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The American Workforce: 2004–14


Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regularly predicts where future job growth is expected by industry and occupation—and what the demographic makeup of the labor force pursuing those jobs is likely to be. Becoming familiar with these projections can help you make decisions about your career.


Between 2004 and 2014 the U.S. labor force—those people working or looking for work—will continue to grow at a similar rate as during the previous ten-year period. By 2014, the supply of workers is expected to reach 162.3 million, an increase of 17.4 million, or 12 percent, from 2004 levels. Between 1994 and 2004 the labor force grew by 14.4 million, an 11.3 percent increase. However, by 2014 the labor force will have a somewhat different composition than it did in 2004—it will be more racially and ethnically diverse, more evenly split between men and women, and will be older.


The women's labor force is projected to increase by 10.9 percent between 2004 and 2014, which is lower than the growth of 13.6 percent between 1994 and 2004. However, women's labor force participation will increase faster than will men's. Consequently, women are projected to increase as a portion of the labor force from 46.4 percent in 2004 to 46.8 percent in 2014, while men's presence in the labor force will decrease, from 53.6 percent in 2004 to 53.2 percent in 2014.

Although the number of men in the labor force is projected to grow between 2004 and 2014, the growth rate will be slower than it was in the past. This reflects, in part, declining employment in good-paying production jobs in manufacturing and a continued shift in demand for workers from the goods-producing sector to the service-producing sector. Men with little education and training may find it increasingly difficult to find jobs that match their experience.


The projected labor force growth will be affected by the aging of the baby-boom generation, people born between 1946 and 1964. By the end of the 2004

Adapted from articles in the Monthly Labor Review, vol. 128, no. 11, November 2005. These articles include "A Summary of BLS Projections to 2014," by Norman C. Saunders; "The U.S. Economy to 2014, " by Betty W. Su; "Labor Force Projects to 2014: Retiring Boomers," by Mitra Toossi; "Industry Output and Employment Projections to 2014, " by Jay M. Berman; "Occupational Employment Projections to 2014," by Daniel E. Hecker. All are available online at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/11/contents.htm.

Civilian Labor Force by Sex, Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1984–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Group Number of Jobs (in thousands) Percent Distribution Annual Growth Rate (percent)
1984 1994 2004 2014* 1984 1994 2004 2014* 1984–1994 1994–2004 2004–2014*
* Projected
Total, 16 years and older 113,544 131,056 147,401 162,100 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 1.4 1.2 1.0
Men 63,835 70,817 78,980 86,194 56.2 54.0 53.6 53.2 1.0 1.1 0.9
Women 49,709 60,239 68,421 75,906 43.8 46.0 46.4 46.8 1.9 1.3 1.0
White 98,492 111,082 121,086 129,936 86.7 84.8 82.1 80.2 1.2 0.9 0.7
Black 12,033 14,502 16,638 19,433 10.6 11.1 11.3 12.0 1.9 1.4 1.6
Asian 3,019 5,472 6,271 8,304 2.7 4.2 4.3 5.1 6.1 1.4 2.8
All other groups 3,406 4,427 2.3 2.7 2.7
Hispanic origin 7,451 11,975 19,272 25,760 6.6 9.1 13.1 15.9 4.9 4.9 2.9
Other than Hispanic origin 106,093 119,081 128,129 136,340 93.4 90.9 86.9 84.1 1.2 0.7 0.6
White non-Hispanic 91,296 100,462 103,202 106,373 80.4 76.7 70.0 65.6 1.0 0.3 0.3

to 2014 period, most of the baby boomers will have turned fifty-five. Consequently, the age fifty-five and older segment of the labor force is expected to grow most rapidly, increasing by 11.3 million, or 49.1 percent. Because of the aging of the American population, this segment of the labor force will increase at almost five times the rate of the overall labor force (10 percent). The numbers of those twenty-five to fifty-four years of age in the labor force will grow by only 3.4 percent, a significantly lower growth than in the previous decade (8.8 percent). The growth rate of the youth labor force, workers between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four, will actually decrease between 2004 and 2014 by 0.5 percent.

