9 Things to Know About the Job Market of the Future

A look at the Council of Economic Advisers' report on the future of American workers.

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The President's Council of Economic Advisers released a report today detailing their forecasts for the job market over the next decade or so. Here are 9 key points, followed by excerpts from the report:

Unemployment under the stimulus is higher than officials expected, but the White House insists job creation is on track: "The ARRA [stimulus] is projected to create or retain 3.5 million jobs as of the fourth quarter of 2010. These jobs are projected to be in all major industries in the economy." (Note that this figure will never be measurable, as it will be impossible to calculate job creation/destruction without the stimulus.)

Health care will be the energizer bunny of hiring: "Health care is forecasted to remain a large source of job growth in the labor market. The long-term trend toward more employment in health care is expected to continue, with many health care occupations, including medical records and health information technicians, registered nurses, clinical laboratory technicians, and physical therapists, expected to grow."

[See the truth about stimulus jobs]

Health care reform may, however, have an impact on hiring. "We emphasize that this expected growth in health care occupations does not account for comprehensive health care reform. Health care reform is expected to slow the growth rate of health spending as efficiency is improved. However, even with a slower growth rate of spending, the expected expansion of health coverage could lead to increased demand for workers – including physicians, non-physician clinicians, health care support workers and nurses – to cover the newly insured population."

We may actually get a definition for green jobs: "Although it is currently hard to classify 'green' jobs as they cross standard industry and occupation definitions, the BLS has begun to consider a new classification system to learn more about these jobs. This will allow researchers to track changes in this rapidly evolving sector."

Pent-up demand will give way to short-term shopping sprees and new jobs: "The large declines in household wealth make it unlikely that consumers will return to their low-saving ways. But, it is possible that consumers will go through a period of somewhat-elevated consumption as they purchase some of the cars, appliances, and other goods they have put off buying since the recession began. This could provide a period of growth in the consumer-goods-producing sector of the economy and retail trade."

[See what it actually takes to get hired]

But new consumer habits will change the retail industry for good: "Retail trade is projected to contract somewhat in terms of employment share, partly because the growth in consumer spending is expected to slow going forward."

A handful of industries will add the bulk of the jobs through 2016. In ascending order of job growth, here are the top sub-sectors: air transport; business services; nursing homes; wholesale trade; physicians; education social services and nonprofits; restaurants and bars; private hospitals; construction; other medical services and dentists (i.e. home health care, outpatient care, and medical and diagnostic laboratories).

(The report specifically highlights the job of aircraft mechanic, which you can read more about here).

More and more jobs will require higher education: "Occupations requiring higher educational attainment are projected to grow much faster than those with lower education requirements, with the fastest growth among occupations that require an associate’s degree or a post-secondary vocational award."

Workers may need to be trained in communicating and working well with others: "Although 'interactive' skills, such as effective communication and the ability to work well with others, have not traditionally been studied, nor perhaps valued, by educators, there is growing awareness of their importance for adult success. Researchers have highlighted the growing importance of 'non-cognitive' skills in the labor market and argue that a range of behaviors that reflect 'greater student self-awareness, self-monitoring, and self-control' are key indicators that students are able to effectively learn and succeed in a modern post-secondary environment."


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