Where the Jobs Will Be in 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its predictions of where the jobs will and won’t be in 2020. Here’s a hint . . . Mail carriers should start tweaking their resumes now.


Image Credit: Woopidoo2 (sxc.hu)

On the eve of Groundhog’s Day, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its own set of prognostications – not about spring, but about where the jobs will be in 2020.

Based on current employment trends, the labor market is expected to grow by more than 14% (or 20.5 million jobs) over the next decade. But as the total number of American jobs expands, it’s likely that there will be a major reshuffling of the labor force. While emerging market sectors will experience hiring gains, some traditional labor markets may suffer potentially heavy losses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s report, the big winners in the coming decade will be workers in the fields of healthcare (institutional and home health aides), retail sales, childcare, accounting and bookkeeping, customer service, elementary education, construction and food service.

Postal service workers, mail carriers, some manufacturing workers, farmers and ranchers should expect to encounter declining employment opportunities as technology drives down demand in sectors that once relied on large volumes of manual laborers.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Nonagricultural employment (which currently comprises more than 90% of the jobs in today’s economy) will expand to 150.2 million jobs by 2020 – up from 130.4 million in 2010.
  • The largest employment gains are expected to occur in the healthcare and social assistance sector (5.6 million jobs), followed by professional/business services (3.8 million) and construction (1.8 million). However, construction job growth is not likely to reach its pre-recession annual average peak of 7.7 million jobs in 2006.
  • Approximately one in four new jobs (5 million) will be added in three specific industries: construction, retail and health practitioner settings.
  • The manufacturing and federal government employment sectors are projected to experience the most dramatic employment decreases by 2020. The largest losses will be sustained by the U.S. Postal Service (-182,000), federal non-defense employers (-122,000) and apparel knitting mills (-92,000).

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