Health Care Job Openings Will Lead U.S. Employment Growth From Now Until 2022 Per BLS

The U.S. Labor Department is predicting the health care and social assistance industry will grow an average 2.6% per year, creating nearly a third of the 15.6 million new U.S. jobs expected between now and 2022.

Nearly half of the 30 fastest-growing occupations from 2012 to 2022 will be health care-related according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) including:

  • Home health aides,
  • Physician assistants,
  • Occupational therapy assistants
  • Dental hygienists.

In its previous 10-year forecast in 2011, health care and social assistance was expected to make up slightly more than one in four job gains and five of the 30 fastest-growing occupations. Social assistance includes care for the elderly and disabled, and vocational rehabilitation.

The new adjustments to the BLS estimates are due to the aging of the population and the range of new treatment options and new technology is expanding the type of health care available to patients.


The BLS also predicts:

• Construction will be the second-fastest-growing sector, also expanding at a 2.6% yearly rate. Yet despite adding an anticipated 1.6 million jobs during the 10-year period, construction will still be 440,000 workers below its peak employment of 7.7 million in 2006 before the real estate crash.

• The next fastest-growing sectors in order will be educational services, followed by professional and business services and mining.

• Several sectors are expected to shrink by 2022. They include the federal government, by 1.6%, or 407,000 jobs; utilities, by 1.1%, or 56,000 jobs; and manufacturing, by 0.5%, or 549,000 jobs.


USA Today reports that these BLS predictions are not universally accepted. The Boston Consulting Group expects manufacturing to add several million jobs by 2020 as rising Chinese wages and a U.S. natural gas boom that has lowered energy prices, among other factors, increase the advantages of U.S. production.

Jobs that typically require post-high school education had median wages of $57,770 last year and are projected to grow by 14% from 2012 to 2022. By contrast, jobs that generally demand a high school diploma or less had median wages of $27,670 and are projected to grow 9.1%.

The U.S. Labor Department is predicting that the pending retirement of more aging Baby Boomers will impact the job market over the next ten years,  with a projected 61.6% Americans employed or looking for work by 2022, the smallest portion of Americans in the workforce since the mid-1970s, down from 63% last November.

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