Where Tomorrow's Jobs Will Be

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In 1900, 44% of all jobs were in agriculture. By 2000, 2.4% were.

The job market changes fast. Today's jobs won't be tomorrow's.

So where might tomorrow's jobs be?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released estimates of where new jobs will be created over the next decade. Have a look:

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In total, nonagricultural jobs should expand to 150 million from 130 million between 2010 and 2020, BLS reckons.

A few interesting notes:

  • Construction-related jobs make up one-quarter of the fastest-growing occupations over the next decade, but total employment in most construction occupations likely won't reach pre-2007 levels by 2020. Even though these industries are growing briskly, they're coming off such a savage decline that employment levels aren't likely to hit new highs for a long time.
  • As BLS notes: "Over the 2010-20 decade, 54.8 million total job openings are expected. While growth will lead to many openings, more than half -- 61.6 percent -- will come from the need to replace workers who retire or otherwise permanently leave an occupation."
  • 18 of the 30 jobs with the highest projected job openings require less than a college degree.

Of course, these are mere projections susceptible to being wrong -- so, grain, salt, all that stuff. Some of the smarter economic analysts I follow make strong arguments for the idea that most new jobs in the coming decades will be in industries we can't yet fathom -- they haven't been invented yet -- so trying to forecast the job market is a lost cause.

What do you think? Does this chart mesh with your vision of the coming decade? Sound off in the comments section below.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorMorgan Houseldoesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Follow him on Twitter @TMFHousel.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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