The growing healthcare field and associated industries will add the most jobs to the U.S. economy over the coming decade, according to a new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Healthcare support occupations and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to be the two fastest growing occupational groups during the 2014 to 2024 projections decade. These groups are projected to contribute the most new jobs, with a combined increase of 2.3 million in employment, representing about 1 in 4 new jobs, BLS said.
On the other hand, manufacturing employment between 2014 and 2024 is projected to decline at a 0.7% rate annually, a more moderate decline than the 1.6% rate experienced in the prior decade.
Also, with the increase in the proportion of the population in older age groups, more people in the labor force will enter prime retirement age. As a result, the labor force participation rate is projected to decrease and labor force growth to slow.
This slowdown of labor force growth is expected, in turn, to lead to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.2% annually over the decade. This economic growth is projected to generate 9.8 million new jobs—a 6.5% increase between 2014 and 2024. The projections are predicated on assumptions including a 5.2% unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8% annually over the projected period.
Following are other highlights of the BLS projections for the labor force and macroeconomy, industry employment, and occupational employment.
• The civilian labor force is projected to reach 163.8 million in 2024, growing at an annual rate of 0.5%.
• The labor force continues to age. The median age of the labor force was 37.7 in 1994, 40.3 in 2004, 41.9 in 2014, and is projected to be 42.4 in 2024. At the same time, the overall labor force participation rate is projected to decrease from 62.9% in 2014 to 60.9% in 2024.
• The labor force participation rate for youth (ages 16 to 24) is projected to decrease from 55% in 2014 to 49.7% in 2024. The youth age group is projected to make up 11.3% of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 13.7% in 2014. In contrast, the labor force participation rate for the 65-and-older age group is projected to increase from 18.6% in 2014 to 21.7% in 2024. This older age group is projected to represent 8.2% of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 5.4% in 2014.
• Labor force diversity is projected to increase, with white non-Hispanics making up 59.6% of the civilian labor force in 2024, compared with 64.6% in 2014.
• Real GDP (2009 chained dollars) is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.2%, from $16.1 trillion in 2014 to $19.9 trillion in 2024.
• Within GDP, medical services will continue to grow as a share of nominal personal consumption expenditures. This category is projected to account for 18.0 percent of consumption in 2024— higher than its 16.7% share in 2014 and 15% share in 2004.