The Changing Workforce in Alabama
What will the job outlook be in Alabama over the next decade? The Alabama
Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Division has
compiled data on projected future employment opportunities to assist the
citizens of Alabama in their effort to obtain gainful employment.
In reviewing the information provided, please keep in mind your unique
interests, qualifications and educational training goals. The key to successful
employment decision making is the knowledge you obtain about upcoming trends in
the job market. Hopefully this information will enable you to make informed and
appropriate career choices.
National Population and Workforce Projections
The total civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age or older in the
United States was 233.8 millioni
in 2008 with a labor force population of 154.3 millionii.
By the year 2018, the civilian working age population is projected to increase
to 258.9 millioni and the labor force is expected to climb to 166.9
While women in the labor force are expected to increase annually by .9 percent
from 2008 to 2018, men will only increase .7 percent per year. The labor force
in 2018 is expected to be older and more diverse. It is projected that people 55
years and older will make up 23.9 percent of the labor force. This is an
increase of 3.6 percent for the period. The Hispanic population should show
varied rates of growth depending on the area of the country. By 2018, the
Hispanic labor force is projected to reach 29.3 million, an increase of 33.1
percent over the period. Groups other than Hispanic are expected to grow only
4.0 percent over the periodii.
As the baby boomer generation ages, the median age of the labor force is
expected to rise from 41.2iii
years of age to 42.3iii by the year 2018. About 63.5 percentii
of the labor force will be 25 to 54 years of age as compared to 23.9 percentii
of the labor force 55 and over. The 55 and older group is expected to grow the
fastest among all age groups; 4.5 timesii the overall labor force.
The subgroup driving this growth is 65 to 74 years of age with a 2.3 percentiv
annual growth rate.
New entrants into the U.S. labor force will account for over 20% of the total
labor force during the 2008-2018 periods. Just fewer than 74.4 percent of these
will be White, 24.5 will be Hispanic, 14.4 Black, and 7.5 Asian. Growth in the
Hispanic share of the civilian labor force is expected to outpace other groups
due to overall population growth including high birth rates, larger numbers of
immigrants, and the higher labor force participation rates of Hispanic menv.
Statewide Population and Employment Outlook
The population in Alabama is expected to increase from just over 4.6 million in
2008 to close to 5.1 million by the year 2018vi.
Industry employment in the state will increase over 10.5% for the period, for an
annual average increase of 1.01 percentvii.
Alabama’s economy is expected to provide an estimated 233,930 new jobs by 2018vii.
Around 65% of all projected employment opportunities over the 10-year period
will be due to employee turnover and retirements, and the remainder should be
attributed to growthvii.
Employment in Major Industries
Net change is the difference between the 2008 and 2018 employment levels for the
10 year projection period. Percent
change represents the share of net change to the 2006 employment level. Industries that provide
services are expected to add 199,750 and this translates to an employment change
of just under 12.5%. Within the
Service Providing Group, Healthcare and Social Assistance is anticipated to have
the most new jobs with 44,510. This
is followed by Accommodation and Food Services with 23,640 additional jobs and
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services with an
addition of 22,620 openings by 2018.
Industries that produce goods are anticipating 20,440 new jobs with 5% change in
the employment level. In Goods
Producing, Construction is expected to have 15,290 openings. The Manufacturing sector follows with
a net change of 5,500 in employment.
This small change in employment openings is due to the difference in Durable
Goods with 17,260 and Nondurable Goods with a loss of 11,760 jobs through 2018vii.
Employment by Occupation
Total job openings represent openings due to growth as well as replacement needs
due to attrition. Sales and Related Occupations are expected to provide the
highest number of 10,825 total job openings per year through 2018 with 10,165.
Annually, 2,425 openings are expected due to growth and the remaining 7,720
should be due to replacement. Office and Administrative Support Occupations
follow closely with 9,855 total average annual openings and Food Preparation and
Serving Related Occupations with 7,310. Office and Administrative Support
Occupations expect 2,680 new job openings and replacement openings of 7,165.
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations should expect 2,455 new and
4,855 replacement openings annually through 2018vii.
