The Workforce of Tomorrow
THE WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW
Making informed career decisions requires reliable information about what employment opportunities will be available in the future. Job opportunities result from the relationships between the population, the labor force, and the demand for goods and services. Population ultimately limits the size of the labor force, which, in turn, drives how much can be produced. Demand for various goods and services determines employment in the industries providing them. Occupational employment opportunities then result from skills needed within specific industries. Opportunities for registered nurses and other health-related specialists, for example, have surged in response to the rapid growth in demand for health services as the American population has aged. Likewise, the growth in the demand for college teachers has been exponential as college enrollment has soared.
Based on population and economic growth, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts where future job growth is expected, by industry and occupation, and what the demographic makeup of the workforce is likely to be. The latest predictions released are for the decade 2006 to 2016. These ten-year projections are widely used for studying long-range economic and employment trends, planning education and training programs, and developing career information.
The civilian labor force is made up of individuals aged sixteen and older who are either working or looking for work. These are the workers available to fill any new or vacated jobs. According to the BLS, both the population of the country and labor force will continue to grow over the 2006 to 2016 period at a slightly slower rate than they grew over the previous ten-year period. Figure 5.1 compares growth in the labor force with growth in the population of working-age individuals in the United States during the period 1996 through 2016. The labor force is projected to increase by 12.8 million (8.5%) between 2006 and 2016, reaching 164.2 million workers in 2016. (See Table 5.1.) The population is expected to grow at a slightly higher rate (9.6%) than the labor force, reflecting the aging of the U.S. population—a higher proportion of the population will be retired.
The demographic makeup of the labor force is changing. Workers over age fifty-five make up an increasing number of people in the labor force. In 2006, 22.4 million of 151.4 million workers (14.8%) were ages sixteen to twenty-four. (See Table 5.1.) Another 103.6 million workers (68.4%) were between ages twenty-five and fifty-four. A large proportion of workers (25,468, or 16.8%) were age fifty-five or older. These figures indicated the aging of American workers as the baby-boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) nears retirement age.
By 2016 most of the workers counted in the fifty-five and older group in 2006 will have retired from the labor force. However, an even larger number of workers (37,354, or 22.7% of all workers) than in 2006 are projected to be age fifty-five and older by that year. (See Table 5.1.) Although the number of workers age twenty-four and younger is projected to decrease by 6.9% between 2006 and 2016, and the number of workers age twenty-five to fifty-four is expected to increase by only 2.4%, the number of workers age fifty-five and older is projected to rise by an astounding 46.7% over the course of the decade.
Historically, married women have typically stayed home to care for children and the home; therefore, there have always been fewer females than males in the civilian labor force. When married women began working outside of the home in large numbers in the 1960s and
1970s, they often did so in order to supplement their husbands' incomes. By 2000, however, married women were much less likely than they had been in 1980 to leave the labor force if their husbands received pay wages or to increase their labor force participation if their husbands' wages were cut. According to Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), in “Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980–2000” (February 2005, http://papers.nber.org/papers/w11230), women's work decisions became much less sensitive to their husbands' incomes than they had been in the past. In “Changing Work Behavior of Married Women” (2005, http://www.nber.org/digest/nov05/w11230.html), David R. Francis for the NBER speculates on the reasons for this shift: “Married women apparently are becoming accustomed to working outside the home. Maybe they like having their own careers. Or maybe they worry that, with a high divorce rate, they might split from their husband and need a separate income and career.” For whatever reason, married women now often work outside the home, helping to narrow the gaps in the labor force participation rates between men and women.
In 2006 women made up 46.3% of the labor force. As shown in Table 5.1, while women will continue to compose less than one-half of the labor force in 2016 (46.6%),
|Level||Change||Percent change||Percent distribution||Annual growth rate (percent)|
|Age, sex, race, and ethnicity||1996||2006||2016||1996–2000||2006–2016||1996–2006||2006–2016||1996||2006||2016||1996–2006||2006–2016|
|*The “all other groups” category includes (1) those classified as being of multiple racial origin and (2) the race categories of (2a) American Indian and Alaska Native and (2b) Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders.|
|Note: Dash indicates no data collected for category.|
|SOURCE: “Table 10. Civilian Labor Force by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1996, 2006, and Projected 2016,” in Employment Projections: 2006–16, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 4, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf (accessed February 14, 2008)|
|Total, 16 years and older||133,943||151,428||164,232||17,485||12,804||13.1||8.5||100.0||100.0||100.0||1.2||0.8|
|16 to 24||21,183||22,394||20,852||1,211||1,542||5.7||6.9||15.8||14.8||12.7||.6||‐7|
|25 to 54||96,786||103,566||106,026||6,780||2,460||7.0||2.4||72.3||68.4||64.6||.7||.2|
|55 and older 15,974||25,468||37,354||9,494||11,886||59.4||46.7||11.9||16.8||22.7||4.8||3.9|
|All other groups*||—||3,553||4,705||—||1,152||—||32.4||—||2.3||2.9||—||2.8|
|Other than Hispanic origin||121,169||130,734||137,343||9,565||6,609||7.9||5.1||90.5||86.3||83.6||.8||.5|
their representation in the labor force will continue to grow at a faster rate than men's between 2006 and 2016 (8.9% and 8%, respectively). Figure 5.2 shows the historic shifts in participation rates by gender in the American labor force since the 1950s, when only about one-third of women worked outside the home. By 2016 about six out of every ten women are expected to be in the labor force, compared with about 72% of men.
