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Professional and related occupations are projected to grow faster and add more jobs than any other major occupational group, with 6.5 million new jobs by 2012. Three-fourths of the job growth in professional and related occupations is expected among computer and mathematical occupations; healthcare practitioners and technical occupations; and education, training, and library occupations. With 5.3 million job openings due to replacement needs, professional and related occupations are the only major group projected to generate more openings from job growth than from replacement needs.
Service occupations are projected to have the largest number of total job openings, 13 million, reflecting high replacement needs. A large number of replacements will be necessary as young workers leave food preparation and service occupations. Replacement needs generally are greatest in the largest occupations and in those with relatively low pay or limited training requirements.
Office automation will significantly affect many individual office and administrative support occupations. Overall, these occupations are projected to grow more slowly than average, while some are projected to decline. Office and administrative support occupations are projected to create 7.5 million job openings over the 2002-12 period, ranking third behind service and professional and related occupations.
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations are projected to have the fewest job openings, approximately 335,000. Because job growth is expected to be slow, and levels of retirement and job turnover high, more than 85 percent of these projected job openings are due to replacement needs.
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