Employment Projections: 2019 to 2029

Every two years, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics updates their employment projections. The information appearing in this article was first published in September 2020, and includes job growth forecasts for the years 2019 through 2029.

This article is going to summarize some of the research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in conjunction with the Department of Labor. The information includes several projections, including workforce demographics, job growth trends, education, training, and replacements.

Workforce Demographics

According to this latest release, the civilian labor force is expected to grow by 0.4% over a ten-year timeframe from 162.8 million to nearly 169 million individuals.  This statistic includes all workers over the age of 16.

By 2029, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old, contributing to slower projected growth in the labor force, as well as a continued decline in the labor force participation rate over the next ten years, since older people are less likely to participate in the labor force.

Employment Growth Hot Spots

Service-providing sectors will account for the majority of the jobs added by 2029. Of the 6.0 million jobs added to the economy, roughly half (3.1 million) will be in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. The increases seen in these sectors will result from greater demand for a variety of healthcare services as the American population continues to age and incidence of chronic disease continue to increase.

Top Ten Fastest Growing Occupations

This first table of information includes the ten fastest growing occupations in terms of numbers of jobs created.

Top Ten Occupations in Terms of New Jobs Created

Occupation Thousands Of Jobs
Home health and personal care aides 1,159.5
Cooks, restaurant 327.3
Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers 316.0
Medical and health services managers 133.2
Nurse practitioners 110.7
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors 79.0
Animal caretakers 68.8
Health specialties teachers, postsecondary 52.1
Information security analysts 40.9
Speech-language pathologists 40.5

As the above table illustrates, the vast majority of new jobs will be in the personal care and home health aide occupations.  While the above table shows how many new jobs will be created from 2019 through 2029, there's another way to look at these projections.  The table below provides insights into the occupations that will experience the largest number of job openings.  This includes both the growth in the number of new jobs, plus the openings created when an existing job is in need of a replacement due to employee turnover.

Top Ten Occupations in Terms of Job Openings Created

Occupation Thousands of Openings
Fast food and counter workers 826.6
Home health and personal care aides 568.8
Retail salespersons 568.1
Cashiers 558.6
Waiters and waitresses 475.7
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 380.6
Customer service representatives 350.2
Office clerks, general 317.5
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 305.6
Stockers and order fillers 254.9

A third way to look at this employment information has to do with growth rates.  Instead of defining a hot job as those positions with the largest number of openings, here it's defined as the percentage increase in the need for a particular job type.  For example, by 2029, the data tells us there will be 60.7% more wind turbine service technicians workers than there were in 2019.

Top Ten Fastest Growing Occupations

Occupation Increase over 10 Years
Wind turbine service technicians 60.7%
Nurse practitioners 52.4%
Solar photovoltaic installers 50.5%
Statisticians 34.6%
Occupational therapy assistants 34.6%
Home health and personal care aides 33.7%
Physical therapist assistants 32.6%
Medical and health services managers 31.5%
Physician assistants 31.3%
Information security analysts 31.2%

It's also important to understand the training or education required for the above occupations.  Of the 6.0 million jobs that will be created from 2019 through 2029, 49.7% of them only require short-term on-the-job training.  This is because many of these positions include cashier, waiter / waitress, and retail jobs.

New Jobs by Training Requirements

Training New Jobs
Short-term on-the-job training 49.71%
None 30.04%
Moderate-term on-the-job training 15.51%
Long-term on-the-job training 2.56%
Apprenticeship 1.55%
Internship/residency 0.63%

Finally, as the table below demonstrates, over 35% of jobs only require a high school diploma.  As would be expected, jobs that do not require a high school diploma are the lowest paying jobs, while those requiring a doctoral degree pay nearly $100,000 per year.

New Jobs by Education

Education New Jobs Mean Salary
Associate degree 1.81% $58,525
Bachelor's degree 17.32% $75,903
Doctoral or professional degree 1.48% $97,200
High school diploma or equivalent 37.68% $43,841
Master's degree 1.37% $80,539
No formal educational credential 32.31% $33,307
Postsecondary nondegree award 5.82% $48,408
Some college, no degree 2.21% $39,038

To gain a better understanding of how much any of the above mentioned jobs are worth; our article on the topic of high paying jobs contains salary information for hundreds of job types.

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