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Facts on Working Women (Working for Women Since 1920)

No. 03 - 01
May 2003

HOT JOBS FOR THE 21st CENTURY

Over the 2000-2010 period, total employment is projected to increase by 22.2 million jobs. From jobs in farming, fishing, and forestry to jobs in management, business, and finance, every major occupational group will experience some amount of job growth. Smaller employment gains, like those projected in production occupations (750,000 jobs) and those in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations (662,000 jobs) will be dwarfed by the gains expected in professional and related occupations (7.0 million jobs) and those in service occupations (5.1 million jobs).

In addition to the employment gains mentioned above, there will also be increases in labor force participation over the 2000-2010 period. The number of women in the labor force is projected to increase from 65.6 million in 2000 to 75.5 million in 2010--an increase of 15.1 percent. The number of men in the labor force is projected to increase from 75.2 million in 2000 to 82.2 million in 2010--a 9.3 percent increase. By 2010, women are projected to account for 48 percent of the total labor force.

As women's share of the labor force continues to climb, it is important for women to be aware of the jobs that will have the fastest growth, the jobs with the largest numerical increases, and the education and training necessary to secure one of these jobs. Fastest job growth refers to the percentage change in employment within a particular occupation over a specific period of time. Numerical job growth refers to the total number of jobs created within an occupation over a specific period of time.

The pay offered by these growth occupations should also be considered when choosing a job or career. While wage projections by occupations are not available, a look at the median weekly earnings of wage and salary workers who usually work full time, by occupation, provides additional job resource information.

Table 1 shows employment by major occupational groups in 2000 and projections for 2010. Table 2 shows the occupations with the fastest job growth over the 2000-2010 period. Table 3 shows the occupations with the largest numerical job growth over the 2000-2010 period. Table 4 shows the median weekly earnings in 2001 for some of the occupations expected to have fast job growth or large numerical job growth over the 2000-2010 period. If employment is projected to increase 36 percent or more, a job is considered to grow much faster than average; an increase of 21 to 35 percent, faster than average; an increase of 10 to 20 percent, growth about as fast as average; an increase of 3 to 9 percent, more slowly than average; an increase of zero to 2 percent, little or no change; and a decrease of 1 percent or more, a decline (see Table 1).

Table 1
Employment by Major Occupational Group, 2000 and Projected 2010
(numbers in thousands)
Text Version

  Employment    Change
Occupational group 2000 2010    Number Percent
            
Total, all occupations 145,594 167,754    22,160 15.2
            
Management, business,           
   and financial occupations 15,519 17,635    2,115 13.6
Professional and related    occupations 26,758 33,709    6,952 26
Service occupations 26,075 31,163    5,088 19.5
Sales and related occupations 15,513 17,365    1,852 11.9
Office and administrative           
   support occupations 23,882 26,053    2,171 9.1
Farming, fishing, and forestry    occupations 1,429 1,480    51 3.6
Construction and extraction    occupations 7,451 8,439    989 13.3
Installation, maintenance,           
   and repair occupations 5,820 6,482    662 11.4
Production occupations 13,060 13,811    750 5.7
Transportation and           
   material moving occupations 10,088 11,618    1,530 15.2
            
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2001.

The occupational groups expected to add at least 2 million new jobs while displaying at least average job growth between 2000 and 2010 are: professional and related occupations; service occupations; and management, business, and financial occupations.

Of all the major occupational groups (see Table 1), professional and related occupations is projected to increase the fastest (26.0 percent) and add the largest number of jobs (7 million) between 2000 and 2010. The majority of this job growth comes from three subgroups: computer and mathematical occupations; health care practitioners and technical occupations; and education, training, and library occupations. Examples of occupations within these three areas are: computer software engineers; database administrators; desktop publishers; medical records and health information technicians; and special education, preschool, and elementary teachers. Among health care practitioners, registered nurses--by far the largest occupation in this subgroup--should account for more than a third of all new jobs.