Race and Ethnicity
The demographic makeup of the United States has changed in recent decades due largely to the effects of immigration. These demographic changes are reflected in the growing participation of minorities in the labor force. According to the BLS, participation in the labor force by Hispanics and Asians will increase much faster than that of non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans between 2006 and 2016. Workers of Hispanic and Asian ethnicity are projected to be the fastest-growing group in the labor force this period, both with a projected 30% growth, followed by African-Americans, whose labor force participation is expected to grow by 16%. (See Figure 5.3 and Figure 5.4.) The group “All Others,” whose labor participation rate is projected to increase by 32%, includes people who do not identify themselves as white, Hispanic, African-American, or Asian, including Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and multiracial individuals. Non-Hispanic whites' labor force participation is projected to grow by only 6% during this period.
As a result of the high rate of growth among minority groups, the composition of the labor force will change by
2016. Whites will continue to make up the majority of the labor force, although that proportion is dropping. In 1996 whites made up 84.4% of the labor force. (See Table 5.1.) By 2006 that proportion had dropped to 81.8%, and it was projected to drop still further to 79.6% in 2016. African-Americans are projected to increase their
proportion of the labor force from 11.4% in 2006 to 12.3% in 2016. Asians are expected to increase their proportion of the labor market from 4.4% in 2006 to 5.3% in 2016.
The biggest change in the makeup of the labor force will be the increased presence of Hispanics. Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the country. This high growth rate is reflected in their presence in the labor force. In 1996 Hispanics made up 9.5% of the labor force. (See Table 5.1.) By 2006 that proportion was up to 13.7%, and the BLS projects that by 2016 Hispanics will make up 16.4% of the labor force.
The economy's need for workers stems from the demand for goods and services, which is measured by the national gross domestic product (GDP; the total value of goods and services produced during the year). According to BLS projections in the Fall 2007 Occupational Outlook Quarterly (“Overall Economy,” http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2007/fall/art05.pdf), the GDP is projected to reach approximately $14.9 trillion (in 2000 dollars) by 2016, growing at a rate of 2.8% annually, which is slightly lower than the annual growth rate of the 1996–2006 period (3.1%) and the 1986–96 period (2.9%). The growth in exports is expected to be particularly high, at a rate of 5.5% annual growth, and the growth in the values of governmental services is expected to be particularly low, with a projected annual growth of 1.4%.
Although the labor force is expected to grow by 8.5% over the 2006–16 period, the BLS reports in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly that most of the growth in GDP is expected to be achieved through higher productivity (more output per worker) rather than through a growing labor force. Compared with an output valued at about $30 per hour per worker in 1986, productivity in 2016 will approach $60 per hour per worker. Advanced technology and new equipment will enable workers to produce goods and services more efficiently, increasing output at a faster rate than a company's workforce. In the competitive global economy, high-productivity companies are more likely to prosper and thereby increase their output even further by being able to hire additional workers or invest in technologies that will allow them to achieve more production from existing workers.
Domestic and foreign consumers, including individuals, businesses, and governments, purchase millions of American products each year. Shifts in consumer tastes and government priorities can affect the growth of and demand for different kinds of goods and services. Technical changes in products also affect demand. For example, the use of more plastics instead of steel in automobiles increases demand for plastics and decreases demand for steel. Such changes can have a significant effect on industry employment.
Personal consumption expenditures are purchases made by individuals, including consumer goods like automobiles, clothing, and food, as well as services, such as education and health care. Although personal consumption expenditures are projected to increase only about 2.9% per year in the 2006–16 period, they make up 70% of the GDP, according to the BLS in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly. Traditionally, households have spent most of their income on housing, transportation, and medical care; this spending pattern should continue through 2016.
The largest growth in personal expenditures on goods will be on computers and software; the BLS reports that these purchases are expected to increase by 16.8%, annually, much faster than the 2.9% growth rate in personal consumption expenditures in general. Spending on medical care and insurance is expected to increase by 3.6% annually, while expenditures on recreation are expected to grow by 4.5% annually, the largest growth rates of all the services components. The large growth in these sectors is fueled in large part by the aging of the American population; older Americans both need more medical care and have more time for recreation.
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
The BLS develops projections of employment for the industries and industry groups that make up the economy as a whole. Because of expected shifts in consumer and business spending, employment growth rates vary significantly among industries. As a consequence, the structure of industry employment will change over the period 2006 through 2016.