Race and Hispanic Origin

The federal government today recognizes four racial groups: white, black or African American, Asian, and all other groups (Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and those reporting two or more races). Those groups may be further broken down into Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups. Although non-Hispanic whites will continue to hold the majority of jobs in 2014 (65.6 percent), the workplace will be more racially and ethnically diverse. Hispanic representation in the labor force is expected to increase by 33.7 percent between 2004 and 2014, Asian representation is expected to increase by 32.4 percent, and African American representation is expected to increase by 16.8 percent. In contrast, white, non-Hispanic representation in the labor force is expected to increase by only 3.1 percent between 2004 and 2014.

The number of African Americans in the American workforce is growing rapidly, but the number of Hispanic workers surpassed the number of African American workers by 2004 (19.3 million vs. 16.6 million). Hispanics will continue to increase their presence in the workforce between 2004 and 2014. The Hispanic population is now the largest minority in the U.S. population and is expected to grow faster than the African American population because of high

Employment by Major Industry Sector, 1994–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Industry Number of Jobs (in thousands) Jobs Gained or Lost (in thousands) Average Annual Rate of Change (percent)
1994 2004 2014* 1994–2004 2004–2014* 1994–2004 2000–2014*
* Projected
Total 129,245.9 145,612.3 164,539.9 16,366.4 18,927.6 1.2 1.2
Nonagriculture wage and salary 114,983.8 132,191.7 150,876.9 17,207.9 18,685.2 1.4 1.3
Goods-producing, excluding agriculture 22,691.6 21,817.3 21,787.3 −874.3 −30.0 −0.4 0.0
Service-providing 92,292.2 110,374.4 129,089.6 18,082.2 18,715.2 1.8 1.6
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 2,890.1 2,139.9 1,910.0 −750.2 −229.9 −3.0 −1.1
Nonagriculture self-employed and unpaid family workers 9,360.0 9,556.4 10,011.9 196.4 455.5 0.2 0.5

immigration and a higher-than-average birthrate among Hispanics. By 2014, Hispanics are expected to make up 15.9 percent of the workforce while African Americans are expected to make up 12 percent of the workforce.

The number of Asians in the workforce is also growing rapidly, but this group will remain the smallest racial/ethnic group in the labor force well beyond 2014. In 2004 Asians made up 4.3 percent of the workforce; by 2014 their share will increase to 5.1 percent.


The total number of jobs over the 2004 to 2014 period is expected to increase by 13 percent, or 18.9 million, from 145.6 million in 2004 to 164.5 million in 2014. This growth rate is slightly higher than the previous ten-year period. Between 1994 and 2004, growth was 12.7 percent, and the economy gained 16.3 million additional jobs.

Of the 18.9 million new jobs projected for the period from 2004 to 2014, nearly all (91.7 percent) will be nonagriculture jobs earning wages or salaries. There will be 455,500 new nonagriculture, self-employed, and unpaid family worker jobs, an increase of 4.8 percent, a substantially larger increase than in the 1994 to 2004 period (2.1 percent). The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry will lose 229,900 jobs, a decrease of 10.7 percent. While this is a substantial decrease, it is significantly less than the decrease in the previous decade, when the industry lost 26 percent of its jobs.

According to the BLS, the service-providing sector will account for most of the non-farm wage and salary job growth between 2004 and 2014. The goods-producing sector will lose thirty thousand jobs. In this sector, only construction will add a significant number of jobs, offsetting declines in mining and manufacturing.

Ten Industries with the Fastest Wage and Salary Employment Growth, 2004–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Industry Description Number of Jobs (in thousands) Jobs Gained (in thousands) Percent Increase
2004 2014* 2004–2014* 2004–2014*
* Projected
Home health care services 773.2 1,310.3 537.1 5.4
Software publishers 238.7 400.0 161.3 5.3
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 779.0 1,250.2 471.2 4.8
Residential care facilities 1,239.6 1,840.3 600.7 4.0
Facilities support services 115.6 170.0 54.4 3.9
Employment services 3,470.3 5,050.2 1,579.9 3.8
Independent artists, writers, and performers 41.9 60.8 18.9 3.8
Office administrative services 319.4 449.9 130.5 3.5
Computer sysytems design and related services 1,147.4 1,600.3 452.9 3.4
Outpatient, laboratory, and other ambulatory care services 836.1 1,160.4 324.3 3.3

