The Next Ten Million Jobs–How to Read Tomorrow’s Employment Projections

By / 10.23.2017

Tomorrow (October 24th), the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the latest version of their ten-year employment projections.  They will likely project job growth of roughly ten million jobs over the next ten years.

Generally what gets the most attention is the BLS list of the fastest growing occupations, and those are certainly interesting.  But as part of our The Next Ten Million Jobs project, we suggest that the job projections should really be sorted into three buckets. The first bucket consists of jobs in the health and education sector, both private and public. The previous set of  BLS projections, released in 2015,  suggested that 48% of net new job growth over the next decade would come from health and education. That’s stunning. Will the new projections be higher or lower, and can we afford to pay for all these health and education jobs?

The second bucket consists of jobs in the tech sector, such as computer systems design and software publishing. The last set of projections pegged those industries at roughly 6% of future job growth. We think that is greatly understated,  and expect that number to rise. Moreover, the tech job growth can be found outside of the traditional tech hubs, as our report shows.

Finally, the third bucket consists of tech-enabled jobs in physical industries such as ecommerce, manufacturing, and agriculture. Here the previous set of projections did very poorly. For example, the BLS predicted that the warehouse and storage industry would expand by a very meager 28K jobs by 2024.  Instead warehousing jobs have soared by 200K jobs over the last 3 years alone, riding the wave of ecommerce fulfillment centers. Moreover, the BLS does not have a separate projection for electronic shopping companies.

We believe that tech-enabled jobs in physical industries are going to be an extremely important source of job growth over the next ten years–but these are not broken out in the BLS projections.  What’s more, these jobs are going to mainly benefit states that have been left behind behind by the digital revolution. 

Stay tuned.