Labor releases employment forecast

by Wally Northway

Published: December 11,2009

Tags: employment, federal agency, jobs, recession

WASHINGTON — Total employment is projected to increase by 15.3 million, or 10.1 percent, during the 2008-18 period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The projections show an aging and more racially and ethnically diverse labor force, and employment growth in service-providing industries. More than half of the new jobs will be in professional and related occupations and service occupations. In addition, occupations where a postsecondary degree or award is usually required are expected to account for one-third of total job openings during the projection period. Job openings from replacement needs — those which occur when workers who retire or otherwise leave their occupations need to be replaced — are projected to be more than double the number of openings due to economic growth.

The projected growth for the 2008-18 period is larger than the increase of 10.4 million over the 1998-2008 period, or 7.4 percent. The relatively slow growth rate for the earlier 10-year period was affected by the recession, and the projected growth rate is higher than would otherwise be expected because the 2008 starting point is a recession year.

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