Service-Producing Industries

The service-producing sector is very diverse, covering a wide array of services to individuals and businesses. Almost all of the total employment increases expected by 2014 are from industry divisions within this sector. Professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and educational services will see the highest rates of growth by 2014.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and business services will add the most number of jobs to the economy between 2004 and 2014; 4.6 million new jobs will be created, for a projected annual employment growth rate of 2.5 percent. The demand for employment services, one of the fastest growing industries, will fuel this growth with a projected addition of 1.6 million jobs, a 45.5 percent increase between 2004 and 2014. Interest in the industry, which includes temporary staffing services, reflects the growing trend among U.S. businesses to hire workers on an as-needed basis. Temporary workers tend to have low wages, low job stability, and poor job benefits, although this may change as the industry becomes more important to the American way of doing business.

Health Care and Social Assistance

Employment in the health care and social assistance industry will increase by 30.3 percent between 2004 and 2014, an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent. This sector will add 3.6 million jobs to the economy. Factors contributing to the overall growth of the health industry group include the aging population, which continues to require more medical services, and the increased use of innovative medical technology for diagnosis and treatment. In an effort to contain costs, patients are increasingly being moved out of hospitals and into outpatient facilities and nursing homes, leading for an increase in demand for staff for those facilities. The health industry group includes medical care at private hospitals, offices of health practitioners, and nursing and personal care facilities. Jobs in the home health care services industry, providing in-home health services like nursing and physical therapy, will increase at a huge 5.4 percent annual rate, the highest annual growth rate among the nation's employers.

Five of the ten fastest-growing occupations are in health services. Employment of medical assistants is expected to increase by 52 percent, of physician assistants by 50 percent, of physical therapist assistants by 44 percent, of dental hygienists by 43 percent, and of dental assistants by 43 percent. More than 400,000 new jobs will be created in these five occupations alone by 2014. In addition, 703,000 new jobs will be created for registered nurses, for an employment increase of 29 percent; 325,000 new jobs will be created for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants, for an employment increase of 22 percent.

Employment in social services will also increase between 2004 and 2014. The expansion of services for older people, the sick and physically disabled, mentally ill individuals, substance abusers, and children is the driving force behind this industry's growth. Although the projected 3 percent annual growth rate is lower than the 4.4 percent annual growth rate of the 1994 to 2004 period, 740,000 new jobs are expected to be created by 2014. Employment in rehabilitation services will lead the subsector, expected to increase at a 2.9 percent annual rate, for a resulting 445,000 new jobs by 2014.

Educational Services

Educational services will grow at the greatest annual rate (2.9 percent) between 2004 and 2014. These occupations will grow by almost a third (32.5 percent), although they will grow at a slower rate than during the 1994 to 2004 period, when these occupations increased by 46 percent. This sector includes private education at the primary through college levels. More than 50 percent of this sector's projected growth will be at postsecondary schools—private junior colleges, colleges, universities and professional schools—as children of the baby boomer generation reach college age. Private colleges, universities, and professional schools will add 503,000 new jobs by 2014. Other educational services, including computer training, technical and trade schools, tutoring services, and educational testing services, will grow at a sector-leading rate of 3.2 percent annually, adding an additional 175,000 jobs by 2014.

Other service-providing industries that will experience significant growth during the 2004 to 2014 period include leisure and hospitality, expected to add 2.2 million jobs (an increase of 17.7 percent); state and local government, expected to add 2.1 million jobs (an increase of 11.3 percent); the retail trade, expected to add 1.6 million new jobs (an increase of 11 percent); financial activities, expected to add 849,400 new jobs (an increase of 10.5 percent); transportation and warehousing, expected to add 505,900 new jobs (an increase of 11.9 percent); and information services, expected to add 363,800 new jobs (an increase of 11.6 percent).

Goods-Producing Industries

By 2014 the transformation of the U.S. economy from a goods-producing economy to a service-producing economy will be even more apparent. Nine of the ten industries projected to have the most rapidly declining employment between 2004 and 2014 are from the goods-producing (nonagriculture) sector. Although manufacturing output will remain strong, improved productivity (increasing output with fewer workers) will be a major factor in the loss of jobs in this sector. Construction is the only goods-producing industry sector expected to see an employment increase.


