Occupational employment

Occupational employment – forecasts

Industries have unique needs for workers in different occupations. A bank needs tellers, loan officers, credit checkers, and managers, whereas a restaurant needs cooks, waiters and waitresses, and food preparation workers. Therefore, changes in the industrial structure of the economy play a large role in determining occupational employment growth.

Changes in technology also affect occupational growth by changing the way in which industries use workers. For example, technological advances will continue to reduce the need for directory assistance by telephone operators.

Changes in business practices can shift growth from one industry to another and affect occupational growth rates. For example, the use of temporary help services shifts employment growth in some occupations to the temporary help services industry and can reduce an occupation’s rate of growth because workers are not employed full time.

Analyses of these factors are conducted by BLS to project employment for more than 500 occupations. For this discussion, these occupations have been placed in 11 clusters that reflect similarities in the type of work. They are discussed in the order of their projected growth:

Health occupations

Engineering, natural science, mathematics, and computer science occupations

Education-related occupations

Food, cleaning, personal, and protective service occupations

Marketing and sales occupations

Executive, administrative, and managerial occupations

Mechanics, installers, and repairers

Driving and transportation-related occupations

Construction trade and related occupations

Administrative support occupations including clerical

Production occupations

These clusters accounted for 86 percent of employment in 1994 and 90 percent of the projected employment growth for the 1994-2005 period. The largest occupational cluster in 1994 was administrative support occupations including clerical, with 22.3 million jobs. Four other clusters each had more than 10 million jobs.

The fastest growing cluster is health occupations, followed closely by engineering, natural science, mathematics, and computer-related occupations. The largest occupation, administrative support including clerical, is projected to increase 3 percent and production occupations are expected to decline.


Health occupations will increase by 2.7 million jobs over the 1994-2005 period, in large part because of the need to care for an aging population with a longer life expectancy.

Health occupations are projected to account for 15 percent of total employment growth…

In 1994, five health occupations accounted for about 55 percent of all health-occupation employment. These same occupations, will also account for about 60 percent of the growth. Workers in the four largest occupations provide nursing care.

The average growth rate of health occupations is projected to be 33 percent, more than twice as fast as the growth of total employment. The three fastest growing occupations are among the lower paying health occupations because employers are expected to make more use of these workers in order to reduce costs. Only three professional occupations are among the 10 fastest growing occupations: Occupational therapists, physical therapist, and speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Growth rates will be below average in only a few health occupations.


Education-related occupations will increase by nearly 2 million and account for 11 percent of employment growth over the 1994-2005 period.

These occupations only accounted for 6 percent of total employment in 1994. Growth is directly related to the large projected increase in employment-2.2 million-in the public and private education services industry.

Employment growth of more than 1.5 million jobs will be found in the teaching occupations. Elementary school teachers and secondary school teachers are projected to have the greatest increases because of their large size.

Special education teachers are projected to grow fastest in this group because of legislation emphasizing training for individuals with disabilities.


Engineers, scientists, and workers in related occupations numbered 4.6 million in 1994, or 4 percent of total employment; but they are projected to account for 7 percent of employment growth over the 1994-2005 period.

Among engineering, science, and related occupations, those in the computer field will account for about 60 percent of the growth.

Systems analysts and computer engineers and scientists will also have the largest groth in the number of jobs, but growth will also be significant for engineers, engineering technicians, and computer programmers.

The large numerical growth expected in computer occupations reflects their very fast percentage growth. These occupations are projected to be among the five fastest growing occupations from 1994 to 2005…

… In contrast, the large growth of engineers and engineering and science technicians reflects the large employment in these occupations in 1994, when they accounted for more than half of all workers in engineering, science, and related occupations.


Nearly 16 million workers were employed in food, cleaning, personal, and protective service occupations in 1994, accounting for 13 percent of total employment.

Half were in food service occupations.

Employment in this cluster is projected to increase by 3.3 million, 19 percent of total employment growth.

Food service workers are projected to increase by 14 percent, which is less than other service occupations. This reflects the slow growth rate for the eating and drinking places industry in which most of these workers are employed. However, because of the large size of the group, it will add 1.1 million jobs over the 1994-2005 period.

Most of the growth will be in five occupations: Food preparation workers, waiters and waitresses, restaurants cooks, short order and fast food cooks, and bread and pastry bakers. These occupations also accounted for the majority of food service workers employed in 1994.

Cleaning and building service occupations are projected to increase by 62 1,000 workers. Most of the new jobs will go to janitors and cleaners, who also accounted for most of the workers in this group in 1994.

Personal service occupations are projected to grow 36 percent, which is much faster than average, and add 761,000 jobs from 1994 to 2005, in part because the group includes personal and home care aides, which will add 212,000 jobs. Cosmetologists and related workers, child-care workers, and amusement and recreation attendants (which includes dealers and related occupations in gambling establishments) also will add large numbers of jobs.