Changes in demand for an industry's products constitute the most important cause of differences in employment growth rates among industries. Technological change is another factor affecting industry employment. For example, automated equipment in manufacturing plants enables fewer workers to produce more goods, and its use is a major reason for declining employment in manufacturing. This decline in generally better-paying blue-collar jobs in manufacturing is a major reason that the earnings of less-educated Americans have been falling since the 1980s. According to the BLS in Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2006 (September 2007,http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2006.pdf), between 1979 and 2006 average weekly earnings for men employed fulltime with less than a high school education declined by nearly 30%, from $648 to $469, and weekly earnings for men with a high school diploma and no college declined by about 15%, from $793 to $678, in constant 2006 dollars.
Changes in business practices also have an impact on employment. When businesses use contractors or temporary help services, they reduce their total employment. At the same time, employment rises for contractors and the temporary help services industry. This often means a loss of better-paying jobs and a gain in lower-paying jobs.
One way the government measures employment projections is by looking at industries. For analytical purposes, industries fall into the goods-producing sector and the services-producing sector. The divisions within the goods-producing sector are construction, manufacturing, and natural resources and mining, which includes agriculture. In the services-producing sector, the divisions are educational services, financial activities, health care and social assistance, information, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, public administration, and trade, transportation, and utilities. Workers are grouped into these industries according to the goods or services their employers provide, rather than according to what jobs they do. For example, teachers, computer specialists, and janitors who all work in a school are all part of the educational services industry, while maids, frontdesk clerks, and accountants who work in a hotel are all part of the leisure and hospitality industry.
The BLS projects in the Fall 2007 Occupational Outlook Quarterly (“Industry Employment,” http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2007/fall/art03.pdf) that services-producing industries will account for all of the growth of wage and salary employment over the 2006 to 2016 period, with goods-producing employment actually declining from twenty-four million in 2006 to twenty-three million in 2016. Wage and salary employment in the services-producing sector (114 million jobs) accounted for 82.6% of the 138 million American jobs in 2006. Over the 2006 to 2016 period, services-sector jobs are projected to increase by about sixteen million, to about 85% of the job market. Goods producing employment, meanwhile, is projected to decline over the same period, shrinking from about 17.8% to about 15% of the job market.
Figure 5.5 and Figure 5.6 show projected wage and salary employment growth and decline from 2006 to 2016 in the various industry sectors. Professional and business services and health care and social assistance are the industry groups expected to have the largest wage and salary employment growth by 2016, with the professional and business services sector projected to create nearly 4.1 million new jobs, an increase of 23%, and the health care and social assistance sector projected to create over 4 million new jobs, an increase of 25%. Employment in manufacturing is expected to decline by 1.5 million jobs, a decrease of 11%, and 113,000 job losses are expected in natural resources and mining, a decrease of 6%.
Figure 5.7 shows the specific industries in which the largest wage-and-salary worker declines are predicted. Gasoline stations, which are becoming increasingly automated, are expected to lose 146,000 jobs between 2006 and 2016, the largest number of any detailed industry. Printing and related support activities are becoming obsolete with the enhanced ability of home computer users to print their own materials; this sector is expected to lose 139,000 jobs in the coming decade. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing
has been hurt by competition from imports, and is expected to lose 138,000 jobs between 2006 and 2016. Of the twenty industries projected to lose the highest number of jobs by 2016, ten are in the manufacturing sector.
With a 78% increase in wage-and-salary employment expected, the industry of management, scientific, and technical consulting services is predicted to be the fastest-growing industry sector between 2006 and 2016. (See Figure 5.8.) Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities are also projected to increase quickly, with a projected job growth of 74% over the decade. This growth is fueled by the aging of the American population. Other industries expecting to add to employment by 50% or more include gambling industries (66%), home health care services (55%), educational support services (53%), and community care for the elderly (50%).
Figure 5.9 shows the twenty industries projected to have the greatest numerical growth (increase in the total
number of jobs) between 2006 and 2016. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services, which help businesses respond to and cope with globalization and technological changes, will add a projected 718,000 new jobs between 2006 and 2016. Employment services will add 692,000 jobs, general medical and surgical hospitals will add 691,000 new jobs, elementary and secondary schools will add 638,000 new jobs, and local government will add 612,000 new jobs. Eight of the top twenty industries with the largest numeric growth in employment are in
the education, health care, and social assistance sectors, reflecting a demand for services for an aging population as well as the rising enrollment in schools.
The United States is increasingly a service-based economy. Employment in the goods-producing sector is projected to vary over the 2006 to 2016 period, with a general downward trend reflecting the shift away from manufacturing and toward the service industries. The construction industry is expected to add about 781,000 new jobs between 2006 and 2016, reflecting the continued demand for new homes and buildings. (See Figure 5.5.) However, natural resources and mining will lose approximately 113,000 jobs, while manufacturing will lose more than 1.5 million jobs.
