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Employment Projections


Employment projections provide job seekers, policy-makers and training providers an idea of how many jobs exist within industries and occupations and how the number of jobs are expected to change over time and what the future demand for workers will be.


Our projections show expected change in employment by industry and occupation, the current and projected employment counts, estimated growth rates and average annual openings.

We develop short-, medium- and long-term projections.

  •  Short-term projections are two-year projections.

  •  Medium-term projections are five-year projections.

  •  Long-term projections are 10-year projections.

We revise the projections annually.

How are employment projections developed?
We develop industry projections and convert them to occupations based on staffing patterns gleaned from occupational employment statistic surveys.

Replacement, separations and alternative methods:
The separations and replacements methods measure workers who leave their occupation and need to be replaced by new entrants into the occupation. The separations method is different in how it estimates workers who leave permanently from the replacement methodology used in previous years.

In the replacement methodology, workers who leave an occupation and are replaced by workers from different age cohorts are considered to have permanently left and are identified as generating replacement openings. Workers replaced by workers from the same age cohort are not identified as generating replacement openings. The inability to track openings generated by replacement workers of the same age cohort causes a significant under-count of openings.

In the separations methodology, workers who exit the labor force or transfer to an occupation with a different Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) are identified as generating separations openings.

Both of these Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methods track openings created when workers leave occupations, but do not track turnover within occupations. Turnovers within occupations occur when workers stay in occupations, but change employers.

For the 2017 projections cycle, a new state specific alternative method to the BLS replacement and separations methods was created. The alternative method is based on Washington state wage records, making results state specific.

The alternative rate tracks openings created by turnover within occupations (i.e. workers stay within occupations but transfer to different companies) and when workers leave one occupation for another or leave the workforce.

We estimate the numbers of annual transfers between industries, inside industries and in and out of wage files. Then we use occupation-to-industry staffing patterns (shares of occupations for each industry) to convert industry transfers to occupational transfers. Alternative replacement rates are calculated as the shares of total transfers, minus growth or decline, divided by estimated occupational employment for a base period.

How do I learn more about projections methodology?
To learn more, read our employment projections report.


This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, expressed or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purposes is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner. 



 

Occupational projections

Industry projections

  • Short-term industry projections 
        XLS, 201 KB
  • Long-term industry projections
        XLS, 214 KB

  • Control totals and matrices

  • Short-term industry control totals 
         XLS, 690 KB
  • Long-term industry control totals
        XLS, 753 KB
  • All industry control totals
        XLS, 343 KB
  • Occupations-industry matrices
  •      XLS, 7.5 MB


    Projections methodology

  • Employment projections report 
        PDF, 1.9 MB
  • Employment projections appendix 
        XLS, 119 KB

  • Report data

  • Related occupational skills file
        XLSX, 5.7 MB
  • All codes file 
        XLSX, 81 KB

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