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The 2008–18 job outlook in brief S ome occupations will fare better than others over the 2008–18 decade. Although it’s impossible to predict the future, we can gain insight into job outlook by analyzing trends in population growth, technological advances, and business practices. This insight is helpful in planning a career. The Occupational Outlook Handbook— published every 2 years by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—features projections of long-term job growth and employment prospects for nearly 300 occupations. This special issue of the Occupational Outlook Quarterly (OOQ) includes a table summarizing that information so readers can compare occupations at a glance. The next few pages help you get the most out of that table. Read on to learn what BLS projections mean, why employment is changing, and how BLS makes its projections. 2 Understanding Understanding employment job growth projections In the table, projected employment change over the 2008–18 decade is BLS projections give a broad overview shown in two ways: as a number and as of future employment conditions. They a percent. The number shows the actual show expected changes in employment number of jobs projected to be added over the entire 2008–18 decade, but they or lost in an occupation. Percent change do not depict variation from one year shows the rate of expected job growth or to another. Also, BLS projections are decline. national in scope. Because conditions Sometimes, occupations with large vary signiﬁcantly by location, jobseekers projected changes in employment are should supplement this general analysis also growing or declining at a fast rate. with more speciﬁc information from For example, between 2008 and 2018, State workforce agencies and career employment of registered nurses is counselors. (See, for example, expected to grow by almost 582,000 www.careeronestop.org.) jobs—the largest projected gain of BLS projections show expected any occupation. And the occupation’s job growth or decline in various oc- projected growth rate of 22 percent is cupations. Usually, occupations that well above the 10-percent average for all are gaining jobs offer more opportuni- occupations. ties for workers than other occupations Other times, there is no correlation do. Each job that is added to a grow- between projected numeric changes ing occupation equals an opening for a in employment and rapid growth or worker trying to enter that occupation. decline. Financial e
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