The pace of U.S. labor-force growth over the next ten years will slacken, retarding the growth of the U.S. economy, according to the Labor Department.
The economy will generate 9.8 million extra jobs from 2014 to 2024, growing from 150.5 million jobs in 2014 to 160.3 million jobs in 2024. Many of additional jobs will be lower-wage jobs. Among the 15 fastest-growing job types, 2.7 million new jobs will pay $32,000 or less, while 867,000 jobs will pay above $32,000 a year.
The Labor Department’s biennial employment estimates for 2014-2024 predict an annual rate of growth of 0.5 percent for the work-age population, a slight downturn from 0.6 percent between 2004-2014 and a huge decrease from the 1.2 percent rate between 1994 and 2004. Overall, the number of people in the workforce will grow from 155.9 million up to 163.8 million.
Compared to the annual growth rate of 1.6% between 1950 and 2000, the next decade looks bleak indeed.
Labor force participation, currently scraping the bottom at 62.5 percent, close to a 38-year low, also will take a hit, plunging from 62.9 percent in 2014 to 60.9 percent in 2024.
The nation’s Gross Domestic Product will grow by 2.2 percent every year between 2014 and 2024, up to $19.9 trillion in 2024.
The drop in the unemployment rate from 10 percent in October 2009 to the current 5.0 percent rate has largely derived from the reduced labor force participation rate. As Forbes reported in January 2014, “all of the decline in the U3 headline unemployment rate since President Obama entered office has been due to workers leaving the work force, and therefore no longer counted as unemployed, rather than to new jobs created.”
Service industries will providing 94.6 percent of all new jobs between 2014 and 2024. That growth will produce 9.3 million additional jobs in the healthcare and social assistance sector. That growth includes 348,000 new home health-aides, earning $21,380 a year.
The report says 790,400 jobs are expected to be created in construction by 2024. The department concluded bleakly, “Even with these additional jobs, employment in the construction major sector is not projected to return to the 2006 peak.”
Manufacturing jobs are estimated to decline 0.7 percent rate annually between 2014-2024; production and farming, fishing, and forestry jobs will be cut by 339,300 jobs at the same time.