The economy added 204,000 jobs in October, according to the Labor Department, 70 percent more than the consensus forecast of 120,000 jobs. As has been the case for much of the recovery, much of the job growth came from low-wage, service-sector jobs such as retail and tourism.
A new report looking at labor market changes over the next five years expects this trend to change, with the growth in high-paying occupations eventually eclipsing the growth in low-wage jobs, although the latter will have the largest share of new jobs.
These projections, from a report released Thursday by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Inc, bolster the view that the labor market is becoming increasingly bifurcated, with high- and low-paying jobs smoothing the job prospects for workers in middle-wage occupations. Of the 165 occupations projected to lose jobs in the next five years, 75 percent are in the medium-wage category.
As we reported earlier here, higher-wage occupations ($21.14 per hour) are expected to grow 5 percent over the next five years, while low-wage jobs ($13.83 and lower) and medium-wage jobs will grow at 4.7 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.
The position with the most growth potential is the low-paying personal care or home health aide position, which is expected to expand 21 percent to meet the growing demand created by an aging population. The next two fastest-growing jobs, with a projected 14 percent increase in jobs over the next five years, are market research analysts or marketing specialists (also known as consultants), and medical secretaries.
The U.S. workforce is expected to expand 4.4 percent from 2013 to 2015, faster than the 3.5 growth rate from 2009-2013, but lower than the pre-recession 2003-2007 period, when jobs grew 5.8 percent annually. “Barring any major shocks to the economy, the short-term job outlook in the U.S. will likely continue developments seen during the recovery – specifically, significant growth for jobs that require a college education and occupations in health care, energy and technology,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, in a statement.
College-educated workers will have more options than their less educated counterparts will. Jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree are expected to grow 6 percent, while those requiring a master’s or an associate’s degree will both swell 8 percent. Meanwhile, jobs that require short-term, on-the-job training will increase just 4 percent.
The performance of job markets will also vary by locations. Texas is home to the top three fastest-growing markets – Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Rounding out the top five fastest-growing metros are Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, D.C.
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