Department of Labor Predicts Growth for Construction by 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor?s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently updated its Occupational Outlook Handbook with its latest employment projections for the 2010-20 decade, which includes predictions that construction industry employment will add 1.8 million jobs.

All areas of construction are projected to contribute to its rapid 33 percent job growth. However, employment in the industry is not expected to regain its pre-recession peak of 7.7 million ? reached in 2006 ? by the end of the decade. Current construction employment (including residential and commercial) is 5.55 million.

More than one quarter of the projected 30 fastest-growing occupations are related to construction, including stonemasons, pile-driver operators, brick and block masons, glaziers, reinforcing iron and rebar workers, as well as other workers in a variety of construction trades. No construction occupation made the list of occupations with the largest projected declines.

While jobs requiring only a high school diploma will experience the slowest growth rate, occupations that typically require apprenticeships, such as those in construction, are projected to grow the fastest of all educational categories ? by 22.2 percent.

It is projected that nearly two-thirds of the 54.8 million job openings over the decade will come as a result of retirements as the Baby Boom generation moves entirely into the 55-and-older category by 2020.

Replacement needs are expected in every occupation, even those with projected declines in employment.
The online Occupational Outlook Handbook also has been updated with detailed information about each occupation, including a job summary, the type of education needed to enter a given occupation, median wage, work environment, links to outside resources and more. This is a great tool for potential job seekers.

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