EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS — 2022−2032
The U.S. economy is projected to add almost 4.7 million jobs from 2022 to 2032, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. Total employment is projected to increase to 169.1 million and grow 0.3 percent annually, which is slower than the 1.2-percent annual growth recorded over the 2012−22 decade. (See chart 1.)
Projected employment growth is driven by labor force growth, which in turn is constrained by population growth. Total population is projected to grow slightly slower than previous decades, at 0.7 percent annually over the projections period, although population growth is concentrated among individuals aged 75 and over because of the aging of the baby-boom generation. Because older age groups have lower labor force participation rates than prime age workers, overall labor force participation rates are projected to decline. Despite all these constraints, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow 1.9 percent over the 2022−32 decade, remaining largely consistent with the growth over the 2002−12 and 2012−22 periods.
The health care and social assistance sector is projected to not only grow most rapidly of any sector, but it is also projected to create about 45 percent of all the projected job gains from 2022 to 2032. Various healthcare occupations that are involved with the increased care of the aging population are projected to experience large and rapid employment increases. Home health and personal care aides, nurse practitioners, and medical and health services managers are three occupations that are projected to experience both large increases in employment and rapid growth.
The computer and mathematical occupational group is also projected to experience much faster than average employment growth. The expanding digital presence of businesses and consumers will produce a massive amount of data that these workers collect, organize, analyze, and protect. Employment in occupations such as data scientists, statisticians, and information security analysts is projected to grow more than 11 times the average rate.
Highlights of the BLS 2022−32 projections for the population and labor force, macroeconomy, industry employment, and occupational employment are included below.
Population and Labor Force
- The civilian noninstitutional population is projected to increase by 18.7 million to a level of 282.6 million in 2032, which is less than the 20.7 million increase that occurred over the 2012−22 decade. The civilian noninstitutional population is expected to grow 0.7 percent annually over the 2022−32 decade, slowing slightly from the 0.8-percent annual growth rate that occurred in the decade from 2012 to 2022. Population growth rates have been slowing for several decades; the projected 0.7- percent annual growth represents one of the slowest growth rates in the data series’ history. (See chart 2.)
- The slower birth rates of the 1970’s will cause the population ages 55 to 64 to decrease much faster than any other age group. Meanwhile, the 65 and older age group will experience fast growth as all baby boomers age into that category by 2032. This age group’s projected 14.4 million increase in population accounts for over three quarters of the overall projected population growth. Of that 14.4 million increase, about 10.6 million comes from the 75 and over age group, as most of the baby boomers age into that bracket. (See chart 3.)
- Slower projected growth in the population is expected to constrain growth in the civilian labor force over the projections period. The civilian labor force is expected to increase from 164.3 million in 2022 to 170.7 million in 2032, an increase of almost 6.5 million. This translates to a projected annual growth rate of 0.4 percent, slower than the 0.6-percent annual growth rate exhibited during the 2012−22 decade.
- The labor force participation rate is projected to fall from 62.2 percent in 2022 to 60.4 percent in 2032. The principal factor driving the projected decline in the labor force participation rate is a greater share of individuals over the age of 65. Despite this age group having the highest projected labor force participation rate increases over the projections period, the participation rate of this age group is still projected to be much lower than that of the prime working age group, those ages 25 to 54.
- The participation rate for prime working age women, ages 25-54, is projected to increase slightly from 76.4 percent in 2022 to 76.7 in 2032. For prime working age men, however, the participation rate is projected to decline 0.2 percent annually in the 2022−32 decade, from 88.6 percent to 86.7 percent.
- Real GDP is projected to grow 1.9 percent annually over the 2022−32 decade. This is slightly lower than the 2012−22 decade’s annual rate of 2.1 percent, but the same as the annual rate during the 2002−12 decade. However, the projected growth rate in the 2022−32 decade is much lower than the 3.0 percent and above rates seen during the 1980s and 90s, when population and labor force growth was faster. (See chart 4.)
- Total employment is projected to grow 0.3 percent annually from 164.5 million in 2022 to 169.1 million in 2032. This projected growth is much slower than the 1.2-percent annual employment growth in the 2012−22 decade, which was marked by strong recovery growth following the 2007−09 Great Recession and 2020 COVID-19 recession.
