The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently published its biannual Occupational Outlook Handbook, which ranks occupations by salary, required education, and expected job growth between 2014 and 2024. In 2024, there will be an increase in the proportion of the population in older age groups as more people enter retirement age. This will cause the labor force participation rate to decrease and for labor force growth to slow down. The BLS estimates that this slowing of labor force growth will result in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of about 2.2 percent annually over the next decade. The overall economic growth is projected to produce 9.8 million new jobs, an increase of 6.5 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Employment by Sector
According to the data released, healthcare occupations and industries are expected to have the fastest employment growth and add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024. Meanwhile, manufacturing employment is expected to decline at a rate of 0.7 percent annually, losing approximately 814,000 jobs.
Occupations with the Most Growth, 2014 to 2024
Service-providing sectors are expected to account for 94.6 percent of all jobs added between 2014 and 2024. Of these 9.3 million jobs, 3.8 million will be in healthcare and social assistance. These two sectors are expected to become the largest employment major sectors by 2024, overtaking state and local government and professional and business service.
Service-Providing Sector Jobs
The Aging Workforce
According to the BLS, in 1994 the median age of U.S. employees was 37.7 years. This climbed to 40.3 years in 2004, and 41.9 years by 2014. In 2024, the median age of workers is expected to be 42.4 years old.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate for youths (aged 16 to 24) is projected to decrease to 49.7 percent in 2024, from 55 percent in 2014. The decrease in the participation rate of this group is partially explained by an increase in school attendance at all levels, including secondary school and college. According to the BLS, young Americans are expected to stay in school longer than historically normal due to the changing landscape of the labor market, where approximately 12 out of the 15 fastest-growing occupations require some form of college, graduate study, or post-secondary education.
Labor Force Participation by Age Group
“The labor force will continue to age, with the average annual growth rate of the 55-years-and-older group projected to be 1.8 percent, more than three times the rate of growth of the overall labor force. The group's share of the labor force is anticipated to increase from 21.7 percent in 2014 to nearly 25 percent in 2024.” ~ BLS