BLS Projects Rapid Growth of Statisticians in Future Jobs Report

Late last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued a future jobs forecast, and by 2026, the agency projects statisticians’ growth to be 33%—far greater than the 7% projected growth for all jobs. The agency plots statisticians as the seventh-fastest growing occupation.

These numbers are consistent with data we’ve been seeing for years now. In 2016 and 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked statistician as one of the top five jobs. Last year, Fast Company magazine cited data scientist as the most in-demand job. In 2015, Fortune magazine noted that statistics was the fastest-growing STEM major in the US. And, even back in 2009, The New York Times advised graduates on the value of statistical thinking skills.

Of the more than 800 detailed occupations in this year’s BLS report, employment in health care–related fields and the service industry was projected to experience the most growth, reflective of the nation’s declining emphasis on manufacturing jobs and the rise in number of Baby Boomers nearing retirement. In addition, the report includes details about fields that are anticipated to open the most new jobs, as well as ones that will likely suffer job losses, and it breaks down areas projected for job growth and loss by education level.

Every two years, BLS releases projections of the labor force, the overall economy, industry employment, and occupational employment. Economists in the BLS Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections develop these data in a number of steps, first analyzing broad trends and then examining several hundred industries and occupations.

While 2026 is years away, these projections are especially useful for career coaches, academic advisers, and even the general public seeking to know what to expect in terms of employment growth, required education, and wages. As for students and parents wondering about the value of education and experience in statistics, these independent and objective media rankings and ratings speak for themselves.