the year 2010 has labor force and gross domestic product growth remaining constant, while rising productivity rates continue to lead the way for output increases. Macroeconomic factors providing the foundation for the industry and output projections include the labor force and demographic changes, Government defense spending and tax policies, foreign economic activity, business investment decisions, personal consumption patterns, and aggregate productivity trends. (2)

Most recent BLS projections of the economy has the labor force growing at an annual rate of 1.1 percent, which echoes that experienced during the 1990-2000 period. Growth of the nonfarm labor productivity index is projected to average 2.8 percent per year from 2000 through 2010, a significant increase from the 2.0-percent rate observed over the previous 10 years. Annual GDP growth is expected to mirror the 3.3-percent rate experienced during the previous 1990-2000 period. Within GDP, business investment is set to continue to outpace household consumption as companies continue to take advantage of technological advances to enhance productivity. Foreign trade, however, is expected to accelerate the fastest as the trade deficit on average by 8 percent annually throughout the projected period, thereby depressing the dollar exchange rate.

Continuing the 1990-2000 historical trend, virtually all nonfarm wage and salary employment growth will be generated by service-producing sector. (3) Even though the goods-producing sector will continue to add jobs, its relatively slow 0.5 percent annual growth is dwarfed by the expected 1.8-percent pace and 20.5 million jobs created by the service sector.

The service industry division represents the strongest growth within the service-producing sector, both in terms of absolute and percentage change. Generating 12.9 million jobs at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent, this industry overshadows the 3.1 million jobs expected to be created by the retail trade industry, the next largest source of employment growth. Together, these two industry divisions make up about 73 percent of the total increase in nonfarm wage and salary employment between 2000 and 2010. Buoyed by a projected increase of approximately 2 million jobs at the State and local level, government employment is expected to rise to 22.4 million. …

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