What the Bureau of Labor Statistics can teach us about Business Opportunities
Opinion: he Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a US federal agency that is responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. In order to provide this economic information, BLS conducts surveys, analyzes data, and reports results. The information that is collected, analyzed, and reported by BLS is free to access and can be used by anyone. The wealth of information provided by BLS can help employers, job seekers, students, parents, and everyday consumers make better decisions.
In 2014, BLS released its Economic and Employment Projections report. This report covers the time period from 2014-2024 and uses econometric tools to extrapolate and predict important labor information in the United States. Among other things, the report summarizes the expected employment growth by industry and predicts the fastest growing occupations. Students and young professionals can use this information to make fact-based decisions about which industries to enter. Likewise, employers can use information to conduct industry analyses and ensure that his or her business is competitive in the marketplace.
Job Growth by Industry, 2014-2024
BLS expects the US to add 10 million jobs between 2014 and 2024. Jobs in goods-producing industries (mining, construction, and manufacturing) will constitute only 12% of the labor market—a 3% decline since 2004. Furthermore, service-providing industries (professional services, healthcare, government, retail, etc.) constitute 81% of the labor market—a 3% increase since 2004. Of service-providing industries, health care (13.6%), professional & business services (13.1%), and state and local government (12.4%), will be the biggest employers in 2024.
The Healthcare industry is expected to have the fastest growth by employment numbers from 2014 to 2024. The industries with the biggest compound annual rate of change in employment from 2014 to 2024 are all healthcare related: home health care services (4.8%), outpatient care centers (4.1%), and offices of other health practitioners (3.8%).
Fastest Growing Occupations, 2014-2024
In addition to indicating which occupations are quickly growing, BLS reports the level of education that is needed to work in these occupations. BLS clearly expects wind-generated power to take off in the next seven years, as it predicts a 108% increase in the number of wind turbine service technicians required to service that industry. Some college, but no degree is required to work in this field. Of the 15 top occupations for growth, 10 occupations are in the healthcare industry. Beyond these top 15 occupations, BLS provides this information for all industries and occupations. BLS allows users to create custom data queries to analyze the data that is most relevant to each user.
The healthcare industry is growing and is expected to continue to grow over the next few years. The growth in this industry far exceeds the growth of any other industry. With a rising population and an aging baby-boomer population, more health care providers will be needed to meet the country’s healthcare needs.
Other than healthcare, there are several other industries that are expected to enjoy high growth in the next seven years: construction, private education, professional services (accountants, consultants, lawyers, etc.), and mining. With ever-increasing competition in the job market, it is now more important than ever that students and young professionals choose to enter industries that are growing. In order to maintain competitive advantage, companies in industries that are growing will require many highly skilled managers and leaders to keep up with the growth and the competition. Thus, advancements and wage increases are more likely to occur in growing industries.
The report included in this article is just a solitary example of one of many reports BLS issues. Students and young professionals would be wise to analyze the information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics when contemplating industries to join, companies to work for, and salaries to accept. Making fact-based decisions about career choices can have tremendous implications on career trajectory and compensation levels. The tools the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides can help job seekers to make prudent career decisions.
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