Monday, May 7, 2012

Employment Projections for Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security, 2010-2020

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The Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security career cluster is projected to gain employment from 2010 and 2020, growing by 13 percent, about the national average rate of growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security occupations had about 4.8 million workers in 2010, and projects about 5.4 million by 2020.

Cluster Overview: Expectations for Change, 2010-2020
The BLS predicts that this cluster will grow at about the average rate of growth for all occupations through 2020, though the growth rate varies from the very fast growing EMTs and Paramedics to the essentially unchanging Crossing Guards.

Most of the occupations in this cluster are part of the public sector and funded with taxpayer dollars—Corrections Officers, Firefighters, and Police are all primarily  public servants. Although we might see a rising demand for their services, employment growth in these occupations is likely to be restricted by the countervailing demand to cut public spending. The BLS projects that job growth in most of these occupations will be about the same as that for all occupations nationwide, but employment opportunities will vary a great deal from locality to locality depending on the funding that is available.

The fastest growing occupation in this cluster, Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, falls sometimes in the public — but increasingly in the private — sector. Our aging population has more medical needs, which will fuel rising demand for EMT services. Private Detectives and Security Guards will also see more employment opportunities due to rising concerns for greater security. And finally, the anticipated rise in demand for occupations like Forensic Science Technicians, Probation Officers, and Paralegals, is part of a trend across all career clusters to improve efficiency by making better use of technically qualified mid-level workers.

Lawyers, the highest paid occupation in this cluster, have been facing a very competitive employment situation in the past few years. The slow down of business during the recession cut back demand for lawyers but not the number of graduates pouring out of law schools. The BLS predicts that businesses will increasingly use large accounting firms and paralegals to do some of the same tasks that lawyers used to do. There has also been a trend over recent years to reorganize, computerize, and even outsource many routine legal tasks, a trend that will probably continue. Despite these changes, the BLS projects that as the economy recovers over the next decade, there will be steady, but not rapid, growth in demand for lawyers. But if the oversupply of graduates continues, jobs will remain very competitive.




Projections Data: What the BLS tells us about employment
Every two years the BLS releases new national employment projections for over 700 different occupations. The projections include five important pieces of information discussed in this post.
Estimated 2010 employment: The estimated number of jobs or positions in each occupation. (This is a count of positions, not workers; many people have two jobs).
Projected 2020 employment: The estimated number of jobs or positions in each occupation. (A count of positions, not workers; many people have two jobs).
Numeric Change 2010-2020 or "New Jobs:" Most occupations are expected grow by 2020 as employers  create new positions or "new jobs."
Percent Change 2010-2020: The percent increase or decrease in employment over the decade. This information helps us compare the rate of change across jobs of different sizes.
Job Openings 2010-2020: Job opportunities arise in two ways: when employers create new jobs and when workers retire or leave an occupation and need to be replaced by new hires. The BLS projects how many people will be retiring from each occupation over the decade and combines this with the number of new jobs to predict how many "job openings" will become available. Even shrinking occupations have job openings because employers  need to replace some of the people who retire with new workers.
Pathways Overview
The national career cluster system divides Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security into five pathways: Correction Services, Emergency and Fire Management Services, Law Enforcement Services, Legal Services, and Security and Protective Services.  All of the pathways are expected to grow between 2010 and 2020.
  • Security and Protective Services is the largest pathway in this cluster, with employment totaling around 1.375 million in 2010. It is projected to remain the largest pathway in 2020, with employment growing to just over 1.6 million. Security and Protective Services employment is projected to grow about 17 percent, about average relative to other clusters.  The pathway is expected to have over 500,000 job openings by 2020, almost half of which will come from newly created jobs. 
  • Legal Services is projected to grow by about 11 percent between 2010 and 2020 from 1.1 million jobs to almost 1.3. The pathway is expected to have 328,000 job openings between 2010 and 2020.  Forty percent of the expected job openings in this pathway will be from newly created jobs. 
  • Law Enforcement Services will grow more slowly than the national average between 2010 and 2020. The pathway employed about 911,000 workers in 2010, and is only expected to grow to 986,000 by 2020, for a growth rate of just 8%. The pathway is expected to see 373,000 job openings between 2010 and 2020, but only 1 in 5 will be from new jobs.  
  • Emergency and Fire Management Services es expected to grow more rapidly, by about 17 percent between 2010 and 2020. The BLS estimated total employment in this pathway to be 712,000 in 2010, and predicts that number will grow to 832,000 by 2020. Overall, between 2010 and 2020, the pathway is expected to see just over 300,000 job openings — 120,000 of which will be from newly created jobs.    
  • Corrections Services is the smallest pathway and is also expected to grow more slowly than average between 2010 and 2020. In 2010, this pathway had total employment of 686,000, and employment is projected to be just over 830,000 in 2020.  About 192,000 job openings are expected between 2010 and 2020, most of which will arise as existing workers leave the industry or retire. 
Pathways Employment Overview (in 1000s)

Pathways and Number of Occupations Included
Employment 2010
Employment 2020
New Jobs
Percent Change
Job Openings
Correction Services (4)
686.0
742.3
56.3
8%
192.2
Emergency and Fire Management Services (6)
712.3
832.1
119.8
17%
302.1
Law Enforcement Services (8)
911.2
985.6
74.4
8%
373.4
Legal Services (7)
1,130.8
1,259.8
129.0
11%
328.3
Security and Protective Services (6)
1,375.0
1,603.9
228.9
17%
522.3
Total (31)
4,815.3
5,423.7
608.4
13%
1,718.3
Security Occupations included in Government and Public Administration)



Detectives and Criminal Investigators
119.4 122.9 3.5 2.9 30.1
Transportation Security Screeners
48.1
52.7
4.6
10%
10.4

Job Openings and New Jobs
The BLS projects the "job openings" for each occupation that arise from the combination of new jobs and the need to replace workers who retire.  In total, the Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security cluster is expected to have over 1.7 million job openings. Most of these openings will become available as workers retire or leaving the industry. Only 608,000 new jobs are projected in this cluster. 

The occupations with the most job openings are: 
  • Security Guards (359,500)
  • Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers (249,000)
  • Lawyers (212,000)
  • Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics (120,800), and
  • Firefighters (112,000)
The following graph shows the ten occupations expected to have the most job openings between 2010 and 2020. 

Complete Listing
The following table gives a complete picture of how occupations in the Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security cluster are expected to change between 2010 and 2020.

Employment Projections (in 1000s)

Pathways and Occupations IncludedEmployment 2010Employment 2020New JobsPercent ChangeJob Openings
Correction Services Pathway
686.0
742.3
56.3
8%
192.2
First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers
41.5
43.8
2.3
6%
16.5
Social Workers, All Other
76.0
88.3
12.3
16%
30.3
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
93.2
110.4
17.1
18%
37.3
Correctional Officers and Jailers
475.3
499.8
24.5
5%
108.1
Emergency and Fire Management Services Pathway
712.3
832.1
119.8
17%
302.1
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists
1.6
1.7
0.1
6%
0.5
Fire Inspectors and Investigators
13.6
14.8
1.2
9%
4.7
Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
100.1
111.8
11.7
12%
30.7
First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers
60.1
65.0
4.9
8%
33.1
Firefighters
310.4
336.9
26.6
9%
112.3
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
226.5
301.9
75.4
33%
120.8
Law Enforcement Services Pathway
911.2
985.6
74.4
8%
373.4
Transit and Railroad Police
3.6
3.8
0.2
7%
1.1
Parking Enforcement Workers
9.8
10.8
0.9
10%
3.4
Bailiffs
17.8
19.2
1.4
8%
4.5
Animal Control Workers
15.5
17.3
1.8
12%
5.5
Forensic Science Technicians
13.0
15.4
2.4
19%
7.9
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
106.1
108.3
2.3
2%
38.7
Protective Service Workers, All Other
81.5
92.3
10.7
13%
62.9
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
663.9
718.5
54.6
8%
249.4
Legal Services Pathway
1,130.8
1,259.8
129.0
11%
328.3
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
9.4
10.9
1.5
16%
3.2
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
19.2
19.2
-
0%
3.7
Judicial Law Clerks
29.8
32.1
2.3
8%
6.8
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
34.0
37.2
3.1
9%
9.6
Legal Support Workers, All Other
54.2
55.7
1.4
3%
9.6
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
256.0
302.9
46.9
18%
83.4
Lawyers
728.2
801.8
73.6
10%
212.0
Security and Protective Services Pathway
1,375.0
1,603.9
228.9
17%
522.3
Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators
6.8
7.4
0.6
9%
1.7
Transportation Security Screeners (Federal Only)
48.1
52.7
4.6
10%
10.4
Private Detectives and Investigators
34.7
41.9
7.1
21%
14.9
Crossing Guards
69.3
70.1
0.7
1%
17.2
First-Line Supervisors of Protective Service Workers, All Other
58.9
64.7
5.8
10%
25.9
Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers
121.5
136.4
14.9
12%
92.7
Security Guards
1,035.7
1,230.7
195.0
19%
359.5
Related Occupations from Government
48.1
52.7
4.6
10%
10.4
Transportation Security Screeners (Federal Only)
48.1
52.7
4.6
10%
10.4