Innovators Guide

Key Job Outlook Phrases

The following tables explain how to interpret key phrases used to describe projected changes in employment. Also explained are the terms used to describe the relationship between the number of job openings and the number of job seekers. The description of this relationship in a particular occupation reflects the knowledge and judgment of economists in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.

Changing employment between 2008 and 2018
If the statement reads: Employment is projected to:
Grow much faster than average Increase 20 percent or more
Grow faster than average Increase 14 to 19 percent
Grow about as fast as average Increase 7 to 13 percent
Grow more slowly than average Increase 3 to 6 percent
Little or no change Decrease 2 percent to increase 2 percent
Decline slowly or moderately Decrease 3 to 9 percent
Decline rapidly Decrease 10 percent or more


Opportunities and competition for jobs
If the statement reads: Job openings compared with job seekers may be:
Very good to excellent opportunities More numerous
Good or favorable opportunities In rough balance
May face, or can expect, keen competition Fewer


Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

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