EMPLOYMENT BY OCCUPATION
The economy's occupational and industrial structures form a close relationship. Workers in various occupations provide the skills needed in different industries. Nurses, physicians, orderlies, and medical-records technicians are needed in hospitals; cooks, waiters and waitresses, and food preparation workers are needed in restaurants. Consequently, the demand for the occupations concentrated in an industry often rises or falls with the fortunes of that industry. At the same time, it is important to remember that members of the same industry may not share the same concerns. For example, in the health industry, the objectives of the hospital administrator, the doctor, and the licensed practical nurse may differ dramatically.
Changes in technology usually affect how industries use workers. For example, technological advances will continue to reduce the need for typists, directory assistance telephone operators, and bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks. Changes in business practices and operations also can affect occupational staffing and job skills required in the workforce. For example, many companies are eliminating middle managers, thereby tending to put more authority in the hands of nonmanagerial frontline workers.
The BLS analyzes these factors to project employment for more than five hundred detailed occupations. These occupations can be grouped in different ways to provide a better understanding of broad occupational employment trends. Two of the grouping methods used are by type of work performed and by education and training usually required.
Types of Work
The professional and related occupational group is expected to add nearly five million jobs between 2006 and 2016, about a 17% increase over its 2006 employment. (See Figure 5.10 and Figure 5.11.) This increase means that more than one of every five workers (20.9%) will be employed in a professional or related occupation by 2016. (See Table 5.2.) These occupations include broad categories, such as computer and mathematical occupations (for example, database administrators and mathematicians); architecture and engineering occupations (for example, surveyors, architects, and engineers); life, physical, and social science occupations (for example, economists, urban planners, and psychologists); community and social service occupations (for example, counselors and clergy); legal occupations (for example, lawyers, judges, and paralegals); education, training, and library occupations (for example teachers and their assistants and librarians); arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (for example, actors, editors, writers, and directors); and health care practitioner and technical occupations (for example, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and nurses).
Service occupations were also projected to grow by nearly 17% between 2006 and 2016. (See Figure 5.11.) Over 4.8 million service jobs are expected to be created
|a Major occupational groups 11–0000 through 13–0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|b Major occupational groups 15-0000 through 29–0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|c Major occupational groups 31–0000 through 39–0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|SOURCE: “Table 4. Employment by Major Occupational Group, 2006 and Projected 2016,” in Employment Projections: 2006–16, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 4, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf (accessed February 14, 2008)|
|Total, all occupations||150,620||166,220||100.0||100.0||10.4||15,600|
|Management, business, and financial occupationsa||15,397||16,993||10.2||10.2||10.4||1,596|
|Professional and related occupationsb||29,819||34,790||19.8||20.9||16.7||4,970|
|Sales and related occupations||15,985||17,203||10.6||10.3||7.6||1,218|
|Office and administrative support occupations||24,344||26,089||16.2||15.7||7.2||1,745|
|Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations||1,039||1,010||.7||.6||−2.8||−29|
|Construction and extraction occupations||8,295||9,079||5.5||5.5||9.5||785|
|Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations||5,883||6,433||3.9||3.9||9.3||550|
|Transportation and material moving occupations||10,233||10,695||6.8||6.4||4.5||462|
by 2016. (See Figure 5.10.) By that year, 20.3% of the nation's workforce will work in service occupations. (See Table 5.2.) Occupations in this group include health care support occupations (such as nursing aides, massage therapists, and dental assistants); protective service occupations (such as fire fighters, fish and game wardens, and correctional officers); food preparation and serving related occupations (such as chefs, cooks, bartenders, and waiters); building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (such as janitors, pest control workers, and ground maintenance workers); and personal care and service occupations (such as funeral service workers, hairdressers, fitness workers, and animal trainers).
Management, business, and financial occupations, installation, maintenance, and repair occupations, and construction and extraction occupations are all expected to grow at about the average rate between 2006 and 2016. (See Figure 5.11.) Management, business, and financial occupations are projected to increase by 10.4%; by 2016, one in ten (10.2%) workers will work in one of these occupations. (See Table 5.2.) Management occupations include jobs such as chief executives, funeral directors, postmasters, and managers in all fields. Business and financial operations occupations include human resources specialists, accountants and auditors, loan counselors, and tax preparers. Construction and extraction occupations are projected to increase by 9.5% between 2006 and 2016. These occupations include carpenters, brickmasons, plasterers, roofers, mining machine operators, and building inspectors. Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations are projected to increase by 9.3%. These occupations include automotive mechanics, maintenance and repair workers, computer repairers, and locksmiths.
