By Andrew Soergel – December 17, 2015
Future employment prospects look bleak for government employees, manufacturers and postal carriers, according to a report issued Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau’s biennial Occupational Outlook Handbook, which was released Thursday and offers a glimpse into how the government expects America’s ever-changing labor market to evolve over the course of the next decade, brought good news to sectors like health care and business services; positions in these sectors are widely expected to increase in number between now and 2024.
But labor market improvement is expected to be anything but universal. Government and manufacturing payrolls, both of which are currently in decline, aren’t expected to buck their negative trend over the course of the next several years.
The manufacturing sector is expected to have 814,000 fewer new job openings by 2024 when compared to 2014, while new federal government job openings are expected to contract by more than 383,000. Jobs in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and construction are all expected to see new positions climb over the next several years.
That manufacturing and government positions are expected to decline isn’t terribly surprising. The government’s most recent Employment Situation Summary issued earlier this month showed the manufacturing sector shed a net of 8,000 jobs over the course of the last three months. Government payrolls were down 12,000 positions over the same period.
What’s more surprising is the relatively large group of industries who are likely due for layoffs and job cuts. While manufacturing and government employment are at the bottom of the list in terms of job creation, neither is expected to see the most cuts to existing payrolls between now and 2024.
That ignominious honor goes to postal service workers, whose workforce is expected to contract by 165,000. The number of federal non-defense government workers is expected to decline by more than 110,000. Newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers are expected to round out the bottom 3 with more than 103,000 job losses.