A projected decline of 46,000 wage and salary jobs in the mining industry will continue a long-term trend. Employment in the coal mining industry, metal mining industry, and oil and gas extraction industry will all decline. Employment in metal ore mining will decline rapidly, from 27,300 jobs in 2004 to 19,300 jobs in 2014, an annual decline of 3.4 percent. Employment in coal mining will decrease from 71,700 in 2004 to 55,000 in 2014, a 2.6 percent annual rate of decline. International competition and global price pressures, combined with advances in technology, increased automation, and industry consolidation, account for the reduction in the number of metal ore mining and coal mining jobs. Employment in the oil and gas extraction industry will decline from 123,100 in 2004 to 107,000 in 2014 due to limited potential resources, foreign competition, and environmental regulations. The annual rate of decline, however, will fall from the average of 2.7 percent in the 1994 to 2004 period to an average of 1.4 percent from 2004 to 2014.


The long-term decline in manufacturing jobs is expected to slow during the 2004 to 2014 period. Most manufacturing industries will experience a pattern of strong output and growth in productivity, on the one hand, and employment declines on the other (though some will see an increase in employment). Overall, wage and salary employment in manufacturing is expected to decline from 14.3 million jobs in 2004 to 13.6 million jobs by 2014, for a net loss of 776,600 jobs, or a 5.4 percent decrease. In the previous ten-year period, employment fell by 2.7 million jobs, a decrease of 15.8 percent. Manufacturing's share of total employment will drop from 13.2 percent in 1994 to only 8.2 percent by 2014.

The transportation equipment manufacturing subsector, including motor vehicle, aerospace, railroad, and ship production, is the largest manufacturing employer. While this sector's production output will increase significantly, its employment will only moderately increase, from 1.8 million jobs in 2004 to 1.9 million jobs in 2014. The workers in this industry tend to be older than average, and as these workers retire from the workforce, they will need to be replaced.

Despite a continuing demand for personal and business computers, technological advances and productivity gains in the computer and electronic product

Ten Industries with the Most Rapidly Declining Wage and Salary Employment Growth, 2004–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Industry Description Number of Jobs (in thousands) Jobs Lost (in thousands) Percent Decrease
2004 2014* 2004–2014* 2004–2014*
* Projected
Cut and sew apparel manufacturing 219.9 80.0 −139.9 −9.6
Fiber, yarn, and thread mills 54.4 25.0 −29.4 −7.5
Apparel knitting mills 42.0 20.0 −22.0 −7.2
Textile and fabric finishing and fabric coating mills 68.5 35.0 −33.5 −6.5
Fabric mills 115.7 60.0 −55.7 −6.4
Tobacco manufacturing 29.4 16.6 −12.8 −5.6
Footwear manufacturing 19.4 12.5 −6.9 −4.3
Apparel accessories amd other apparel manufacturing 23.0 15.0 −8.0 −4.2
Basic chemical manufacturing 156.1 110.0 −46.1 −3.4
Metal ore mining 27.3 19.3 −8.0 −3.4

manufacturing subsector will lead to a projected annual decrease in employment of 0.7 percent, from 1.3 million in 2004 to about 1.2 million in 2014. The first half of this decade has seen a saturation of the computer market, which may also affect future employment in the industry. Employment in the computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing subsector will also decrease about 1.9 percent annually, from 212,100 in 2004 to 175,000 in 2014. Employment in the communications equipment manufacturing subsector will decrease annually by about 1.1 percent, from 150,500 jobs in 2004 to 135,000 jobs in 2014.

Highly labor-intensive, nondurable goods industries, like the apparel and textile subsectors, will suffer from the largest numerical decline in employment. Employment in apparel manufacturing will decline by more than half, from 284,900 in 2004 to 115,000 in 2014, an annual decrease of about 8.7 percent. This is due in large part to changing trade regulations and increasing competition from imports. The slowdown in population growth during the projection period is also expected to decrease consumer demand for clothing. Employment in textile mills, as well, will decline by half, from 238,600 in 2004 to 120,000 in 2014, an annual rate of decline of 6.6 percent. Jobs assembling apparel will continue to be lost to offshore workers.


The construction industry group is expected to gain about 792,400 jobs between 2004 and 2014. This is the only division of the goods-producing sector forecast to experience employment growth. The demand for new and remodeled nonresidential structures, including industrial plants, nursing homes, medical facilities, and schools, will fuel this growth.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2004 and 2014, 18.9 million jobs will be added to the economy. This is about 2.6 million more jobs than were added between 1994 and 2004. Consequently, growth rates among major occupational groups will be different from those of the past, resulting in a change in the structure of employment between 2004 and 2014.

Employment Growth by Major Occupational Group, 2004–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Occupational Group Percent Increase in Number of Jobs
* Projected
Management, business, and financial occupations 14.4
Professional and related occupations 21.2
Service occupations 19.0
Sales and related occupations 9.6
Office and administrative support occupations 5.8
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations –1.3
Construction and extraction occupations 12.0
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 11.4
Production occupations –0.7
Transportation and material moving occupations 11.1

The BLS provides employment projections for ten major occupational groups: management, business, and financial occupations; professional and related occupations; service occupations; sales and related occupations; office and administrative support occupations; farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; construction and extraction occupations; installation, maintenance, and repair occupations; production occupations; and transportation and material moving occupations. This section highlights information on expected job growth for each occupational group for the period 2004 to 2014. It should be noted that an occupational group can be found in more than one industry group. For example, administrative support workers can be found in professional and business services, health care services, government, manufacturing, mining, and in almost all other industries.

Professional and Related Occupations

Employment in professional and related occupations is expected to grow the fastest and increase more—by six million workers—than any other major group during the 2004 to 2014 period. Almost 75 percent of all growth will occur in three of eight occupational subgroups: computer and mathematical occupations, health care practitioners and technical occupations, and education, training, and library occupations.

Computer and mathematical science occupations will add 967,000 jobs, growing fastest among the subgroups. Almost 30 percent of the jobs in this subgroup will be in computer systems design and related services, growing at a rate of more than three times the average for all occupations. Health care practitioner and technical occupations will add 1.8 million jobs, a 25.8 percent increase, nearly twice as fast as the average growth for all occupations. Registered nurses will account for 40 percent of the new jobs in the health care practitioner and technical occupations group. Education, training, and library occupations are projected to add 1.7 million jobs, a 20 percent increase between 2004 and 2014. Jobs for postsecondary teachers are projected to grow particularly rapidly in this group. Community and social services occupations; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations; architecture and engineering occupations; life, physical, and social science occupations; and legal occupations are all expected to grow as well, at a slower rate.

Service Occupations

Employment in service occupations is expected to show the second-fastest growth rate and the second-largest numerical gain in the number of jobs. Together, professional and related occupations and service occupations should provide about 60 percent of the total job growth from 2004 to 2014. In contrast to workers in professional and related occupations, however, service workers tend to be on the low end of educational attainment and earnings.

Service occupations expected to show the most substantial numbers of additional jobs include food preparation and food service occupations and health care support occupations. Food preparation and serving will add about 1.7 million jobs, growing about 16 percent. Health care support will add about 1.2 million jobs, an increase of about 33.3 percent, two and a half times the average increase for all occupations. Employment in personal care and service, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, and protective service occupations will also show increases higher than the average for all occupations (21 percent, 17 percent, and 14 percent, respectively).

Management, Business, and Financial

The number of management, business, and financial workers is projected to increase by 2.2 million between 2004 and 2014, a 14.4 percent increase over the period. This represents the third-fastest growth rate among occupational groups. Nearly 25 percent of the new jobs will be in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector, including management, scientific, and technical consulting as well as accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services. Self-employment among this group is expect to decline by 1.2 percent, especially among farmers and ranchers.

Sales and Related Occupations

Employment in sales and related occupations is projected to increase by 1.5 million workers between 2004 and 2014. This represents a 9.6 percent increase in growth, lower than average for all occupational groups. The relatively small job growth may be attributable, in part, to increased use of automated sales systems in wholesale and retail trade occupations. Sixty percent of the new jobs in this field will be in retail trade.

Installation, Maintenance, and Repairs Occupations

The number of installation, maintenance, and repairs occupations is projected to increase by 657,000 workers, or 11.4 percent, between 2004 and 2014. Roughly one in six new jobs are projected to come from retail trade, which includes motor vehicle and parts dealers. Automotive repair and maintenance and construction will also see increases, while jobs in the manufacturing sector are expected to decline by 17,000.

