US Employment Forecast At 0.7% Annual Growth 2020-2030: BLS

Filed under: News,The Economy |

Sept. 8, 2021 — The US employment forecast calls for 0.7 percent annual growth with the total number of jobs expanding by 11.9 million jobs from 153.5 million to 165.4 million during the 2020–30 decade, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

This increase reflects an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent, higher than recent projections cycles and accounts for recovery from low base- year employment for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemicand its associated recession. Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is projected to increase the fastest, largely driven by recovery growth, while the healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to add the most new jobs.

Among occupational groups, healthcare support occupations are projected for the fastest job growth, according to the employment forecast.

BLS employment forecast

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to grow 2.3 percent annually from 2020 to 2030, relatively quickly compared to the prior two decades, when GDP grew 1.7 percent annually.

Meanwhile, labor productivity also is projected to increase, from 1.1 percent annually over the 2010–20 decade to 1.7 percent annually from 2020 to 2030.

Highlights of the BLS employment forecast for the labor force, macroeconomy, industry employment, and occupational employment:

Population and Labor Force

–The civilian noninsitutional population growth rate is projected to decline slightly, from 0.9 percent annually in 2010–20 to 0.8 percent annually in 2020–30.

This declining growth rate nonetheless results in an increase of 20.8 million over the 2020–30 projections
decade, to a level of 281.1 million. By comparison, the population increased by 22.5 million
from 2010 to 2020.

–The labor force is expected to increase by 8.9 million, from 160.7 million in 2020 to
169.6 million in 2030. The labor force participation rate is projected to decline,
from 61.7 percent in 2020 to 60.4 percent in 2030.

The decline in labor force participation is due to the aging of the baby-boom generation, a continuation of the
declining trend in men’s participation, and a slight decline in women’s participation.

–By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old. The increasing share of people
ages 65 and older contributes to a projected labor force growth rate that is slower than
much of recent history, as well as a continued decline in the labor force participation
rate, because older people have lower participation rates compared with younger age groups.

Macroeconomy

–Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to continue growing during the 2020–30
decade at 2.3 percent annually compounded through the projections decade, reflecting
recovery growth from the low 2020 base-year GDP.

–Due in part to a projected increase in the capital-to-labor ratio, productivity is expected
to grow at an annual rate of 1.7 percent from 2020 to 2030. This projected growth is
faster than the 1.1 percent historical growth that occurred from 2010 to 2020. This rebound
in productivity over the projections decade represents a growth rate more in line with
the long-term historical pattern.

Industry Employment

–Total employment is projected to grow 7.7 percent over the 2020–30 projections decade, in
part reflecting recovery growth from the low 2020 base-year employment.

–Employment in leisure and hospitality is projected to grow the fastest among all sectors
during the 2020–30 decade, accounting for 7 of the 20 fastest growing industries (employment
change for industries references wage and salary employment). This growth is largely driven
by recovery from the pandemic, as restaurants, hotels, and arts, cultural, and recreational
related establishments with low 2020 base-year employment levels see restored demand from
the public resuming recreational and in-person activities.

–Employment in healthcare and social assistance is projected to add the most jobs of all
industry sectors, about 3.3 million jobs over 2020–30.

Within healthcare, employment in the individual and family services industry is projected to increase the fastest, with an annual growth rate of 3.3 percent. Factors that are expected to contribute to the
large increase include rising demand for the care of an aging baby-boom population, longer
life expectancies, and continued growth in the number of patients with chronic conditions.

–Technological advancements are expected to support strong employment growth in professional,
business, and scientific services industries, including computer systems design and related
services (2.1 percent projected annual employment growth from 2020–30) as well as management,
scientific, and technical consulting services (2.0 percent).

–Retail trade is projected to lose 586,800 jobs over the 2020–30 decade, the most of any
sector. As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, accelerated by spending patterns in
the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for brick-and-mortar retail establishments is expected to decline.

–While the manufacturing sector as a whole is projected to have some recovery-driven employment
growth, it also contains 11 of the 20 industries projected to have the most rapid employment
declines. Factors contributing to the loss of manufacturing jobs include continued global
competition and adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies, such as robotics.

Occupational Employment

–Healthcare support occupations are projected for the fastest employment growth among all
occupational groups. Personal care and service occupations and food preparation and serving
related occupations are also projected for rapid employment growth, mainly due to recovery
growth following low 2020 base-year employment.

–The employment forecast also predicts healthcare occupations and those associated with healthcare (including mental health) will account for 7 of the 30 fastest growing occupations from 2020 to 2030. Demand for healthcare services, from both aging baby boomers and from people who have chronic conditions, will drive the
projected employment growth.

–Motion picture projectionists; ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers; and restaurant
cooks are among the fastest growing occupations due to their expected cyclical recovery.
Employment of these occupations is concentrated in industries which saw substantial employment
losses in 2020 and are projected for large recovery growth over the projections decade.

–Several of the fastest growing healthcare occupations–including nurse practitioners, physical
therapist assistants, and physician assistants–are projected to see strong demand as team-based
healthcare models are increasingly used to deliver healthcare services.

–Computer and mathematical occupations are expected to see fast employment growth as strong
demand is expected for IT security and software development, in part due to increased prevalence
of telework spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Demand for new products associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), and for analyzing and interpreting large datasets are also expected to contribute to fast employment growth for these occupations, which include statisticians, information security analysts, and data scientists.

–Technological changes facilitating increased automation are expected to result in declining
employment for office and administrative support occupations, sales occupations, and production
occupations.

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