BLS: Job Growth to Slow, Labor Force Participation to Drop by 2029

Jobs in the U.S. economy are projected to rise from 162.8 million in 2019 to 168.8 million in 2029, according to figures from the Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today. The projected annual growth rate of 0.4% would be slower than the growth rate of 1.3% observed in the prior decade as the economy came out of the Great Recession.

Labor force growth will also slow to 0.5% annually from 0.6% annually in the prior decade, BLS projected, with men’s participation in the labor force anticipated to fall from 69.2% in 2019 to 66.1% in 2029 and women’s participation slipping from 57.4% to 56.6%.

BLS projected that the health and social assistance sector would see the most new jobs, with six of the fastest-growing occupations related to health care and more than three million new jobs expected in that sector. Other sectors seeing large numbers of new jobs in the next decade will be professional, scientific and technical services; and accommodation and food services. Sectors seeing the biggest declines will be manufacturing, retail trade and wholesale trade, BLS said.

BLS noted that the projections were developed using historical data through 2019 and do not reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The agency said it will develop alternate scenarios based on how COVID-19 continues to unfold.