Service occupations will have the second largest numerical job growth (5.1 million jobs) and the second highest rate of job growth (19.5 percent). The subgroups that will account for most of this job growth are food preparation and serving related occupations (1.6 million jobs); health care support occupations (1.1 million jobs); personal care and service occupations (856,000 jobs); protective service occupations (809,000); and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (779,000 jobs).

Management, business, and financial occupations will grow by 2.1 million jobs. Within this group, management occupations will add nearly 1.3 million jobs and business and financial operations occupations will add 845,000 jobs.

Sales and related occupations are projected to grow about as fast as average (11.9 percent) with a total job increase of about 1.9 million jobs. The largest numerical job growth in this group, however, is in occupations with fairly low median weekly earnings--such as cashiers, retail salespersons, and supervisors, sales workers. Median weekly earnings for these three occupations ranged from $299-$618 in 2001.

Jobs in office and administrative support occupations are projected to increase by 2.2 million, however, they will grow more slowly than average. The largest numerical job growth is expected in customer service representatives, receptionists and information clerks, and bill and account collectors. This group also contains some of the occupations with the largest job declines--order clerks, 71,000 jobs; tellers, 59,000 jobs; insurance claims and policy processing clerks, 58,000 jobs; and word processors and typists, 57,000 jobs.

Average job growth is projected for transportation and material moving occupations. Of the 1.5 million jobs that will be created in this group, nearly 40 percent will be for driver/sales workers and truck drivers--heavy, tractor-trailer, light, and delivery. Water transportation occupations will grow much slower than average and railroad occupations will show an 18.5 percent decline in jobs over the 2000-2010 period.

As shown in Table 2, of the 30 occupations with the fastest job growth over the 2000-2010 period, 17 are health-related and 10 are computer-related occupations. Some of the fast-growing health-related occupations include personal and home care aides; physician assistants; medical assistants; medical records and health information technicians; dental hygienists; speech-language pathologists; and veterinary technologists and technicians. Some of the fast-growing computer-related occupations include computer software engineers, applications and systems software; network and computer systems administrators; desktop publishers; database administrators; and computer systems analysts.

Of the 30 occupations with the largest numerical job growth over the 2000-2010 period (see Table 3), some of the health-related occupations are registered nurses, home health aides, and medical assistants. Examples of the computer-related occupations are computer support specialists, computer software applications engineers, and computer systems analysts. Within the education, training, and library occupations, some are postsecondary teachers, teacher assistants, and elementary school teachers, except special education.

Table 2
Occupations with the Fastest Job Growth, 2000-2010
(Numbers in thousands of jobs)
Text Version

  Employment     Change
Occupation 2000 2010     Number Percent
             
Computer related occupations            
Computer software engineers, applications 380 760     380 100
Computer support specialists 506 996     490 97
Computer software engineers,            
    systems software 317 601     284 90
Network and computer systems            
    administrators 229 416     187 82
Network systems and data            
    communications analysts 119 211     92 77
Desktop publishers 38 63     25 67
Database administrators 106 176     70 66
Computer systems analysts 431 689     258 60
Computer and information systems    managers 313 463     150 48
Computer and information scientists,    research 28 39     11 40
             
Health related occupations            
Personal and home care aides 414 672     258 62
Medical assistants 329 516     187 57
Physician assistants 58 89     31 53
Medical records and health            
    information technicians 136 202     66 49
Home health aides 615 907     291 47
Physical therapist aides 36 53     17 46
Audiologists 13 19     6 45
Occupational therapist aides 9 12     4 45
Physical therapist assistants 44 64     20 45
Occupational therapist assistants 17 23     7 40
Veterinary assistants and laboratory            
    animal caretakers 55 77     22 40
Veterinary technologists and technicians 49 69     19 39
Speech-language pathologists 88 122     34 39
Mental health and substance abuse            
    social workers 83 116     33 39
Dental assistants 247 339     92 37
Dental hygienists 147 201     54 37
Pharmacy technicians 190 259     69 36
             
Other occupations            
Social and human service assistants 271 418     147 54
Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors 158 222     64 40
Special education teachers, preschool,            
    kindergarten, and elementary school 234 320     86 37
             
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review,
November 2001.

