Labor Dept. projects slower job growth over next decade

Job growth is expected to slow over the next decade, according to Labor Department projections released Tuesday. File Photo by Alexis C. Glenn/UPI

Sept. 1 (UPI) — The Labor Department on Tuesday projected slower job growth through the next decade due to an aging population.

Employment is projected to grow by only 6 million jobs over the next decade, reflecting an annual growth rate of .4%, which is slower than the last decade’s annual growth rate of 1.3%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Projected slower growth in jobs was due to a decrease in the labor force because of the aging baby boom generation and some sectors being hit by advancing technology and artificial intelligence. The labor force participation rate is expected to decline from 63.1% in 2019 to 61.2% in 2029.

“By 2029, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old,” the report said. “The increasing share of people age 65 years and older contributes to slower projected growth in the labor force, as well as a continued decline in the labor force participation rate, since older people are less likely to participate in the labor force.”

The manufacturing sector is expected to lose 444,800 jobs, the most of any sector over the next decade.

“Factors contributing to the loss of manufacturing jobs include the adoption of new productivity-enhancing technologies, such as robotics, and international competition,” the report said.

Economists projected a rise in e-commerce to impact the retail trade, resulting in a loss of 368,300 jobs over the next decade.

On the other hand, economists projected the fastest job growth in healthcare, community and social service jobs and technology jobs, such as computer and mathematical occupations.

The long-term projections are based on historical data and do not include the impact of COVID-19 and response efforts or the impact of the recession that began in February. An analysis based on these impacts will be released later this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic cost the U.S. economy more than 20 million jobs in April alone, when unemployment rose to nearly 15%.

In a weekly report Thursday, the Labor Department said another 1 million U.S. workers have filed for new unemployment benefits. It listed the unemployment rate for the week ending Aug. 22 at 9.9%, a rate more than double the pre-pandemic rate in February, but the lowest since a 4.4% unemployment rate in March.


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