Author: Jeff Rosenthal
The Labor & Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) of the North Carolina Department of Commerce has recently produced long term employment projections for the 2018-2028 period. We plan to have several short blogs to provide highlights of the findings.
This second summary will look at the occupational employment projections and earnings.
What’s going on with occupational projections?
Much like the industry projections, most occupational groups are projected to experience growth in employment. This is not surprising as industry employment projections are a primary data source used to project changes in occupational employment. As jobs in service-providing industries are projected to grow, jobs in occupations in most of these industries are also projected to increase, while occupations in goods-producing industries outside Construction may see projected decline.
Table 1 shows occupational employment estimates for 2018-2028. The five largest occupational groups together are expected to account for almost half of the total employment in 2028: Office & Administrative Support Occupations; Sales & Related Occupations; Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations; Transportation & Material Moving Occupations; and Production Occupations. These represent the largest occupational groups in North Carolina, and most are expected to see increase in employment.
Table 1. North Carolina Employment Projections by Major Occupational Group, 2018-2028
|Occupational Group||Employment Estimate 2018||Employment Estimate 2028||Net Change||Percent Change||Annualized Growth Rate||2018 Annual Median Wage|
|Computer & Mathematical||142,376||164,297||21,921||15.4%||1.4%||$84,680|
|Architecture & Engineering||67,693||72,666||4,973||7.4%||0.7%||$72,930|
|Business & Financial Operations||241,702||267,809||26,107||10.8%||1.0%||$65,820|
|Life, Physical, & Social Science||37,919||41,538||3,619||9.5%||0.9%||$61,660|
|Healthcare Practitioners & Technical||288,829||322,864||34,035||11.8%||1.1%||$60,790|
|Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media||61,342||64,473||3,131||5.1%||0.5%||$45,280|
|Community & Social Service||81,592||90,493||8,901||10.9%||1.0%||$44,300|
|Education, Training & Library||271,124||285,891||14,767||5.5%||0.5%||$43,650|
|Installation, Maintenance, & Repair||202,632||212,767||10,135||5.0%||0.5%||$43,620|
|Construction & Extraction||201,178||225,522||24,344||12.1%||1.1%||$37,850|
|Total, All Occupations||4,791,820||5,094,159||302,339||6.3%||0.6%||$35,750|
|Office & Administrative Support||650,774||650,044||-730||-0.1%||0.0%||$34,300|
|Transportation & Material Moving||340,088||357,338||17,250||5.1%||0.5%||$29,690|
|Farming, Fishing, & Forestry||35,183||34,066||-1,117||-3.2%||-0.3%||$28,370|
|Sales & Related||514,255||522,635||8,380||1.6%||0.2%||$25,790|
|Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance||166,852||179,096||12,244||7.3%||0.7%||$24,190|
|Personal Care & Service||159,001||180,811||21,810||13.7%||1.3%||$22,050|
|Food Preparation & Serving Related||429,369||480,733||51,364||12.0%||1.1%||$19,840|
Besides the largest growing Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations (+51,000), other occupational groups expected to increase the most include Healthcare Practitioners & Technical (+34,000), Business & Financial Operations (+26,100), Construction & Extraction (+24,300), and Management Occupations (+24,100).
While Computer & Mathematical Occupations (software developers, systems analysts, etc.) are projected to grow the fastest, Healthcare Support Occupations (healthcare assistants and aides, etc.), Personal Care & Service Occupations (attendants, care workers, hairdressers, etc.), Construction & Extraction Occupations (construction laborers, carpenters, etc.), Food Preparation & Serving Related (waiters and waitresses, cooks, etc.) and Healthcare Practitioners & Technical Occupations (doctors, nurses, technicians, etc.) are all among the top fastest expanding groups (Figure 1). Again, these are reflective of projected growth in industries such as Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services.
There are two distinct findings regarding pay and projected growth. The first one is that occupational groups with earnings above the state median occupational wage ($35,750) are generally projected to grow faster than average, while occupational groups with pay lower than the state median occupational wage will likely grow slower than average. (Table 1).
However, upon closer inspection, occupations at both the lowest and highest ends of the wage scale will experience the fastest growth (Table 1). Occupational groups with median annual wages below the 25th percentile ($23,830) are expected to grow 12% between 2018 and 2028. Groups with median annual wages above the 75th percentile ($56,100) are expected to increase by 11%. Occupational groups with median annual wages between the 25th and 75th percentiles are projected to grow only 4% (Table 1).
While there’s a stark difference in wages, many of the occupations in these high-growth groups have one thing in common – the dominance of non-routine tasks* (which are difficult to automate) in the daily work. The occupational groups with a high degree of regular, routine work are projected to decline partly due to automation.
Additional resources for the 2018-2028 Employment Projections can be found from the links below:
• Projection Summary: North Carolina Employment Projections 2018-2028
• Impact of COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts on the NC Employment Projections
• Projections Data by Industry and Occupation