- The health care and social assistance sector is projected to add about 2.1 million jobs from 2022 to 2032, the most of any sector and about 45 percent of all new jobs. (See chart 5.) This sector is also projected to grow faster than any other sector, growing at an annual rate of 1.0 percent. Four of the 10 fastest growing industries over the projections period come from within this sector, with the individual and family services industry projected to grow the fastest of those four–at an annual rate of 2.2 percent. Employment growth in the health care and social assistance sector is expected to be driven by both the aging population and a higher prevalence of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
- The computer systems design and related services industry is the eighth fastest growing industry, growing at a rate of 1.8 percent annually over the 2022−32 decade. This industry is also seen adding 474,800 jobs over the projections period, the second most of any industry. Employment opportunities in the computer systems design and related services industry are expected to arise because of demand for information technology and cybersecurity products and services.
- Growth in e-commerce is expected to drive employment growth in the transportation and warehousing sector. BLS projects this sector to grow 0.8 percent annually from 2022 to 2032, adding close to 570,000 jobs over that period. The couriers and messengers industry together with the warehousing and storage industry account for about 80 percent of this sector’s projected job growth.
- The continued consumer shift to online shopping is projected to drive the loss of 529,100 jobs in the retail trade sector. While omnichannel strategies such as buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS) may support some employment, employment losses within this sector are still expected.
- The manufacturing sector is projected to lose 113,400 jobs over the 2022−32 decade as manufacturers continue to automate processes to improve production efficiency and throughput. However, stronger demand for electric vehicle batteries and energy battery storage systems is expected to result in rapid employment growth in battery production. That growth is evident in the other electrical equipment and component manufacturing industry, which is the manufacturing industry with the fastest growth at a rate of 3.0 percent annually over the projections period, gaining 52,700 jobs over the decade.
- Healthcare support occupations are projected to grow the fastest of all occupational groups, at 15.4 percent from 2022 to 2032. (See chart 6.) In addition to growing rapidly, one occupation from this group, home health and personal care aides, is also projected to experience the largest increase in new jobs of any occupation over the 2022−32 projections period. Projected to gain 804,600 jobs, this occupation is projected to account for approximately 1 of every 6 new jobs, and by 2032, would represent the largest occupation in the economy. The growing elderly population, which typically has increased healthcare needs compared to younger groups, will in turn increase demand for caregiving and therapy services.
- As healthcare facilities increasingly use team-based healthcare models, demand will increase for nurse practitioners (44.5-percent growth) and physician assistants (26.5-percent growth) to provide patient care that would otherwise be provided by a doctor. Nurse practitioners also have the largest projected job growth for occupations that typically require a master’s degree.
- Computer and mathematical occupations are projected to experience 15.2-percent growth from 2022−32. The marked increase in the number and severity of cyberattacks and data breaches on U.S. businesses is expected to lead to greater demand for cybersecurity products and services. This increase, in turn, will fuel demand for the information security analysts occupation, which is projected to grow 31.5 percent over the 10-year period between 2022 and 2032, making it the fifth fastest growing occupation in the economy. (See chart 7.)
- The projected 2.6-percent decline in employment over the projections period in the sales and related occupational group reflects the continued consumer shift to online shopping. Cashiers, an occupation within this group, are currently the fifth largest occupation in the economy and projected to be significantly affected by these changes in the retail sector, shedding a total of 348,100 jobs, more than any other occupation in the economy.
- The expanding digital presence of businesses and consumers alike is expected to result in a significant increase in the volume of data generated. Employment of data scientists, statisticians, actuaries, and operations research analysts are each projected to grow more than 20.0 percent as demand surges for workers who can model, interpret, and analyze the ever-growing amount of data.
- As renewable energy generation expands due to lower production costs, government policies, and technological advancements in renewable energy infrastructure and battery storage, demand for the occupations tied to their operation will expand as well. Employment of wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow 44.9 percent from 2022 to 2032, the fastest growth of any occupation for the projections decade, while solar photovoltaic installers are projected to grow 22.3 percent. However, because these are small occupations, the fast projected growth is expected to result in only about 5,000 new jobs for wind turbine service technicians and about 6,600 new jobs for solar photovoltaic installers over the projections decade.
- Despite the overall decline in employment in production occupations, driven by automation of production activities, some occupations employed in this group are projected to experience strong employment growth over the projections period. The combination of strong demand for semiconductors and incentives provided through the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act is expected to lead to an 8.0-percent increase in employment in semiconductor processing technicians over the projections period.