Labor Department Releases Annual Workforce Report on Jobs

Monday, October 25, 2010 | 11:12 am
 Employment Trends, Industry Projections, Wages and Benefits Analyzed Through 2018
 
NASHVILLE – The Labor Market Information Section of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development today released its Annual Workforce Report for 2010. The report assesses the state of employment opportunity throughout Tennessee’s work force – including trends in the composition of the workforce and data concerning wages and benefits – and includes analysis of the state’s burgeoning green jobs industry. 
 
Employment data in Tennessee has reflected a significantly deteriorating economy from the last half of 2008 through early 2009, with some stabilization apparent by July 2009. Average employment declined by 155,900, or 5.6 percent, from 2008 to 2009. 
 
The rapid decline of industries ended by the third or fourth quarter of 2009 when the year-over-year monthly declines largely disappeared.   Unemployment has declined modestly from a peak of 11.4 percent in January 2010, but workforce recovery may be slow with projections for the short term in Tennessee for the years 2010 and 2011 showing practically no change in the total employment for Tennessee. 

Short-Term Employment
Employment for the short term (through 2011) is projected to remain very flat at about 0.0 percent per year. Goods-producing industries are projected to lose more than 15,000 jobs. Service-providing industries may grow more than 18,000 jobs, with the bulk of job growth in education and health services (over 26,000 jobs), while trade, transportation, and utilities may lose more than 14,000 jobs. Construction is expected to fall 3.1 percent annually; manufacturing to fall 1.7 percent.   Health care and social assistance as well as arts, entertainment, and recreation are expected to increase strongly. Additionally, accommodation and food services; educational services; professional scientific, technical services; and forestry and agriculture are also expected to increase significantly. 

Top Five Occupations by Growth Rate (2009-2011)
Annual Growth Rate
Median Annual Wage
Rehabilitation Counselors
7.6%
$21,370
Physical Therapists
5.1%
$75,230
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
5.0%
$24,630
Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software
4.9%
$74,660
Home Health Aides
4.7%
$19,560
 
Long-Term Growth
Long-term growth is projected to be positive, an inverse to the short-term decline now being experienced. Growth through 2018 is expected to be about 0.5 percent annually. Manufacturing is projected to decline at 1.6 percent over the 2008-2018 period. Education and health services as well as professional and business services are expected to grow at 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.
 
Five Fastest Growing Occupations (2008-2018)
Annual Growth Rate
Median Annual Wage
Home Health Aides
4.7%
$19,560
Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
4.1%
$65,800
Self-Enrichment Education Teachers
3.1%
$30,940
Personal and Home Care Aides
3.0%
$18,320
Directors, Religious Activities and Education
2.8%
$50,730
 
Wages and Educational Levels
The average increase for wages across all industries during the 21-month period from the fourth quarter 2003 through the first quarter of 2008 was approximately 2.0 percent annually. Since the current recession began, following the peak in December 2007, overall wages in Tennessee have continued to increase. Tennessee has seen a slight 1.37 percent annual growth rate in wages for reporting industries. The decline in annual wage growth would have been worse had there not been increases in employment in the professional and technical services and health care and social assistance industries. These industries tend to require high technical skills and have higher average wages. 

Five Largest Occupational Wage Increases in Tennessee in 2009
Annual Mean
Mean %
Athletes and Sports Competitors
$117,460
27.6%
Podiatrists
$109,710
21.9%
Orthodontists
$226,590
18.3%
Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas
$26,420
18.2%
Farm, Ranch, and other Agricultural Managers
$79,100
17.5%

Wages are directly related to educational attainment. Thirteen of the 15 highest paying jobs in the state are in health care fields with all of these jobs requiring college degrees or more. Although wages have increased during the last few years, growth is uneven across industries, with lower paid workers falling further behind. Individuals with bachelor’s degrees will have a tougher job market, even somewhat worse for those with just some postsecondary education. Those without degrees are expected to be the hardest hit, with employment declining from 1.3 to 2.2 percent per year.

Employment of individuals with professional degrees (doctors, lawyers, pharmacists) is projected to grow five percent per year. Employment of individuals with PhDs, MAs, and AAs is expected to grow at 1.0 percent or greater from 2008-2018, except for BA positions that require work experience. Postsecondary vocational training occupations are projected to grow at about 0.8 percent. 
 
Green Energy
The Annual Workforce Report analyzes Tennessee’s green energy sector, including investments that have been made, grants, state government initiatives and research planned across the state. Tennessee has attracted more than $5 billion of investments related to clean energy. It is estimated conservatively that at least 6,000 direct jobs will be created as a result of these investments. Tennessee initially received more than $1 billion in funding for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act green jobs related projects, and a number of federal grants have contributed toward green investments, services, and research including Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, the Green Jobs Training Program Grant, the Labor Market Information Improvement Grant, and the Energy Training Partnership Grant.
 
The full text of the 2010 Annual Workforce Report is available on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s web site at www.sourcetn.org in the publications section.
 
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