- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a job growth of 11.5 million over the 2016 to 2026 decade, according to an agency statement, meaning a projected growth rate of 0.7%. That's faster than in the previous ten years, during which BLS recorded a 0.5% job growth rate. The job total is projected to be 167.6 million by 2026.
- BLS says the fastest job growth during the next decade will be in the healthcare support occupations, which account for 23.2% of all jobs, and in the healthcare practitioners and technical areas (15.2%). Other fast-growing occupations are in personal care and services (18.2%), community and social services (13.5%), and computer and mathematics (13.5%). According to BLS figures, 19 out of the 30 fast-growing occupations will require additional training or upskilling.
- BLS expects the labor force to continue its slow growth while also becoming older and more diverse during the next decade. The participation in the labor market by the baby boom generation (ages 55 and older) is predicted to grow from 22.4% to 24.8%. The growth in healthcare jobs correlates with the nation’s aging population. More Asians (2.5%) and Hispanics (2.7%) will join the labor force during the next decade, as well.
Job statistics can serve as a barometer for employers as they plan recruiting, hiring and training strategies. Studies predict that as automation claims retail and service jobs, it will likely bring in new jobs requiring different skills sets. Employers might need to shift their focus from searching for rare talent to training and upgrading the skills of current workers.
The growth in healthcare jobs over the next decade is expected, as the aging population increases the demand for medical services. But will there be enough workers to fill the number of healthcare jobs in 2026?
Employers might see more older workers postponing retirement or showing up in job interviews. Studies show that older workers — not millennials — are driving growth in the gig economy. Flexible work schedules, on-demand job opportunities and phased retirement are options that might appeal to older, experienced employees.