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

Office and administrative support occupations will employ a projected 25.3 million workers by 2014, making it the third largest occupational group. However, this group will experience a relatively slow rate of growth between 2004 and 2014, increasing by only 5.8 percent. This group includes thirteen of the thirty occupations with the largest expected employment declines, including word processors and typists, stock clerks and order fillers, and secretaries. This decrease will be due to continued office automation and the greater use of temporary workers. Most of the growth in this sector will be in the health care and social assistance sector, the professional, scientific, and technical services sector, and the rapidly growing employment services industry.

Construction and Extraction Occupations

The construction and extraction occupations group will add 931,000 jobs between 2004 and 2014, with 60 percent of those coming from the construction sector. The fastest growth is expected in the employment services industry, while a decline of 12,000 jobs is expected for the mining sector.

Production Occupations

The number of production jobs will increase by 354,000 by 2014. In 2004, 70 percent of these jobs were in manufacturing; the manufacturing sector is projected to decline by more than 500,000 by 2014. However, employment in this sector is projected to grow in the employment services industry and the wholesale and retail trade sector.

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Transportation and material moving occupations are expected to see an employment growth of 11.1 percent, or 1.1 million jobs, by 2014. Forty percent of these new jobs will be for truck drivers and driver/sales workers. While employment in railroad occupations will continue to decline and water transportation occupations will grow slowly, 30 percent of the new jobs should be in transportation and warehousing and 25 percent in employment services. Self-employment for these workers, particularly truck drivers, taxi drivers, and chauffeurs, will increase moderately.

Farming, Forestry, Fishing, and Related Occupations

Farming, forestry, fishing, and related occupations will remain the smallest of the major occupational groups through 2014. Employment in this group will decline by 13,000 to only slightly more than 1 million workers, a decline of 1.3 percent.


The BLS projects employment growth for more than seven hundred specific occupations. It should be noted that rate of growth does not equal numerical size; that is, a fast-growing occupation could still have fewer job opportunities than a slow-growing occupation, depending on the size of the occupation's original employment base. For example, the employment of environmental engineers is projected to grow rapidly between 2004 and 2014 (by 30 percent), adding 23,000 jobs. In contrast, the employment of secondary school teachers is expected to grow by less than half that rate (14 percent), but 474,000 new jobs for secondary school teachers will be created during the period.

Fastest-Growing Occupations

Not surprisingly, the fastest-growing occupations are concentrated in rapidly growing industries. Of the thirty fastest-growing occupations, sixteen are health-related, six are related to computers, three are related to the environment, and two are educational occupations. The remaining three are forensic science technicians; employment, recruitment, and placement specialists; and paralegals.

Health-related occupations are growing quickly because of the aging population. As people age, they become more vulnerable to the chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services and personal and physical care. Another factor is increased use of new medical technologies that treat the kinds of life-threatening and disabling conditions requiring these services. Jobs for home health aides will increase by 56 percent, for medical assistants by 52.1 percent, for physician assistants by 49.6 percent, for physical therapist assistants by 44.2 percent, for dental hygienists by 43 percent, for dental assistants by 42.7 percent, and for personal and home care aides by 41 percent. Nine other health-related occupations will see growth of between 30 percent and 40 percent.

Rapid advances in computer technology and the continuing demand for new computer applications will also increase demand for some computer specialists between 2004 and 2014. Network, systems, and database administrators will see a job growth of 54.6 percent, computer software engineers, applications, will see a job growth of 48.4 percent, and computer software engineers, systems software will see a job growth of 43 percent. Network and computer systems administrators, database administrators, and computer systems analysts will all see job growth of between 30 percent and 40 percent.

Ten Fastest-Growing Occupations, 2004–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Occupation Number of Jobs (in thousands) Jobs Gained (in thousands) Percent Increase
2004 2014 2004–2014* 2004–2014*
* Projected
Home health aides 624 974 350 56.0
Network systems and data communications analysts 231 357 126 54.6
Medical assistants 387 589 202 52.1
Physician assistants 62 93 31 49.6
Computer software engineers, applications 460 682 222 48.4
Physical therapist assistants 59 85 26 44.2
Dental hygienists 158 226 68 43.3
Computer software engineers, systems software 340 486 146 43.0
Dental assistants 267 382 114 42.7
Personal and home care aides 701 968 287 41.0

