LCSN: Registered nurses top list of fastest-growing jobs

February 6, 2012. Retrieved online February 7, 2012 from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – The rest of the this decade should prove positive for people who work in the areas of health care and the service industry, both nationally and here in southern New Mexico.

For those who’ve set their sights on working in the farming and ranching industry or who think the Postal Service is where they belong, the future might not be as bright.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its predictions for job growth and job decline between 2010 and 2020. The government reports that industries and occupations related to health care, social assistance and construction are projected to have the fastest growth.

Registered nurse is the job at the top of the list, followed by retail salesperson, home health aide, personal care aide and office clerk to round out the top five.

The largest job losses, though, are expected to take place in the U.S. Postal Service, while manufacturing and “farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers” have a large projected decline in jobs nationwide….

New Mexico State University economist Chris Erickson said health care is already a large part of the local economy.

“This continues a trend as health care was the fastest growing sector during the last decade,” Erickson said….

Jim Peach, an NMSU economist, points out that there is a difference between occupation and industry.

“If you take a look at projections by industry, the industry that is most surprising is construction – projected to have an increase of 1.8 million jobs by 2020,” Peach said. “I hope this is true but there are many reasons to be skeptical, including the slow recovery in both housing markets and non-residential construction.”

…Job setbacks in the Postal Service are not a big surprise with the entity planning to close a variety of post offices nationwide. The farmers/ranchers/ag managers category is expected to lose about 96,000 jobs by 2020, the largest projected employment decline. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports one main reason is improved farm technology that has shifted the emphasis from people to machinery.

“An interesting part of the story is that over the next decade, there will be more job openings due to the retirement of the baby-boom generation than from economic growth,” Peach said. “This will also be true in New Mexico.”

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article

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