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Even slow-growing occupations will need workers

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Slow job growth ahead. Watch for disappearing workers. These might be the road signs for the recent 10-year occupational employment projections from the Oregon Employment Department. Despite only 14% job growth expected between 2006 and 2016, the projections show more than 700,000 openings for workers who are new to their occupations. Two-thirds of these openings will be caused by the need to replace workers leaving occupations — mostly through retirement or shifts to new occupations. Slow-growth production jobs, for example, with aging workforces, promise a wave of retirements and replacement openings for managers to fill. Many other employers will be competing for new workers to fill openings in more rapidly growing occupations such as retail salesperson, registered nurse, office clerk and waiter. Even the 40 occupations we expect to decline in size by 2016 will — as a group — need many new workers to replace the even larger number who will leave these occupations.  

Jessica Nelson
Worksource Oregon Employment economist
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