The number of jobs in the United States is projected to increase by 8.3 million between 2021 and 2031, but not all jobs or industries will grow at the same rate. Looking at the fastest-growing occupations and jobs in the United States doesn’t just help guide people trying to figure out what career path to follow, it can also provide insight into the country and its economy.
An occupation is a broad category that includes many similar jobs, often requiring similar skills, education, or training. For example, teaching is an occupation that can include jobs like elementary school teacher, high school math teacher, or college professor. Some occupations are specific to just one or two industries, but many span across several industries. For example, teachers may work in schools, government, healthcare, or various other industries.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, these occupations will see the greatest percentage change in employment by 2031.
There are 924,000 new jobs projected for home health and personal care aides by 2031—more than double the amount of any other occupation. Restaurant cooks, software developers, and fast food and counter workers are also projected to grow considerably in total employment. Here are the top 20 occupations projected to add the most total jobs by 2031:
Seventy-five percent of major industry sectors (excluding agriculture and special industries) are projected to grow by 2031. Similar trends among the fastest-growing jobs are also driving the fastest-growing industries. Leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, mining, and educational services have the most projected employment growth.
The top 10 states that are projected to have the fastest job growth are:
Data on job growth comes from the most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected data on the growth or contraction of hundreds of occupations since 1949, when the first Occupational Outlook Handbook, which was a physical book, was published. It went digital in 1995. Since 1984, the BLS has relied on employment data from its Occupational Employment Statistics survey to make its projections. It also uses various other federal data sources to inform Americans about the wages they can expect in these jobs.
Data on state job growth comes from Projections Central, which is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and relies on data from labor departments in each state.
These datasets continue to help Americans find jobs that will be in high demand and earn them enough to make ends meet. But they also paint a picture of where the economy is headed. Healthcare will become increasingly important as the population ages, while more workers will be employed in the construction and maintenance of green technologies as the country responds to climate change. The way Americans shop and do business online has opened up both dangers and opportunities for companies, leading to growth in jobs handling data and information security.
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