Table 3
Selected Occupations with the Largest Job Growth, 2000-2010
(Numbers in thousands of jobs)
Text Version

  Employment   Change
Occupation 2000 2010   Number Percent
           
Combined food preparation and serving          
    workers, including fast food 2,206 2,879   673 30
Customer service representatives 1,946 2,577   631 32
Registered nurses 2,194 2,755   561 26
Retail salespersons 4,109 4,619   510 12
Computer support specialists 506 996   490 97
Cashiers, except gaming 3,325 3,799   474 14
Office clerks, general 2,705 3,135   430 16
Security guards 1,106 1,497   391 35
Computer software engineers, applications 380 760   380 100
Waiters and waitresses 1,983 2,347   364 18
           
General and operations managers 2,398 2,761   363 15
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 1,749 2,095   346 20
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 1,373 1,697   323 24
Janitors and cleaners, except maids          
    and housekeeping cleaners 2,348 2,665   317 13
Postsecondary teachers 1,344 1,659   315 23
Teacher assistants 1,262 1,562   301 24
Home health aides 615 907   291 47
Laborers and freight, stock, and          
    material movers, hand 2,084 2,373   289 14
Computer software engineers,          
    systems software 317 601   284 90
Landscaping and groundskeeping workers 894 1,154   260 29
           
Personal and home care aides 414 672   258 62
Computer systems analysts 431 689   258 60
Receptionists and information clerks 1,078 1,334   256 24
Truck drivers, light or delivery services 1,117 1,331   215 19
Packers and packagers, hand 1,091 1,300   210 19
Elementary school teachers,          
    except special education 1,532 1,734   202 13
Medical assistants 329 516   187 57
Network and computer          
    systems administrators 229 416   187 82
Secondary school teachers, except          
    special and vocational education 1,004 1,190   187 19
Accountants and auditors 976 1,157   181 19
           
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review,
November 2001.

The median weekly earnings of all wage and salary workers who worked full time in 2001 was $597 for both sexes. Even though an occupation may be projected to show faster than average growth and/or a large numerical increase, the median weekly earnings of that occupation could be much lower than the average for all workers (see Table 4).

Table 4
2001 Median Weekly Earnings of Selected Growth Occupations
Text Version

  Median Weekly Earnings, 2001
(Both Sexes)
Occupations with fastest job growth
     Computer systems analysts and scientists $1,100
     Operations and systems researchers  
         and analysts 931
     Physician assistants 839
     Speech therapists 834
     Special education teachers 761
     Elementary school teachers 740
     Health technologists and technicians 562
     Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers 480
     Dental assistants 435
 
Occupations with largest job growth  
     Computer systems analysts and scientists $1,100
     Teachers, college and university 1,009
     Registered nurses 829
     Secondary school teachers 774
     Accountants and auditors 773
     Elementary school teachers 740
     Truck drivers 593
     General office clerks 465
     Information clerks 421
     Health aides, except nursing 375
     Sales workers, retail and personal services 363
     Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 360
     Hand packers and packagers 326

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2001 and Employment and Earnings, January 2002.

Conclusion

Among the major occupational groups (as shown in Table 1), employment in professional and related occupations and service occupations will increase the fastest and add the most jobs between the 2000-2010 period. While professional and related occupations require the most education and training and offer the highest earnings, service occupations require the least amount of training and offer some of the lowest earnings. More detailed information about any occupation, including training and resources, mentioned in this report can be found in the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics' publication, "Occupational Outlook Handbook," 2002-2003 Edition. It can also be accessed on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm.