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Projections 2000.

Projections 2000

The year 2000 has just come into range. As readers of the Quarterly know, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects occupational employment and other economic activity 10 to 15 years in the future. The newest projections have 2000 as their target.

This issue of the Quarterly is devoted to a graphic summary of these projections, along with historical data from 1972 and 1986. The presentation begins with a series of charts on the labor force and projected changes in its composition. Next are charts on economic growth--gross national product (GNP) and its major components. Following these are charts on expected changes in the industrial structure of the economy. Several pages are then devoted to occupational employment. (The "Job Outlook in Brief," which presents the projected change for each of the occupations covered by the Occupational Outlook Handbook, will appear in the Spring 1988 issue of the Quarterly.) The final section provides data on the educational attainment of the population and its relationship to occupational employment.

The projections have uses in many activities, including planning curriculum and program offerings in educational institutions, formulating policy by government agencies, and conducting market research and personnel planning by business organizations. However, readers of the Quarterly are probably most familiar with their use in career guidance because the Bureau's projections provide the basic data for discussions of job opportunities for occupations covered in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The information in this issue of the Quarterly provides such readers a background for analyzing and discussing job opportunities in individual occupations and fields of work. In addition, counselors and others may wish to reproduce or tear out some of the more interesting charts and post them on bulletin boards or use them as wall charts to draw the interest of students and others.

The projections were developed through a series of models that estimate the growth and changing composition of the population, labor force, GNP, industry employment, and occupational employment. The models used are complex and relate economic theory and behavior to a variety of labor market and economic data. Like any projections, they incorporate specific assumptions, targets, and goals. Three alternative sets of assumptions were used by the Bureau in order to develop scenarios for high, moderate, and low growth between 1986--the base year-- and 2000. The projections presented here are from the moderate alternative. Some of the assumptions and goals of this alternative are a decline in the unemployment rate from 7 percent in 1986 to 6 percent in 2000, a gradual curtailment in the rise of defense expenditures in the 1990's, an increase in the rate of growth of State and local government expenditures on education spurred by the growth of the school age population, and a decline in the value of the dollar combined with greater productivity, which will create a more favorable balance of trade than in recent years. In more general terms, the projections also assume no major war, oil embargo, or other economic shocks or catastrophes over the projection period.

The September 1987 issue of the Monthly Labor Review contains a series of articles on the projections and their implications, as well as additional data.

Highlights of the Projections

The Changing Labor Force

The labor force-- job holders and job seekers-- will continue to grow, rising 21 million, from 1986 to 2000.

The rate of growth--18 percent--will be slower than during the previous 14 years.

The labor force will look very different in 2000 than in 1986.

Younger and older workers will become a smaller part of the labor force.

Women will continue to increase their share of the labor force.

The proportion of whites in the labor force will decrease; the proportion of blacks and of Asians and others will increase.

Asians and others will have the fastest percentage growth between 1986 and 2000, although their numerical growth will be small.

The Hispanic labor force will grow very rapidly.

Like the labor force, employment will continue to grow, although more slowly than in the recent past.

The Changing Demand for Goods and Services

The gross national product (GNP), a measure of demand for goods and services, will exceed $5 trillion in 2000.

Every major category of GNP will grow.

A larger share of personal consumption expenditures --the largest category of GNP-- will be spent on services than on goods.

Changing Employment in Industries

Goods and services are produced in industries classified by sector, division, and group.

Driven by a rising demand for services, the service-producing sector will provide 20 million new jobs.

Every industry division in the service-producing sector will continue to grow.

Four divisions in the service-producing sector will grow faster than average.

Two divisions--services and retail trade-- will provide 75 percent of job growth.

In the services division, health and business services will account for more than one-half the growth.

In the retail trade division, eating and drinking places will account for about one-half the growth.

In the goods-producing sector, construction is the only division that will grow as a whole.

Changing Employment in Occupations

Occupations will grow an average of 19 percent; of the broad occupational groups, technician and service occupations will grow the fastest.

A small number of occupations will account for more than one-half of total job growth.

Twelve of the fastest growing occupations provide health services.

Changes in technology and business practices and increased use of imports will cause some occupations to decline.

The Growing Need for Education

The projected growth of the broad occupational groups shows the increasing need for education.

Workers with more education also earn more . . .

. . . and are less likely to be unemployed.
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Author:Abramson, Elinor
Publication:Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Date:Sep 22, 1987
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