Protective service occupations are projected to grow by about one-third, more than twice as fast as total employment, and add 818,000 jobs. Guards, the largest accupation in this group, is projected to increase 48 percent, half of the increase in protective service jobs. Correction officers will be the fastest growing occupation in the group, increasing 51 percent as the number of prisons continues to expand. Police and detectives in the public sector will add 166,000 jobs to deal with the public’s concern for crime.


Marketing and sales workers accounted for 11 percent of total employment in 1994, but are projected to account for 14 percent of employment growth over the 1994-2005 period.

Of the total growth of 2.5 million sales workers, well over half is expected to be in three occupations — cashiers, retail salesperson, and marketing and sales worker supervisors.

The rate of growth for most sales occupations is closely related to the rate of growth of the industry in which the occupation is concentrated.


Executive, administrative, and managerial occupations will account for 12 percent of the total growth in employment over the 1994-2005 period, slightly larger than the 10 percent share of 1994 employment accounted for by this group.

The projected rate of growth for this occupational cluster is expected to be 17 percent, which is close to the average for all occupations.

General managers and top executives will add many more jobs than any other managerial occupation and account for nearly one-fourth of the projected increase of 2.2 million in managerial jobs.

For most managerial occupations, a large proportion of employment growth is concentrated by industry

With few exceptions-such as loan officers-administrative and managerial occupations are found in nearly all industries. But even these widespread occupations have some industrial concentration. This concentration often affects their employment growth. For example, while accountants are found in virtually all industries, 24 percent of the growth in this occupation will occur in one industry-accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping services. The chart shows some other managerial occupations in which a large proportion of the growth is expected in a single industry.


This cluster will grow as fast as average. The only occupation within this cluster that is expected to grow much faster than average is data processing equipment repairers. Automobile, truck, and bus mechanics will account for about 30 percent of the group’s growth.


More than 4.7 million workers, about 4 percent of all workers, were employed in driving-and transportation-related occupations in 1994.

Truckdrivers were by far the most numerous workers in these occupations, numbering 2.9 million in 1994, over 60 percent of the total. That occupation will also dominate growth in the 1994-2005 period, accounting for more additional jobs than all the other occupations in the cluster combined. The water and railroad transportation industries are projected to decline or show little change; occupations in those industries are not expected to increase. Although air transportation is expected to increase, airline pilots are expected to grow slower than average over the 1994-2005 period because of productivity realized from improved scheduling and the use of larger planes.


Employment will grow slowly for most construction trades and related occupations. As a result, this group of occupations, which accounted for 4 percent of total employment in 1994, will account for a smaller share of employment in 2005.

Employment growth in this group will be concentrated in three occupations construction trades helpers, carpenters, and paperhangers. These three occupations will account for one half of the total growth over the 1994-2005 period.


Employment in administrative support occupations including clerical numbered 22.2 million in 1994, more than any other occupational cluster, and accounted for about 18 percent of all workers.

However, this cluster will account for only a small share of employment growth over the 1994-2005 period.

Many occupations in this cluster will be affected by technological changes that will reduce employment. For example, the demand for typists and bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks will continue to be held down by advances in computer technology. Other occupations, such as bank tellers, will decline largely because of changes in business practices, changes which in turn are often precipitated by technological developments.

In contrast, some administrative support occupations will increase. The reasons for growth are varied, but include the following:

* The tasks performed in the occupation require personal contact.

* Customer service must be improved.

* The work is not subject to significant reduction because of technological change.


The 10.4 million production workers employed in 1994 accounted for 8 percent of all jobs.

These workers are classified into three groups by skill–precision production workers; machine setters, set-up operators, and tenders; and hand workers. The middle group, with 4.8 million workers, accounted for the largest share of employment in 1994, 46 percent.

The vast majority of these workers are employed in manufacturing; and, like that of manufacturing, their employment is projected to decline over the 1994-2005 period, falling by 294,000.

Employment growth rates among the many production occupations vary significantly. The projected growth of many is dependent on the employment growth or decline of the specific manufacturing industries in which these workers are employed. One of the largest in the group–sewing machine operators, garment–will lose 140,000jobs from 1994 to 2005. Other occupations, like machinists, are found across many industries and tend to have rates of change similar to manufacturing as a whole.

Other production occupations also will be affected by technological change. For example, the number of electronic pagination workers is expected to increase significantly as they use technology in printing operations that will also result in a significant decline for paste-up workers.

Only 6 of the 24 production occupations that employed 100,000 or more workers in 1994 are projected to increase.


Workers in over half of the 20 fastest growing occupations are involved in providing health or social services.


Occupational growth will very concentrated. These twenty occupations are projected to account for more than 40 percent of total employment growth over the 1994-2005 period. Three of these occupations are also among the 20 fastest growing occupations

COPYRIGHT 1995 U.S. Government Printing Office

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