Occupational Outlook - Job Statistics

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Service Providing Industries The long-term shift from goods-producing to service-providing employment is expected to continue. Service-providing industries are expected to account for approximately 20.8 million of the 21.6 million new wage and salary jobs generated over the 2002-12 period.

Education and health services.This industry supersector is projected to grow faster, 31.8 percent, and add more jobs than any other industry supersector.


About 1 out of every 4 new jobs created in the U.S. economy will be in either the healthcare and social assistance or private educational services sectors.

Healthcare and social assistance—including private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and individual and family services—will grow by 32.4 percent and add 4.4 million new jobs. As the Occupational Outlook Handbook states, employment growth will be driven by increasing demand for healthcare and social assistance because of an aging population and longer life expectancies. Also, as more women enter the labor force, demand for childcare services is expected to grow. Private educational services will grow by 28.7 percent and add 759,000 new jobs through 2012. Rising student enrollments at all levels of education will create demand for educational services.

Professional and business services. This group will grow by 30.4 percent and add nearly 5 million new jobs. This industry supersector includes some of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy.

Employment in administrative and support and waste management and remediation services will grow by 37 percent and add 2.8 million new jobs to the economy by 2012. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, the fastest growing industry in this sector will be employment services, which will grow by 54.3 percent and will contribute almost two-thirds of all new jobs in administrative and support and waste management and remediation services. Employment services ranks among the fastest growing industries in the Nation and is expected to be among those that provide the most new jobs.

Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services will grow by 27.8 percent and add 1.9 million new jobs by 2012. Employment in computer systems design and related services will grow by 54.6 percent and add more than one-third of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, employment growth will be driven by the increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services also will grow very rapidly, by 55.4 percent, spurred by the increased use of new technology and computer software and the growing complexity of business.

Management of companies and enterprises will grow by 11.4 percent and add 195,000 new jobs.

Information. Employment in the information supersector is expected to increase by 18.5 percent, adding 632,000 jobs by 2012. Information contains some of the fast-growing computer-related industries such as software publishers; Internet publishing and broadcasting; and Internet service providers, Web search portals, and data processing services. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, employment in these industries is expected to grow by 67.9 percent, 41.1 percent, and 48.2 percent, respectively. The information supersector also includes telecommunications, broadcasting, and newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. Increased demand for residential and business land-line and wireless services, cable service, high-speed Internet connections, and software will fuel job growth among these industries.

Leisure and hospitality. Overall employment will grow by 17.8 percent. Arts, entertainment, and recreation will grow by 28 percent and add 497,000 new jobs by 2012. Most of these new job openings will come from the amusement, gambling, and recreation sector. Job growth (according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook) will stem from public participation in arts, entertainment, and recreation activities—reflecting increasing incomes, leisure time, and awareness of the health benefits of physical fitness.

Accommodation and food services is expected to grow by 16.1 percent and add 1.6 million new jobs through 2012. Job growth will be concentrated in food services and drinking places, reflecting increases in population, dual-income families, and dining sophistication.

Trade, transportation, and utilities. Overall employment in this industry supersector will grow by 14.1 percent between 2002 and 2012. Transportation and warehousing is expected to increase by 914,000 jobs, or by 21.7 percent through 2012, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Truck transportation will grow by 20.5 percent, adding 275,000 new jobs, while rail and water transportation are both projected to decline. The warehousing and storage and the couriers and messengers industries are projected to grow rapidly at 28.6 percent and 41.7 percent, respectively. Also, according to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, demand for truck transportation and warehousing services will expand as many manufacturers concentrate on their core competencies and contract out their product transportation and storage functions.

Employment in retail trade is expected to increase by 13.8 percent, from 15 million to 17.1 million. Increases in population, personal income, and leisure time will contribute to employment growth in this industry, as consumers demand more goods. Wholesale trade is expected to increase by 11.3 percent, growing from 5.6 million to 6.3 million jobs.

Employment in utilities is projected to decrease by 5.7 percent through 2012. The Occupational Outlook Handbook states that despite increased output, employment in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution and natural gas distribution is expected to decline through 2012 due to improved technology that increases worker productivity. However, employment in water, sewage, and other systems is expected to increase 46.4 percent by 2012. Jobs are not easily eliminated by technological gains in this industry because water treatment and waste disposal are very labor-intensive activities.

Financial activities. Employment is projected to grow 12.3 percent over the 2002-12 period. Real estate and rental and leasing is expected to grow by 18.4 percent and add 374,000 jobs by 2012. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, growth will be due, in part, to increased demand for housing as the population grows. The fastest growing industry in the financial activities supersector will be commercial and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing, which will grow by 39.8 percent.

Finance and insurance is expected to increase by 590,000 jobs, or 10.2 percent, by 2012. Employment in securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities is expected to grow 15.5 percent by 2012, reflecting the increased number of baby boomers in their peak savings years, the growth of tax-favorable retirement plans, and the globalization of the securities markets.

Employment in credit intermediation and related services, including banks, will grow by 10.9 percent and add about half of all new jobs within finance and insurance. Insurance carriers and related activities is expected to grow by 7.5 percent and add 168,000 new jobs by 2012. The number of jobs within agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities is expected to grow about 14.5 percent, as many insurance carriers downsize their sales staffs and as agents set up their own businesses.

Government. Between 2002 and 2012, government employment, including that in public education and hospitals, is expected to increase by 11.8 percent, from 21.5 million to 24 million jobs. Growth in government employment will be fueled by growth in State and local educational services and the shift of responsibilities from the Federal Government to the State and local governments. Local government educational services is projected to increase 17.5 percent, adding over 1.3 million jobs. State government educational services also is projected to grow 17.5 percent, adding 388,000 jobs.

Federal Government employment, including the Postal Service, is expected to increase by less than 1 percent as the Federal Government continues to contract out many government jobs to private companies. Other services (except government). Employment will grow by 15.7 percent. More than 4 out of 10 new jobs in this supersector will be in religious organizations, which is expected to grow by 24.4 percent. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, personal care services will be the fastest growing industry at 27.6 percent. Also included among other services is private household employment, which is expected to decrease 7.2 percent.

Click here to read about the Occupational outlook in the "Goods-Producing" sector.

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