Just posted in October over at bls.gov is a tremendous article with the catchy title “Industry and occupational employment projections overview and highlights, 2022–32”—chock full of all the charts, tables, and citations your heart could desire—in which the bureau lays out an expansive and detailed view of what they believe the labor market has in store for us over the next 10 years.
We’ve done our best to boil down what it all means for job seekers, starting with some quick bullets and continuing with a slightly more in-depth breakdown.
2022–2032 Employment Projections Fast Facts
Healthcare and social assistance will grow the fastest
Along with social assistance (individual/family services, community food/housing, vocational rehabilitation, child day care), healthcare jobs will skyrocket, accounting for 45% percent of all new jobs in the next 10 years as the population gets older and suffers more chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Obviously, this is a huge opportunity for people seeking jobs in those roles.
IT will supercharge professional, scientific, and technical services
Thanks to the digital economy and growing demand for information technology products and services, the professional, scientific, and technical services sector will account for 21% percent of new jobs in the time period. If you’re in these fields, particularly computer and mathematical occupations, you’re in for a promising decade.
Green energy will be a growing niche. Fossil fuels? Not so much
Naturally, the expected rise in green energy jobs will go hand in hand with the decline of fossil fuel–related industries. The energy transition is set to provide solid job opportunities for workers who are environmentally conscious and interested in renewable energy.
Digital content will be king: long live the information sector
We’re already in the midst of a seismic shift from traditional to digital media driven by the relentless growth of Internet usage. Tech, content creation, and data analysis will dominate even more in the coming years, with digital content driving up online engagement and hastening the demise of traditional media like print newspapers and radio. Job seekers need to embrace this reality.
Internet, software, data, streaming, and social media will continue ascending
Americans spend almost twice as much time engaged with digital media today as they did 10 years ago—over 7 hours per day. This monumental shift cannot have escaped your notice. Government initiatives bridging Internet access gaps, next-gen gaming going global (one of the factors in software publishing’s staggering 17.8% growth outlook), cloud computing getting cheaper, the Internet of Things going mainstream, streaming and social media spurring widespread cord-cutting . . . it’s pretty clear where the trends for job seekers in these fields are pointing.
E-commerce is hurting retail but helping transportation and warehousing
The silver lining of the precipitous movement of jobs away from retail is that the flourishing of e-commerce will lead to employment growth in couriers/express delivery services and warehousing/storage, key components of the fourth fastest growing sector over the coming decade. Freight transportation, heavy trucking, logistics coordination, and food/grocery delivery are looking up. Light truck drivers, stockers, order fillers, hand laborers, and freight/stock/material movers should see higher job growth than the average for all occupations.
The manufacturing sector also faces steep declines (but not everywhere)
Automation is the main culprit in the projected slide in production occupations and manufacturing—to the tune of 113,400 jobs lost over the next decade, the second-largest decline after that of retail trade. But job seekers can look to battery and semiconductor manufacturing as strong product demand, government policies promoting domestic production, and the reshoring of certain manufacturing activities to the United States all promise steady growth.
A few caveats as we conclude
Ten years is a long time. While these long-term projections provide valuable insights, they come with a degree of uncertainty. Technological changes and unforeseen developments can impact the job market. Therefore, adaptability is key. Staying flexible in the evolving job landscape, being prepared for new opportunities, and remaining knowledgeable about industry trends are your best tools for success.
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