The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, the Bureau) projections for the
During the decade of the 1960s, labor productivity grew at an annual average rate of 2.9 percent, spurred by the aerospace program and strong defense-related demand. During the 1970s, labor productivity growth slowed to 1.8 percent annually as businesses struggled to deal with skyrocketing petroleum prices, energy shortages, sharp cutbacks in defense spending, and a deemphasize of aerospace research programs. The 1980s were marked by even slower productivity growth—1.5 percent each year over the decade—as large expenditures by businesses on computers and other technologies seemed to have no impact on the statistics and as significant corporate restructuring (downsizing, contracting out, and so forth) worked through the economy. In the early part of the 1990s, the economy moved into a recession, further muting productivity growth, but the stage was set for the longest sustained recovery in the post-World War II economy. The unemployment rate fell for eight straight years, from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4.0 percent in 2000, the lowest reading in 30 years. Although it is difficult to predict whether the tight labor
market of the recent past will persist, the BLS model has assumed an unemployment rate of 4.0 percent in 2010, the same rate as in 2000. (See table 9.) Overall, civilian household employment
is projected to increase by 1.1 percent per year from 2000 to 2010, or 1.62 million persons per year. The result is that more than 16 million employed persons will be added to the economy over the 10-year projection period. Total employment measured on a non farm establishment basis is expected to grow at a rate of 1.4 percent between 2000 and 2010, from 131.8 million to 152.0 million, an increase of 20.2 million jobs. The civilian labor force is projected to grow at a rate of 1.1 percent per year from 2000 to 2010, the same rate of increase as that attained over the preceding 10-year period.
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