Table 5.3 presents what are projected to be the thirty fastest-growing occupations during the period of 2006 to 2016. Most of them are in the professional and related occupations or service occupations groups, reflecting the high rate of growth in these groups as a whole. Half of the thirty fastest-growing occupations require a bachelor's degree or higher, including network systems and data communications analysts, computer software engineers, physical therapists, mental health counselors, and physician assistants. Three of the occupations require only short-term on-the-job training (and all three are in the service occupations), including personal and home care aides and home health aides.
Demand for Information Technology Workers
One of the fastest-growing segments of the economy is the information technology (IT) industry. During the 1990s, when personal computers became ubiquitous in the home and the workplace and the Internet became an important part of many people's lives, there was explosive growth in computer-related jobs. Although this growth had slowed considerably by 2000, the IT industry has remained one of the most rapidly expanding parts of the job market and is expected to continue to grow, on the whole, faster than the average for all industries.
Triggering this growth are significant advances in networking and data communications technology and the increasing need for sophisticated security systems to protect networks and databases from viruses, hackers, and so-called cyber-terrorists. As technology advances, so does the need to apply it in business, to provide computer education and support to workers and clients, to develop and improve software, and to oversee the
|Occupation||Occupational group||2006||2016||Percent||Number||Most significant source of postsecondary education or traininga|
|a An occupation is placed into 1 of 11 categories that best describes the postsecondary education or training needed by most workers to become fully qualified in that occupation.|
|a An occupation is placed into 1 of 11 categories that best describes the postsecondary education or training needed by most workers to become fully qualified in that occupation.|
|b Major occupational groups 15-0000 through 29-0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|c Major occupational groups 31-0000 through 39-0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|d Major occupational groups 11-0000 through 13-0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|SOURCE: “Table 6. The 30 Fastest-Growing Occupations, 2006–16,” in Employment Projections: 2006–16, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 4, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf (accessed February 14, 2008)|
|Network systems and data communications analysts||Professional and related occupationsb||262||402||53.4||140||Bachelor's degree|
|Personal and home care aides||Service occupationsc||767||1,156||50.6||389||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Home health aides||Service occupationsc||787||1,171||48.7||384||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Computer software engineers, applications||Professional and related occupationsb||507||733||44.6||226||Bachelor's degree|
|Veterinary technologists and technicians||Professional and related occupationsb||71||100||41.0||29||Associate degree|
|Personal financial advisors occupationsd||Management, business, and financial||176||248||41.0||72||Bachelor's degree|
|Makeup artists, theatrical and performance||Service occupationsc||2||3||39.8||1||Postsecondary vocational award|
|Medical assistants||Service occupationsc||417||565||35.4||148||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Veterinarians||Professional and related occupationsb||62||84||35.0||22||First professional degree|
|Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors||Professional and related occupationsb||83||112||34.3||29||Bachelor's degree|
|Skin care specialists||Service occupationsc||38||51||34.3||13||Postsecondary vocational award|
|Financial analysts||Management, business, and financial occupationsd||221||295||33.8||75||Bachelor's degree|
|Social and human service assistants||Professional and related occupationsb||339||453||33.6||114||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators||Service occupationsc||9||12||33.6||3||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Physical therapist assistants||Service occupationsc||60||80||32.4||20||Associate degree|
|Pharmacy technicians||Professional and related occupationsb||285||376||32.0||91||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Forensic science technicians||Professional and related occupationsb||13||17||30.7||4||Bachelor's degree|
|Dental hygienists||Professional and related occupationsb||167||217||30.1||50||Associate degree|
|Mental health counselors||Professional and related occupationsb||100||130||30.0||30||Master's degree|
|Mental health and substance abuse social workers||Professional and related occupationsb||122||159||29.9||37||Master's degree|
|Marriage and family therapists||Professional and related occupationsb||25||32||29.8||7||Master's degree|
|Dental assistants||Service occupationsc||280||362||29.2||82||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Computer systems analysts||Professional and related occupationsb||504||650||29.0||146||Bachelor's degree|
|Database administrators||Professional and related occupationsb||119||154||28.6||34||Bachelor's degree|
|Computer software engineers, systems software||Professional and related occupationsb||350||449||28.2||99||Bachelor's degree|
|Gaming and sports book writers and runners||Service occupationsc||18||24||28.0||5||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Environmental science and protection technicians, including health||Professional and related occupationsb||36||47||28.0||10||Associate degree|
|Manicurists and pedicurists||Service occupationsc||78||100||27.6||22||Postsecondary vocational award|
|Physical therapists||Professional and related occupationsb||173||220||27.1||47||Master's degree|
|Physician assistants||Professional and related occupationsb||66||83||27.0||18||Master's degree|
operations of large networks and databases. The BLS's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2007–2008 projects that employment in computer systems design and related services will grow 38% between 2006 and 2016, adding 489,000 jobs by 2016. Some occupations within this group will experience even stronger growth, such as network systems and data communications analysts, expected to grow by 82.3%; computer software engineers working in applications, expected to grow by 62%; and computer software engineers working in systems software, expected to grow by 48.5%. These jobs require at least bachelor's degrees and can pay approaching $50 per hour.
