Fastest-Growing US Jobs Include Fast Food, Retail

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Employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show significant growth in low-skill, low-paying jobs in the next decade and fewer blue-collar jobs that pay well.

What do fast-food workers, secretaries, retail clerks and health care assistants all have in common? They top the list of occupations that will experience significant growth in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Just a handful of occupations — personal care aides, registered nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides (all in health care), along with retail salespeople and food-prep workers — will account for 1 in 6 new jobs in the next decade,” the Atlantic wrote about the report.

That’s depressing, considering that retail, fast-food and some caregiver jobs don’t pay very well and don’t have benefits.

So, what will employment look like overall in 2022, according to the BLS?

  • Service jobs, which made up about 30 percent of the 1950 workforce, will be about 50 percent of the workforce in 2022.
  • Creative class jobs — high-paying jobs in business, technology, management, arts and entertainment — represented about 15 percent of the workforce in 1950. That number will double by 2022.

How will well-paying, working-class jobs fare? Not so good. The BLS data shows that blue-collar jobs, which once fostered a thriving American middle class, are all but disappearing.

Jobs in construction, factory production and transportation made up nearly half of the workforce in 1950. By 2022, that number will have dropped to 20 percent. 

This paints a disconcerting picture of what America’s workforce will look like in 2022. The Atlantic said:

Greater New York may be home to a large share of the country’s super-rich, but it is also projected to be the large metro that will see the fastest growth in low-wage service jobs. Other locations that are projected to see high levels of service-class job growth appear in the old industrial regions of the country – upstate New York, Ohio, Michigan, and other parts of the Midwest and Rocky Mountains. These are the places where good working-class jobs have been eliminated, and where employment growth will continue to be dominated by low-paying, insecure service class jobs.

Click here to view a number of maps tracking job growth across the country.

What do you think of the new projections? Do you anticipate changes where you live? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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