About the Long-Term Numbers

National projections are developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bureau under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). State projections are developed in the labor market information sections of each State Employment Security Agency (SESA).

Projection Period

The projection period is 2018-2028 for all states, which includes the long-term period calculated up until 2028 for participating states.

Occupational Data

Each SESA, in cooperation with the BLS, uses the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) report to gather occupational employment data. The OES data is the basis for the staffing patterns used in the projections. The data collected reflect the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). Many occupations are not identified separately in the SOC (and are included in aggregate categories not shown on this site).

Employment may not be sufficient to warrant the development of occupational projections in every occupation in each state, or the data may be confidential. Occupations for which projections are not available are indicated with an (NA) for 'not available.'

For your reference in the majority of states, employment estimates are rounded to the nearest 10. Numerical employment change and average annual openings are rounded to the nearest 10.  If the numerical employment change is shown as (NA), the percent employment change is also shown as (NA).

Numeric Employment Change

Numeric employment change is the difference in the number of jobs between the base and projected years. A positive number means employment is growing due to the creation of new jobs. A negative number indicates employment is declining in the occupation.

Numeric change is important to consider along with percent change, because both types of change are affected by the size of employment in an occupation. Occupations with a large base of numeric employment may be creating large numbers of new jobs yet have small percent changes. Conversely, occupations with a small base of numeric employment may be creating a small number of new jobs yet have large percent changes.

Percent Employment

Percent employment change indicates how fast employment is expected to increase or decrease during the projection period. The larger the positive percent change, the faster employment is growing. A large positive percent change is generally an indicator of favorable employment prospects. Likewise, the larger the negative percent change, the faster employment is declining, and the more unfavorable the employment prospects.

Average Annual Openings

Average annual openings represent the number of openings per year, expected for a respective occupation or sum of occupations. Annual average openings are the sum of two employment calculations, the average annual numeric employment change (the increase or decrease in the number of jobs associated with the occupation), and average annual separations.

Here, separations represent the number of workers who either leave the labor force or make a significant occupational change. An example of a non-significant occupational change would a move from Teachers Assistant (25-9041) to Secondary Teacher (25-2031), staying within the same major group (indicated in the first two digits of the SOC code). A significant change would be to move from Secondary Teacher (25-2031) to Lawyer (23-1011), by changing the minor group or the broad or detailed occupation.

How Often are the Projections Updated?

National occupational projections are developed on a 1-year schedule. The next national projections cycle will cover the period from 2019-2029 and will be available in September of 2020 from the BLS. Most states will not be doing 2019-2029 projections so data will not be updated until the 2020-2030 projections. Data from most states will not be available until mid 2022. Employment projections are developed by each state and therefore are subject to work schedules and other related constraints of each state. Once the participating states have completed their next round of projections, updates will be made to this site.

Disclaimer

Projection data accessible from this site are the responsibility of each agency that developed the projections. The accuracy of projections for individual occupations is subject to error because of the many unknown factors that will affect the economy over the projection period. While occupational employment projections and related job outlook information can provide valuable inputs to the career decision-making process, they should not be the sole basis for a choice of career.