NEW YORK (MainStreet) — More than 15 million new jobs are projected to be created in the next ten years, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and most of them will be in occupations and industries related to healthcare.

Two-thirds of the 30 occupations with the largest projected employment increase from 2012 to 2022 typically don't require a college degree. But the occupations that do generally had higher median wages ($57,770) in 2012 and are expect to grow faster (14.0%) over the next ten years than jobs that require a high school diploma or less ($27,670 and 9.1%).

But growth of the labor force is slowing, with expectations of expansion at a rate of 0.5% over the next decade, compared to a 0.7% annual growth from 2002 to 2012, according to the BLS. In fact, of the 50.6 million total job openings predicted for the next 10 years, more than two-thirds (67.2%) are projected to come from replacement needs, rather than growth.

And the workforce is continuing to gray: the BLS says by 2022 workers 55 and older will comprise over one-quarter of the labor pool. With slower employment expansion comes limited economic growth. Despite many optimistic predictions by economists, the BLS expects gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 2.6% over the next decade, less than the 3% growth seen from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s. Most employment growth is expected to be generated by service industries:

  • The health care and social assistance sector is projected to add 5 million jobs in the coming decade, nearly one-third of the total projected increase in employment.
  • Employment in the construction sector is projected to grow 2.6% annually with 1.6 million new jobs over the next 10 years.
  • Five industry sectors are projected to have decreases in employment: manufacturing (-549,500); federal government (-407,500); agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (-223,500); information (-65,200); and utilities (-56,400)
  • Four major occupational groups are projected to grow more than 20% -- nearly double the overall growth -- from 2012 to 2022: health-care support occupations (28.1%), healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (21.5%), construction and extraction occupations (21.4%), and personal care and service occupations (20.9%).
  • Every major job classification except farming, fishing, and forestry occupations is projected to gain jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet