In early 2020, the American unemployment rate fell to a five-decade low at 3.5%. The brutal hit the COVID-19 pandemic took on the economy pushed that to 14.8% in April. Since then, it has declined almost every month and stood at 5.2% in August, a stunning recovery. Not all jobs are created equal in terms of demand. The pandemic almost wiped out the restaurant and hospitality industries. Now, employers in those sectors cannot find workers for what were relatively low-paying jobs. Economic and business needs will shape the employment levels of the next decade in ways that could not be anticipated just a few years ago.
The primary conclusion of the recently released Employment Projections: 2020-2030 Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was that: “Total employment is projected to grow from 153.5 million to 165.4 million over the 2020–30 decade, an increase of 11.9 million jobs.” This translates into a 0.7% growth rate per year.
The BLS expects some jobs to grow much more rapidly than that. Those jobs largely reflect the parts of the American economy expected to grow most rapidly. A number are in the medical field. The Urban Institute has studied the aging population. As people age, often they need more medical attention. According to its Program on Retirement Policy:
The number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years, reaching 80 million in 2040. The number of adults ages 85 and older, the group most often needing help with basic personal care, will nearly quadruple between 2000 and 2040.
The evolving energy industry also will trigger rapid growth in jobs like solar panel installers.
The job that will have the most rapid growth from 2020 to 2030 is wind turbine service technicians. The BLS reports that, even with rapid growth, the number of people in this category will only rise by 4,700, which is 68.2%. The median wage for the job in May 2020 was $56,230.
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