Occupations with the Largest Increase in Number of Jobs

The thirty occupations that are projected to have the largest job growth between 2004 and 2014 will account for 8.8 million new jobs, or 47 percent of the total job growth during the period. Eleven of these occupations are service occupations, including health care support positions, food preparation and serving positions,

Ten Occupations with the Largest Increase in Number of Jobs, 2004–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Occupation Number of Jobs (in thousands) Jobs Gained (in thousands) Percent Increase
* Projected
2004 2014* 2004–2014* 2004–2014*
Retail salespersons 4,256 4,992 736 17.3
Registered nurses 2,394 3,096 703 29.4
Postsecondary teachers 1,628 2,153 524 32.2
Customer service representatives 2,063 2,534 471 22.8
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 2,374 2,813 440 18.5
Waiters and waitresses 2,252 2,627 376 16.7
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 2,150 2,516 367 17.1
Home health aides 624 974 350 56.0
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 1,455 1,781 325 22.3
General and operations managers 1,807 2,115 308 17.0

building and grounds cleaning and maintenance positions, and personal care and service positions. Office and administrative support occupations, teaching, transportation and material moving occupations, and sales and related occupations also will experience large job growth. The five occupations with the largest projected job growth are retail salespersons (736,000 new jobs), registered nurses (703,000 new jobs), postsecondary teachers (524,000 new jobs), customer service representatives (471,000 new jobs), and janitors and cleaners, excluding maids (440,000 new jobs).

Occupations with the Largest Decrease in Number of Jobs

The BLS focuses on occupations with the largest decline in the number of jobs rather than on those with the fastest rates of decline, because many occupations with the fastest rates of decline are small with small numbers of jobs lost. Industry employment change is a major factor in reducing the number of jobs. For example, the shift from family-operated farms to corporate farms accounts for the decline in the number of farmers and ranchers, the occupation with the greatest projected decline in jobs (155,000 jobs lost).

Change in occupational staffing patterns, especially those resulting from technological advances, is another major factor affecting the number of jobs. For example, advances in computer technologies will result in the loss of jobs within many office and administrative support occupations. Over a hundred thousand jobs (115,000) for stock clerks and order fillers will be lost, 93,000 jobs for file clerks will be lost, and 63,000 jobs for order clerks will be lost. Mail clerks, computer operators, secretaries, word processors and typists, and office machine operators will all lose jobs during the period.

Total Job Openings

In addition to employment growth, the need to replace workers who leave their jobs to retire or to enter other occupations or who leave the labor force for other reasons creates a demand for workers. Thus, even jobs predicted to decline will have some job openings. Overall, between 2004 and 2014, almost twice as many job openings are expected to result from replacement needs (35.8 million) than from employment growth (18.9 million). The number of job openings due to replacement will exceed the number due to growth in occupation groups with low expected growth as well as in service occupations, a group that includes many occupations, like retail sales and food service, with high job turnover.

Education and Training Requirements

The BLS divides occupations into three education clusters: occupations requiring a high school diploma or less, those requiring some college, and those requiring a bachelor's degree or more. Between 2004 and 2014, 35.7 percent of the new jobs that arise are expected to require a college degree or higher, 27.7 percent are expected to require some college, and 36.6 percent are expected to require a high school diploma or less. However, because jobs requiring less education have a much higher turnover rate than those requiring a college degree, many more job openings are expected to arise in that group (24.5 million) than in the group that requires a bachelor's degree or higher (16 million). The economy will continue generating jobs for workers in all categories over the period 2004 to 2014.

Ten Occupations with the Largest Decrease in Number of Jobs, 2004–2014*
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.

Occupation Number of Jobs (in thousands) Jobs Lost (in thousands) Percent Decrease
2004 2014* 2004–2014* 2004–2014*
* Projected
Farmers and ranchers 1,065 910 155 −14.5
Stock clerks and order fillers 1,566 1,451 −115 −7.3
Sewing machine operators 256 163 −93 −36.5
File clerks 255 163 −93 −36.3
Order clerks 293 230 −63 −21.4
Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service 160 101 −59 −37.1
Computer operators 149 101 −49 −32.6
Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive 1,934 1,887 −48 −2.5
Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 251 208 −43 −17.2
Telemarketers 415 373 −42 −10.0

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesEmployment Trends