Largest growth expected in professional and business industries
OLYMPIA – You don’t need a crystal ball or a time machine to predict the future of employment in Washington state. If you’re trying to decide which career path to take or whether to change careers, the Employment Security Department’s Annual 2015 employment projections could help you find your direction.
ESD’s annual employment projections report provides job seekers, policy-makers and training providers an idea of how many jobs exist within industries and occupations, how the number of jobs are expected to change over time and what the future demand for workers will be.
ESD’s Labor Market and Performance Analysis (LMPA) Division produces industry and occupational projections for two, five and 10 years from a specific base period.
Average annual growth from 2013 through 2023 projected at 1.79 percent
The department projects the 10-year average annual growth rate for total nonfarm employment in Washington will be 1.79 percent from 2013 through 2015. This year’s annual projections show growth in all 12 workforce development areas through 2023, ranging from as high as 1.94 percent growth in Seattle-King County to as low as 1.43 percent in the Olympic Consortium, representing Kitsap, Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Growth and decreases by industry and occupation
On an industry-by-industry basis, the department projects the largest increase by share of employment in the professional and business sectors. The manufacturing and government sectors are expected to see the largest decrease by share of employment.
Looking at the state’s major occupation groups, the report projects the largest percentage increases by share of employment in construction and extraction with growth expected at .11 percent. The number of construction jobs dropped significantly during the Great Recession and, in last year’s report, ESD projected construction to begin partially regaining ground. In this year’s report, the trend continues.
Office and administrative support occupations, sales and related occupations and food preparation and serving-related occupations all top the list of occupations by total share of employment, representing 12.65 percent, 10.17 percent and 7.39 percent of the state’s total employment in 2013 respectively.
While the report shows these three occupations continuing to top the list of occupations by share of employment in 2023, both office and administrative support jobs and sales and related occupations jobs are projected to see slight decreases of .11 percent and .18 percent respectively.
Converting occupations projections to skills
New to the report this year is an attempt to convert occupation projections into skills projections to help job seekers, education and training professionals and policy makers identify skills the future workforce will need to succeed in the job market of the future.
State researchers drew their data from the WANTED database, pulling the top 100 hard skills for each occupation and identifying how many times that skill was listed across various job openings to determine the relative importance of each skill.
The top three hard skills were food preparation, bilingual and quality assurance.
The fastest growth is projected for skills related to information technology.
WorkSource connects employers and jobseekers
Jobseekers wishing to capitalize on this information by exploring new job opportunities should visit their local WorkSource office. Similarly, employers seeking a skilled workforce should consider posting their opening with WorkSource.
Washington’s WorkSource system is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that deliver a wide array of employment and training services for job seekers and employers.
In 2014, staff at 68 WorkSource centers, affiliates and connections sites helped roughly 169,500 workers and nearly 5,600 Washington employers.
Studies have shown that people who use WorkSource job-search services tend to find work faster and earn more money than those who don’t. WorkSource locations can be found at go2worksource.com.