need for workers originates in the demand for the goods and services
that they provide. So, in order to project employment, BLS estimates the
production of final—or complete—goods and services produced in the
United States for each year of the projections decade. This measure is
called gross domestic product (GDP). Then, BLS estimates the size—in
inflation-adjusted dollars—of the five major categories of production.
The categories are the following:
Gross private domestic investment. This includes business
investment in equipment and software, the construction of factories
and office buildings, the construction of residential structures,
and changes in business inventories.
Government purchases. Government purchases include goods
and services bought by Federal, State, and local governments.
Exports. These are goods and services produced in the
United States and purchased in foreign countries.
Imports. Imports are goods and services produced abroad
and purchased in the United States. Because GDP measures production
in the United States, the value of imports is subtracted from the
other four categories of GDP.
This includes the
things that individuals buy, including goods (such as automobiles,
clothes, and food) and services (such as education, healthcare, and
- Personal consumption expenditures.
Finally, BLS breaks down these major categories into more detailed
ones, such as the production of medical services, automobiles, and food
Changes in the level and composition of production will affect
industry employment levels. For example, an increased level of business
investment in microcomputers will increase employment in the computer
industry and in all those industries, such as electronic components,
that provide inputs to the computer industry. In turn, occupations that
those industries employ also will grow.
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