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Growth expected in health care jobs, decline in ag-related industries

POSTED February 3, 2012 9:56 p.m.

Demand for nurses will surge through 2020, while jobs in farming and ranching will decline sharply, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' new job growth projections.

The projections, released every two years, are the second set released by the BLS since the close of the recession. The projections are built on the assumption of a full-employment economy in 2020.

By the end of the decade, 54.8 million total job openings are expected – good news to the 16.1 percent of Stanislaus County residents who are unemployed, according to the Economic Development Department.  More than 60 percent of those job openings will come from a need to replace workers who retire, or otherwise leave an occupation.

As the baby boomer population ages, the health care and social assistance sector is projected to show the largest job growth, with 5.6 million more jobs by 2020. Professional and business services is expected to be the second strongest sector, gaining 3.8 million jobs.

Those projections largely match with trends seen in Stanislaus County. In December, the occupations with the most advertised openings were registered nurses (260), truck drivers (193), receptionists and information clerks (148), and executive secretaries and administrative assistants at (112).

Construction is projected to exhibit the third largest increase through 2020, up 1.8 million jobs. Despite that growth, construction employment is not expected to hit its pre-recessionary peak by 2020.

The four occupations expected to experience the strongest growth are registered nurses (712,000), retail salespersons (707,000), home health aides (706,000) and personal care aides (607,000). One third of the fastest growing professions are related to health care, while one-fourth of the fastest growing professions are related to construction.

Occupations requiring postsecondary education are projected to grow the fastest. Of the 30 fastest-growing jobs, 17 need some type of postsecondary education.

The BLS job growth projections aren't all good news – some occupations, like agriculture are expected to experience sharp declines.

Farming, fishing, and forestry is the only whole sector expected to experience job loss. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers will see the sharpest decline of any single occupation, falling by 96,000 jobs.

Manufacturing and federal government jobs are projected to undergo the largest job losses, with the U.S. Postal Service experiencing the largest decline – dropping 182,000 jobs.  Other falling segments include apparel knitting mills, newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, and crop production.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

 

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