The most new jobs projected for 2022 (and beyond) are expected to be in occupations requiring a high school diploma or equivalent. These occupations are projected to add 4.6 million new jobs. About a quarter of these new jobs will be in healthcare and social assistance. Another major area of projected growth for people with a high school diploma or equivalent is construction, which is expected to add almost 1 million jobs as construction regains jobs lost during the 2007–2009 recession.
The second largest number of new jobs projected for 2022 is expected to be in occupations that do not require a high school diploma. About 4.2 million new jobs are projected for occupations in which a high school diploma is not required. Of these, personal care aides and home health aides are projected to add a combined 1.0 million new jobs.
Employment of healthcare support occupations is projected to increase 28.1 percent from 2012 to 2022, the fastest growth of any major occupational group. Much like the healthcare practitioners group, more than half of job openings in healthcare support occupations are expected to be a result of new jobs rather than of openings resulting from replacement needs.
Home health aides is a major driver of this fast growth, as the occupation is projected to grow 48.5 percent and account for more than one-third of the jobs added within this occupational group between 2012 and 2022. The growing elderly population will continue to require more care as they age because they are more likely to develop health issues and mobility problems. Moreover, many people are choosing to remain in their homes as they age, as aging in one’s home may be more convenient and less expensive than alternatives such as moving to a nursing home or healthcare facility. Home health aides will be needed to help these people with a variety of daily tasks.
Healthcare support occupations tend to have lower education requirements than the healthcare practitioners discussed in the prior section. About half of the jobs that are projected to be created among healthcare support occupations will be in occupations that typically require a postsecondary “nondegree award”; most of the remainder will be in occupations that usually require a high school diploma or less.
In addition to projecting occupational growth—that is, the number of new jobs expected—BLS provides estimates of the number of jobs that will need to be filled in each occupation as workers change occupations, retire, or leave the labor force and need to be replaced. These projections of job openings from replacement needs, when combined with projected job openings from occupational growth, provide a more complete picture of the opportunities job seekers will encounter in the coming decade than is provided by projected employment alone.
Replacement needs exist independently of growth. So if an occupation is projected to gain 1,000 new jobs, and 2,000 people who currently work in the occupation are expected to leave it over the next 10 years, then the total number of positions projected to be available to jobseekers is the sum of the two sources of openings, or 3,000.
Across the economy as a whole, job openings from replacement needs are projected to account for about twice as many openings as those from growth. This means that 2 out of every 3 job openings are expected to be for replacing workers who leave an occupation.