Factors that contribute to the slower growth in the twenty-first-century IT industry, as compared with the boom of the 1990s, include the increasing sophistication of software, widespread use of personal computers, and the outsourcing of many computing tasks overseas to low-paid workers. Newer software packages are able to do many jobs that were once only possible for human beings to do. In particular, such routine jobs as writing simple computer codes or entering data into a database system have been automated using bar-code scanners, voice recognition software, and character recognition readers (machines that are capable of reading printed text or handwriting). Typing jobs that were once given to typists are now being performed on desktop computers by the document authors themselves. In order to cut costs, many companies are sending routine data entry and information processing tasks, and even such highly skilled jobs as technology support and routine software engineering and programming, to overseas contractors in countries where labor costs are lower than in the United States. Because of these factors, a decline of 7% in data entry, information processing, and word processing jobs is expected during the period from 2006 through 2016. Demand for programmers and computer support specialists is expected to slow, and even growth in the market for software engineers—one of the fastest-growing sectors of the IT industry—will be tempered by these trends.
EDUCATION AND PROJECTED JOB GROWTH
Although jobs are available at all levels of education and training, most jobs do not require postsecondary education or training. As shown in Table 5.2, the economy will produce about 15.6 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016, a 10.4% increase in employment. Many of the occupations with the largest number of job openings due to growth or net replacements will require less education than a bachelor's degree. Table 5.4 lists the thirty occupations with the largest number of job openings. Of the top ten, nine require less education than a four-year college degree; the tenth, postsecondary teachers, requires a doctoral degree. Only four of the top thirty jobs require a bachelor's degree or higher. The other twenty-six positions generally offer much lower pay and fewer benefits than do the jobs requiring a postsecondary degree. Jobs that require an associate's degree, such as registered nurses, offer higher pay and benefits than do those that require on-the-job training only.
Bachelor's Degree or Higher
On the other hand, a bachelor's degree or more will be required for most of the higher-paying jobs that will be added to the job market between 2006 and 2016. Nearly 100,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the highest-paid field requiring a bachelor's degree: computer software engineering for systems software, which pays a median annual wage of $85,370. (See Figure 5.12.) Almost a quarter of a million (226,000) new jobs for computer software engineers working in applications are expected to be created by 2016; these positions have a median annual salary of $79,780. Other high-paying occupations requiring a bachelor's degree include construction managers (77,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $73,700), computer systems analysts (146,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $69,760), and civil engineers (46,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $68,600). The lowest-paying jobs among these high-growth occupations that require college degrees are child, family, and school social workers, which only receive a median annual wage of $37,480.
Postsecondary Vocational Training
Several occupations that usually require postsecondary vocational training—education beyond high school, but less than a four-year bachelor's degree—will have significant employment growth between 2006 and 2016, according to the BLS. Postsecondary vocational training may include special vocational certification, or the achievement of an associate's degree, usually a two-year program at a public community college or a private business or technical school. The fastest-growing occupation in this group by far is registered nurses; over half a million new positions (587,000) will be created between 2006 and 2016. (See Figure 5.13.) In addition, the annual wages of registered nurses are among the highest in this educational group, at $57,280. Other occupations with the most growth in this educational group include health-care aides, orderlies, and attendants (264,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $22,180), preschool teachers (115,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $22,680), automotive service technicians (110,000 new jobs expect, with an annual median wage of $33,780), and licensed practical and vocational nurses (105,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $36,550).
Postsecondary vocational training may also include supervised work experience or extended on-the-job training. Figure 5.14 shows the occupations with the most growth expected over the 2006 to 2016 period that require only work experience or extended on-the-job training. During the period 2006 through 2016, 239,000 executive secretary/administrative assistant jobs are expected to open up. These positions have a median annual wage of $37,240. Carpenters are also expected to have high job growth, with 150,000 new jobs added during the decade. These positions pay a median annual wage of $36,550. The highest-paid jobs in this group are sales representatives of technical and scientific products. About 51,000 of these jobs will open up, paying a median annual wage of $64,440. Other jobs in this category that will experience large growth in the decade include other sales representatives working in wholesale and manufacturing (131,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $49,610), cooks (98,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $20,340), and supervisors of food preparation and serving workers (92,000 new jobs expected, with an annual median wage of $26,980). Occupations requiring work experience or long-term on-the-job training vary dramatically in potential for earnings.
