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Health, Energy, and Digital Provide Main Avenues of Job Growth Over Next Decade, Labor Department Says

  • Aging baby boomer generation helps fuel demand for more health care workers and aides
  • Strong growth anticipated in digital fields and energy as well
  • E-commerce and automation expected to cut into manufacturing, administrative support, and sales jobs

An aging baby boomer population, increasing digital growth, and a boom in renewable energy will provide some of the main areas of job growth over the next decade, according to the Labor Department.

The department’s projections for the U.S. workforce in 2029 suggest that home health aides will see the strongest job growth by numbers, increasing by 1.16 million between 2019 and 2029. This is more than double the next largest anticipated increase, a 461,000 boost in the number of fast food workers.

The expected demand for more health care workers is partly a result of the aging baby boomer generation, although many members of this generation are expected to remain in the workforce and increase the share of workers ages 55 and older. In addition to the increase in home health aides, the Labor Department expects the numbers of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and occupational therapists to increase significantly.

The continued growth of the digital field will fuel a need for more software developers and cybersecurity experts. Statisticians will also be in greater demand, according to the report.

Growing interest in renewable energy will swell the number of positions for wind turbine technicians as well as solar photovoltaic installers. However, traditional oil and gas jobs are also anticipated to see strong growth as well.

While the food service industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants are still expected to add a large number of positions in the coming decade. The Labor Department forecasts that the number of fast food workers will grow by 461,000 while restaurant cooks will increase in number by 327,000.

Automation is expected to shrink the number of jobs in manufacturing and administrative support, while e-commerce will reduce the number of sales jobs.

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