Fastest Growing Occupations Alabama 2008-2018
In terms of high growth, Healthcare Support Occupations are expected to
grow the most, at an annual average rate of 2.11%. Computer and Mathematical
Occupations are expected to grow an average 2.03% annually with 825 new jobs and
830 needed for occupational replacementvii.
Through 2018, half of Alabama’s top 25 fastest growing occupations are expected
to be in either health related or computer related occupations. Of the top 25,
Bill and Account Collectors are expected to have the smallest employment gain of
just over 27%, from 2008 to 2018. Fifth on the fast-growing list, Home Health
Aides is projected to add the greatest quantity of jobs over the period with
3,900, climbing from 10,530 in 2008 to 14,430 in 2018. Topping the fast-growing
list is Veterinary Technologists and Technicians. This somewhat small occupation
in the state with only 800 employees is expected to grow 47.5% over the period,
adding 380 jobsvii.
Although fast growing occupations offer new employment opportunities because of
growth, they may not provide the high number of annual job openings in
comparison to high demand occupationsvii.
Selected High Demand Occupations Alabama 2008-2018
Occupations classified as high demand
are selected based on growth rate, annual openings, and wage criteria. Thirteen of the top forty occupations
are health related. These
occupations are Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Registered Nurses, Dental
Hygienists, Veterinarians, Medical and Public Health Social Workers, Medical
Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Physical Therapist Assistants, Home Health
Aides, Occupational Therapists, Dental Assistants, and Anesthesiologists. Of all the occupations on the entire
list, Registered Nurses are expected to have the most openings with 1,525 per
year. Six Computer and Mathematical
Occupations met the high demand criteria and four appear at the top of the list;
Computer Software Engineers, Applications, Network Systems and Data
Communications Analysts, Computer Systems Analysts, and Computer Software
Engineers, Systems Software. Applications Computer Software Engineers is the
number one occupation overall on the high demand list with 190 average annual
openings per year, but Computer Systems Analysts are anticipated to have the
most openings for the Computer and Mathematical Occupations group with an annual
average 380 jobs through 2018. Three
of the occupations making the high demand list over the period are production
occupations, which are high skilled occupations requiring an associate degree or
less. These occupations include Welding, Solderers, and Brazing Machine Setters,
Team Assemblers, and Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems
Assemblers. Of these three, Team Assemblers is expected to experience the
largest number of average annual openings with 1,460.
Selected Declining Occupations Alabama 2008-2018
Occupations classified as declining
are selected based on the net loss of jobs over the period and also a minimum of
10 percent decline through 2018. Half of the 20 jobs listed are Production
Occupations, which are jobs directly involved in creating new goods. Sewing
Machine Operators are number one on the
declining list with a net loss of 1,760 jobs.
Seven out of the 20 fastest declining jobs over the period are expected
in Office and Administrative Support Occupations.
These occupations include File Clerks, Order Clerks, Computer Operators,
Switchboard Operators, Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Postal Service
Mail Sorters, and New Accounts Clerks. Of
these office jobs, File Clerks are projected to decrease by 960 jobs over the 10
For more information about Alabama Workforce,
call (334) 242-8855 or email email@example.com.
Sources of Information:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.
Table 2. Civilian noninstitutional population by sex,
age, race, and Hispanic origin, 1988, 1998, 2008, and projected 2018; Available
ii U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.
Table 1. Civilian labor force by sex, age, race, and
Hispanic origin, 1988, 1998, 2008, and projected 2018; Available from:
iii U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.
Table 6. Median ages of the labor force, by sex, race,
and ethnic origin, 1988, 1998, 2008 and projected 2018; Available from:
iv U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program.
Table 3. Civilian labor force participation rates by
sex, age, race, and Hispanic origin, 1988, 1998, 2008, and projected 2018;
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment
Table 5. Civilian labor force,
1998 and 2008, and projected 2018, and entrants and leavers, actual 1998-2008
and projected, 2018; Available from:
Center for Business and Economic Research.
Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions,
States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2010 & Alabama County
Population Projections 2010-2035; Available from:
Alabama Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Division,
WIA Unit; Available from: