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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

Occupational Employment Projections Methodology

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Occupational employment projections ("projections") estimate the changes in occupational employment over time resulting from industry growth, technological changes, and other factors. Industry growth exists when the demand for goods and services increases, resulting in an increased demand for workers to produce these goods and services. Technological changes can raise the demand for some skills while eliminating the demand for others. Projections are produced using methods and tools provided by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). The PMP is a national consortium of state labor market information offices funded by the U.S. Employment & Training Administration that maintains the national infrastructure for the production of projections to insure consistent outcomes across the nation.

The state and local area long-term projections are for a 10-year period. The projections are revised every two years to incorporate economic changes that occur in the state and local areas. Statewide short-term employment projections are for a two-year period and are revised annually.

Using Occupational Employment Projections Data

Projections are a source of information to estimate job opportunities by occupation and can be used for:

When using projections data, users should keep in mind:

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Projections of Employment

Changes in occupational employment over time are a result of changes in staffing patterns and industry growth. Following is a description of the principal data sources and the projection process.

Principal Data Sources
The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual survey that measures occupational employment and occupational wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments, by industry. The survey samples about 37,000 establishments per year, taking 3 years to fully collect the sample of approximately 113,000 establishments in California. The OES program uses the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) definitions to collect the survey data, which covers over 800 occupations.

The Process
The PMP Projections Suite software lies at the core of the projections process. This software provides the tools and national information necessary for states to produce their projections. For the state and local areas, the analyst will:

  1. Match the base year industry employment with the OES staffing patterns to produce occupational base year employment by industry sector.

  2. Apply change factors to produce the target year staffing patterns. Change factors reflect projected shifts in occupational usage within particular industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) conducts special studies to produce the change factors.

  3. Match target year industry employment to the target year staffing patterns to produce occupational employment projections by industry sector. Reconcile target year staffing patterns to the target year industry total.

  4. Sum data by occupation across all industries for the base and target year occupational estimates.

  5. Calculate replacement needs for each occupation. Replacement needs estimate the number of job openings created when workers retire or permanently leave an occupation and need to be replaced. The BLS develops replacement rates using occupational employment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
  6. NOTE: The BLS has implemented a new Separations methodology to supersede the replacement methodology. This method captures a more accurate picture of the workforce by differentiating between workers who are leaving the labor force entirely and those who are changing jobs. California will implement the new methodology beginning with the short-term 2017-2019 projections. For more information about the Separations methodology, visit:

  7. Apply the BLS ratios to each occupation to calculate self-employed employment.

  8. Calculate the difference between the base year occupational estimates and the target year projections. The difference represents the new jobs resulting from industry growth and from changes in staffing patterns.
  9. Review the projections.

  10. Consult with the LMID's local labor market consultants to review local area projections. The consultants use their knowledge of the local economy, and solicit the input from local experts to recommend adjustments to the projections.

  11. Incorporate recommended changes as appropriate and finalize the projections for public dissemination.

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Occupational Employment Projections

The projections located in the EDD Data Library provide a list of occupations by SOC Code. The following information is available for each occupation:

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Economic Assumptions

The projections are based on the following assumptions:

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Other Considerations

The occupational movements within an industry are controlled by industry-occupational change factors, which are developed by the BLS. Individual occupational employment may not increase or decrease at the same rate as the entire industry. In fact, there may be a number of occupations whose employment moves in the opposite direction of the entire industry.

Because the occupational data are based on a survey, it is important that the following points be considered:

For additional information on economic conditions in a particular region, contact the LMID's local labor market consultants.

Revised: April 2018

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