Twenty selected occupations that usually require short- or moderate-term on-the-job training are projected to increase employment between 2006 and 2016. Of the twenty occupations, the fastest-growing ones are expected to be retail sales workers (557,000 jobs), customer service representatives (545,000 jobs), food preparation and serving workers (452,000 jobs), office clerks (404,000 jobs), and personal and home health aides (389,000 jobs). Most of
|Occupation||Occupational group||2006||2016||Number||Net replacement needs||Total job openings
due to growth
|Most significant source of postsecondary education or trainingb|
|a Total job openings represent the sum of employment increases and net replacements. If employment change is negative, job openings due to growth are zero and total job openings equal net replacements.|
|b An occupation is placed into 1 of 11 categories that best describes the postsecondary education or training needed by most workers to become fully qualified in that occupation.|
|c Major occupational groups 31?0000 through 39?0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|d Major occupational groups 15?0000 through 29?0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|e Major occupational groups 11?0000 through 13?0000 in the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).|
|SOURCE: “Table 7. The 30 Occupations with the Largest Number of Total Job Openings Due to Growth and Net Replacements, 20061–6,” in Employment Projections: 2006–16, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 4, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf (accessed February 14, 2008)|
|Retail salespersons||Sales and related occupations||4,477||5,034||557||1,378||1,935||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Cashiers, except gaming||Sales and related occupations||3,500||3,382||−118||1,664||1,664||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Waiters and waitresses||Service occupationsc||2,361||2,615||255||1,282||1,537||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Customer service representatives||Office and administrative support occupations||2,202||2,747||545||613||1,158||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Registered nurses||Professional and related occupationsd||2,505||3,092||587||413||1,001||Associate degree|
|Office clerks, general||Office and administrative support occupations||3,200||3,604||404||587||991||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food||Service occupationsc||2,503||2,955||452||475||927||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand||Transportation and material moving occupations||2,416||2,466||50||773||823||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners||Service occupationsc||2,387||2,732||345||457||802||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Postsecondary teachers||Professional and related occupationsd||1,672||2,054||382||280||662||Doctoral degree|
|Child care workers||Service occupationsc||1,388||1,636||248||399||646||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks||Office and administrative support occupations||2,114||2,377||264||331||594||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Elementary school teachers, except special education||Professional and related occupationsd||1,540||1,749||209||336||545||Bachelor's degree|
|Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer||Transportation and material moving occupations||1,860||2,053||193||330||523||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Personal and home care aides||Service occupationsc||767||1,156||389||130||519||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Executive secretaries and administrative assistants||Office and administrative support occupations||1,618||1,857||239||258||497||Work experience in a related occupation|
|Receptionists and information clerks||Office and administrative support occupations||1,173||1,375||202||287||489||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products||Sales and related occupations||1,562||1,693||131||345||476||Work experience in a related occupation|
|Maids and housekeeping cleaners||Service occupationsc||1,470||1,656||186||277||463||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Home health aides||Service occupationsc||787||1,171||384||70||454||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Food preparation workers||Service occupationsc||902||1,040||138||313||451||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Accountants and auditors||Management, business, and financial occupationse||1,274||1,500||226||224||450||Bachelor's degree|
|General and operations managers||Management, business, and financial occupationse||1,720||1,746||26||415||441||Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience|
|Counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop||Service occupationsc||533||587||54||370||424||Short-term on-the-job training|
|First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers||Sales and related occupations||1,676||1,747||71||352||423||Work experience in a related occupation|
|Stock clerks and order fillers||Office and administrative support occupations||1,705||1,574||−131||405||405||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants||Service occupationsc||1,447||1,711||264||130||393||Postsecondary vocational award|
|Security guards||Service occupationsc||1,040||1,216||175||211||387||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Landscaping and groundskeeping workers||Service occupationsc||1,220||1,441||221||161||382||Short-term on-the-job training|
|First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers||Office and administrative support occupations||1,418||1,500||82||293||374||Work experience in a related occupation|
these jobs pay under $25,000 per year. The highest-paying position in this group are truck drivers, with a median annual wage of $35,040. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks also make a fairly high median annual wage of $30,560. Waiters and waitresses only make about $14,850 annually. (See Figure 5.15.)
WHICH WILL BE THE BEST JOBS?
Many criteria are used for determining job quality. Occupational characteristics generally accepted as a measure of future job quality include whether the number of jobs in that field will increase, how much the position pays, and whether a high percentage of those in that field are unemployed. In addition, individuals have personal desires and values that bring other factors into play in determining job quality, such as opportunities for self-employment for those who want to be their own boss, the availability of flexible work schedules for people who want to set their own hours, or the opportunity to travel for those who are adventurous.
Figure 5.12 shows twenty high-paying occupations generally requiring a bachelor's degree or higher that are predicted to have the most projected employment growth over the 2006 to 2016 period. Most of these high-growth occupations have high earnings and low unemployment rates, although employment opportunities, especially in fields like education, will vary from state to state depending on population trends.
