Decoding Job Trends 2021-2031

Looking ahead to 2031, we see that 8.3 million new jobs are expected to be created. What’s fascinating is that one in every four of these jobs will be within the healthcare sector. The lion’s share of this growth – around 70 percent – will be held by just five occupational categories: healthcare, food preparation and serving, management, transportation and material moving, and business and finance.

Breaking it down, the healthcare sector emerges as the power player, contributing more than 2.0 million new jobs to the forecasted 8.3 million. This boom in the healthcare jobs market is predominantly down to an aging population. More folks are living into their golden years and grappling with chronic conditions, fueling the demand for healthcare services.

Statistic: Projected employment change in the U.S. by major occupational groups from 2021-2031 | Statista

Yet, there’s a ripple effect here. The boom in certain industries has a domino effect on others. As businesses in healthcare, IT, and e-commerce grow and expand, there will be an increased demand for management, transportation, material moving, and business and financial service occupations. These three areas alone will account for nearly 30 percent of all the new jobs on the horizon. Fast-growing sectors like healthcare and IT will inevitably need more managers, and as e-commerce continues to rise, we’ll see a knock-on effect in the need for transportation and warehousing roles, as well as those handling business and finance functions like logistics, market research, and accounting.

It’s not a rosy picture for all sectors though. Production, sales, and office and administrative support occupations are three areas predicted to see a contraction. As technology continues to evolve, automation becomes more prevalent, leading to a decrease in certain roles. However, this doesn’t spell complete doom and gloom, as openings will still crop up when workers switch careers or leave the workforce.

Healthcare Occupations: The Fast Lane of Growth

Now, let’s zero in on the healthcare sector. From 2021 to 2031, it’s set to grow at a zippy pace of 12.6 percent, creating about 2.0 million new jobs – more than any other group. What’s driving this? An increased need to help the swelling ranks of older Americans maintain their health and manage chronic conditions like diabetes. Among the top 30 fastest growing jobs, we find five healthcare occupations: nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapist assistants, home health and personal care aides, and occupational therapy assistants.

When it comes to pay, it’s a mixed bag in healthcare. The median annual wage in May 2021 was $47,070. However, salaries fluctuate widely, with some healthcare roles offering top-tier paychecks, while others fall below the median wage. Generally, pay and education go hand in hand, with jobs demanding higher entry-level education often bringing in bigger bucks. It’s also worth noting that many roles in this sector require hands-on training, internships, or residency experience. So, for those willing to put in the effort, the healthcare sector might be the ticket to a bright and rewarding future.

Business and Finance: A Steady Course

Business and financial occupations are predicted to swell by 7.2 percent between 2021 and 2031, resulting in about 715,100 new jobs. This growth can be attributed to persistent domestic and global business operations, a complex tax and regulatory landscape, and an increased demand for accounting, consulting, and investment advisory services. Market research, too, is in high demand as businesses strive to understand customer behavior and product demand and evaluate marketing strategies. One key growth area within this group is logisticians, with their role expected to expand by 27.7 percent due to the dynamic, complex nature of e-commerce logistics. As of May 2021, this group enjoyed the highest median annual wage of $102,450 among the major occupational groups.

IT and Computing: Navigating the Digital Wave

From 2021 to 2031, employment in computer and IT occupations is set to surge by 14.6 percent, creating approximately 682,800 new roles. This surge can be attributed to a robust demand for IT security, software development, and IoT-related products and services. Within this group, the fastest growing jobs are information security analysts, web developers, and software developers. The median annual wage in May 2021 was a healthy $97,430.

Science Occupations: Pushing Boundaries

Employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to grow 6.9 percent between 2021 and 2031, resulting in about 98,700 new jobs. Driving this growth is a rising demand for expertise in biomedical research, psychology, and environmental protection. The median annual wage for this group was $72,740 in May 2021.

Architecture and Engineering: Constructing the Future

Architecture and engineering occupations are expected to grow 3.6 percent from 2021 to 2031, resulting in about 91,300 new jobs. Most of this growth will be in the engineering sector, with services in demand in manufacturing, construction, and renewable energy. The median annual wage for this group was $79,840 in May 2021.

Mathematics: The Data Revolution

Between 2021 and 2031, employment in math occupations is projected to rocket by 28.7 percent, leading to about 82,000 new jobs. This is driven by the increasing need to collect, organize, and analyze data to improve business processes in the ever-expanding digital economy. Within this group, data scientists, statisticians, and operations research analysts are the fastest growing occupations. The median annual wage for this group was $98,680 in May 2021.

Across all these groups, the level of required education varies from high school to master’s degree, with many requiring work experience in a related field. Some occupations require on-the-job training, internships, or residency experience. The evolving job market suggests that having specialized skills, along with a willingness to adapt and learn, will be key to employment success in the future.


The job market from 2021 to 2031 is expected to be dynamic, shaped by a number of factors including demographic shifts, technological advancements, and the evolving demands of global business. The healthcare sector leads the pack in terms of job growth, driven largely by an aging population and the escalating need for healthcare services. The business and finance sector is also projected to expand, propelled by the intricacies of the modern tax and regulatory environment.

Meanwhile, the computer and IT sector continues to ride the digital wave with new job opportunities, emphasizing the importance of technological skills in the 21st century workplace. Life, physical, and social science occupations will see a steady growth, driven by an increasing demand for specialized scientific knowledge. Architecture and engineering occupations maintain their relevance, with job growth closely tied to sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and renewable energy. Finally, the mathematics sector stands to benefit immensely from the data revolution, underscoring the increasing importance of data analysis skills in the modern economy.

In navigating these trends, the workforce of the future will need to be agile, adaptable, and lifelong learners, ready to acquire new skills and adjust to the ever-changing employment landscape. The demands of these growing occupational groups signal a strong trend toward jobs that require specialized skills and higher levels of education, highlighting the importance of continued learning and professional development in maintaining career relevance and success in the evolving job market.

Dennis Ivanov

A Talent Acquisition Architect and an advisor to Executive Leadership on Talent Acquisition strategies. From start-ups to global organizations, Dennis excels in designing impactful solutions that optimize talent acquisition and HR processes. With a competitive spirit and strong communication skills, he fosters continuous improvement and champions diversity and inclusion.

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