More Job Opportunities Predicted

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Washington--For the next 11 years, advancements in technology will continue to create jobs for workers in some occupations while reducing the demand for workers in others, the most recent projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate.

By 1995, the U.S. economy still will need workers with a wide range of job skills, but not all of the new positions will require college or specialized training, according to the bls However, employment opportunities are expected to increase "significantly" in each category, according to analyses by several bls economists in the November 1983 Monthly Labor Review.

A projected increase in the demand for medical services, for example, will require large numbers of nursing aides and orderlies in addition to highly trained medical practitioners, according to George T. Silvestri, John M. Lukasiewicz, and Marcus E. Einstein of the agency.

But other occupational areas will be negatively affected by technological changes at least through the mid-1990's, they predict. The growth in employment opportunities for typists and assembly-line workers will be slow as a result of the use of word-processing equipment in the case of the former group and industrial robots in the latter.

The demand for workers in some traditional occupations will grow despite widespread technological advances, the economists add. By the mid-1990's, they predict, more workers will be needed to drive trucks, to clean a growing number of buildings, to perform health and personal services, to provide police and fire protection for an increased U.S. population, and to maintain and repair a larger stock of automobiles, appliances, and factory equipment.

In the high-technology field, where employment already has grown at a rate faster than that of the economy, jobs for scientists, engineers, technicians, and computer specialists will continue to grow during the remainder of this decade and the first part of the next, the economists suggest. But jobs created in high technology will represent only a small proportion of all new jobs during that same period, they point out.

Two other bls economists, Howard N. Fullerton Jr. and John Tschetter, provide revised projections on the size of the workforce. It will increase from its current level of about 110 million people to 131.4 million by 1995, they write.

Two-thirds of the growth, the economists predict, will be among women workers and about one-fourth will be among blacks and members of other minority groups.

As more women enter the work force, they note, one of the occupational areas that will be most affected is the education field. The number of jobs for kindergarten and elementary-school teachers as well as teachers' aides is expected to grow "substantially" as the children born between 1976 and 1987 go through the education system.

The economists also predict that the number of jobs for secondary-level teachers will continue to decline until 1990.--sgf

Vol. 03, Issue 28

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