City Crowd

Employment projections: Where the jobs will (and won’t) be over the next decade

Elizabeth Bromstein|

Stats Can has just released the January employment numbers, and it looks like unemployment is still a growing problem in this country right now. So let’s look to the near future and see where the jobs are going to come from over the next ten years.

Looking for a career with legs? Don’t join the postal service. The American Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its Employment Projections for the years 2010-2020.

This report includes lists of the fastest growing and declining occupations, as well as occupations with the largest job growth and job decline.

Farming and agriculture top the decline list, while mail sorters, carriers and clerks are three of the ten occupations projected to hit the sharpest downhill slope over the next decade. No surprises there. When was the last time you mailed a letter?

Nursing, meanwhile, will see the biggest growth, followed by retail sales, then home health aides and personal care aides. MSNBC’s coverage of the report notes plans to close thousands of post offices in the U.S.

Sewing machine operators and switchboard operators also make the list of disappearing jobs, as do fast food cooks. That last surprised me. Fast food is everywhere.

I don’t think I’d take this as gospel – predicting the future of the workplace seems like a crapshoot at best right now, since there are so many unforeseeable variables. Still, “stay away from the postal service” seems like sound advice.

Below is the list of 30 occupations with the largest growth projection, followed by the largest projected decline.

Note: This is an American report and might not reflect the Canadian market. I’ve been asked in the past by commenters why I share American job statistics, so I’ll answer that question: because we don’t live in a bubble, we live in a world, and America is our closest neighbour in that world, therefore this is relevant news for the North American career market in general. Also, I assume that not everyone who currently lives in Canada plans on staying here forever and that some might even consider working in the United States. The more you know. Of course we’ll share Canadian labour market trends and predictions as soon as we have them.

Occupations with the largest projected job growth

Registered Nurses

Retail Salespersons

Home Health Aides

Personal Care Aides

Office Clerks, General

Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food

Customer Service Representatives

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

Postsecondary Teachers

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

Childcare Workers

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks


Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Receptionists and Information Clerks

Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products

Construction Laborers

Medical Secretaries

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers


Waiters and Waitresses

Security Guards

Teacher Assistants

Accountants and Auditors

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

Physicians and Surgeons

Medical Assistants

Occupations with the largest projected job declines

Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

Sewing Machine Operators

Postal Service Mail Carriers

Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

Postal Service Clerks

Cooks, Fast Food

Miscellaneous Agricultural Workers

Data Entry Keyers

Word Processors and Typists

Download the full report here.

Category: Industry News & Insights,