Workers who responded to a 2006 Gallup survey by Jeffrey M. Jones (Personal Fulfillment Frequently Cited as a Top Job ‘Like’, The Gallup Organization, August 7, 2006, http://www.gallup.com/poll/24010/PersonalFulfillment-Frequently-Cited-Top-Job-Like.aspx) cited various reasons they liked or loved their jobs, giving insight into the attributes that can make a job satisfying. According to the poll, the most common reasons workers stated that they liked their jobs were that their jobs offered them a sense of fulfillment (18%), provided opportunities to help people (15%), or offered them freedom or flexibility (13%). College graduates were more likely than others to find their job fulfilling. On the other hand, 14% of American workers dislike their work schedules, 13% think they do not get paid well enough, and 11% say there are too many politics in the workplace.
According to Joseph Carroll, nearly all workers (94%) surveyed by Gallup in 2007 (U.S. Workers Remain Largely Satisfied with Their Jobs, The Gallup Organization, November 27, 2007, http://www.gallup.com/poll/102898/US-Workers-Remain-Largely-Satisfied-Their-Jobs.aspx) said they were at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs; 46% said they were completely satisfied. In recent years, workers' satisfaction in two areas has gone up. In 1992 only 17% of workers were completely satisfied with the amount of on-the-job stress; by 2007, 32% of workers said they were completely satisfied on this measure. Also in 1992, only 39% of workers said they were completely satisfied with the flexibility of their hours; by 2007, 68% said they were completely satisfied with this aspect of their work.
Employment prospects are influenced by more than the rate of growth within an industry. New workers are also needed to replace those who leave an occupation. In part because of the aging of the American workforce, between 2006 and 2016 it is expected that the need for replacement workers will create more jobs than will the addition of new positions to the labor market. (See Figure 5.16.)
The two occupational groups with the largest replacement needs are service occupations and professional and related occupations. The BLS projects that there will be more than 12.2 million job openings in service occupations between 2006 and 2016; more than half of them will be open because current workers have left permanently. (See Figure 5.16.) The BLS projects that there will be approximately 11.1 million job openings in professional and related occupations; over half of these will open when current workers leave.
Some occupational groups will have job openings even though there will be little, if any, job growth between 2006 and 2016. For example, although the BLS projects that there will be very few new production jobs created over the course of the decade, it also projects that more than two million workers will be needed to replace those who retire or leave the industry. (See Figure 5.16.)
An occupation's employment total can decline because it is concentrated in a declining industry or because of changes to occupational staffing patterns. Office automation and other technological advances, declining industry employment, and changing legislation have adversely affected the occupations with
the largest projected employment declines. As shown in Figure 5.17, production and agriculture-related jobs, such as sewing-machine operators (— 63,000 jobs), electrical and electronic equipment assemblers (—57,000 jobs), cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders working in metal and plastic (— 40,000 jobs), and farmers and ranchers (—90,000), are examples of occupations that will lose employment between 2006 and 2016 due to declining needs in some goods-producing industries. Employment among such traditional administrative occupations as stock clerks and order fillers (— 131,000 jobs), cashiers (— 118,000 jobs), packers and packagers (— 104,000 jobs), file clerks (— 97,000 jobs), and order clerks (— 66,000 jobs) will decline dramatically because of productivity improvements in office automation and the increased use of computer technology by professional and managerial employees. For this reason, these occupations would offer few opportunities for new workers.
BEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT
Many types of jobs provide opportunities for self-employment, and the percentage of workers who are self
employed is projected to rise slightly, from 12% in 2006 to 13% in 2016. (See Figure 5.18.) Farmers and ranchers, at 969,000 workers, make up the occupational group projected to have the most self-employed workers in 2016. (See Figure 5.19.) Managers of retail sales workers, including those who own retail establishments with employees, will make up the next largest group of self-employed workers in 2016, at 589,000. Child care workers (506,000), carpenters (495,000), and hairdressers and cosmetologists (316,000) round out the top five categories of projected self-employed workers.
The twenty occupations listed in Figure 5.19 represent only the largest occupational categories of self-employed
workers. In reality, self-employment is an option in nearly every type of occupation. Some workers choose self-employment as a career, while others use it to supplement full-time work or as a temporary source of income during times of layoff or job-hunting.
Regardless of the industry or the reason for becoming self-employed, self-employed workers appear to be generally more satisfied with their jobs than those who are employed by either private industry or the government. According to Dennis Jacobe in a 2006 Gallup Poll (Most Small Business Owners Feel Successful, The Gallup Organization, August 14, 2006, http://www.gallup.com/poll/24103/Most-Small-Business-Owners-Feel-Successful.aspx), 47% of self-employed workers feel they have been either extremely or very successful as small business owners. In addition, 87% of small business owners said they were satisfied with self-employment; just 12% said they were not. More than four out of five (83%) said that if they had to do it all over again, they would still become a small business owner. This poll suggested that self-employed people had a passion for their work. For more information about business opportunities and self-employment, see Chapter 9, “Business Opportunities.”
"The Workforce of Tomorrow." Careers and Occupations: Looking to the Future. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. (May 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3232200011.html
"The Workforce of Tomorrow." Careers and Occupations: Looking to the Future. 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3232200011.html