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Outlook 2000.


Every other year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics develops projections of the labor force, economic growth, industry employment, and occupational employment 10 to 15 years into the future. The newest projections are for the 1988-2000 period. This issue of the Quarterly presents a graphic summary of those projections. It also includes an article that discusses some of the implications of the projections.

The Bureau's projections are used in many activities, including planning programs in the wide variety of educational and training institutions found in this country, formulating policy by government agencies, and in market research and personnel planning by business organizations. Readers of the Quarterly are probably most familiar with their use in career guidance because the projections provide the statistical information behind the discussions of job opportunities in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The information here provides users of the Handbook and other career guidance information with a background for discussions of the employment outlook in specific occupations and fields of work.

The projections are developed through a complex series of models that relate economic theory and behavior to a variety of economic and labor market data. The projections also incorporate specific assumptions and goals. Three alternative sets of projections were developed for the 1988-2000 period that reflect high, moderate, and low growth scenarios. The projections presented in this issue of the Quarterly are from th moderate alternative. Some of the assumptions and goals of this alternative are an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in 2000, the same as in 1988; a decline in defense expenditures; and a value of the dollar that is consistent with a favorable balance of foreign trade. In addition, the projections assume that no war will be waged nor economic shocks suffered, such as could be generated by an oil embargo.

This overview of the projections has four major sections: 1) labor force, 2) gross national product (GNP)--the demand for goods and services, 3) industry employment, and 4) occupational employment. Each section looks at general trends and some of the more important changes expected through the year 2000. Many technical issues and definitions not discussed here are included in other publications on the 1988-2000 projections (see box). One definitional item should be mentioned, however, on the first topic discussed, labor force. The labor frce includes all individuals 16 years of age and older who are working or looking for work. Projections are made for both the civilian labor force and the members of the Armed Forces residing in the United States. The labor force projections presented here cover only the civilian labor force and civilian employment.
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Title Annotation:occupational outlook projections
Publication:Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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