Is Economics a Growing Field?

A person who plans to earn a degree in economics may want to know if economics a growing field. The answer is yes, economics is a growing field, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers data and statistics about this and other occupations. People who work as economists can expect faster than average job growth through 2028.

Current Employment Statistics for Economists

As of May 2018, 21,000 people reported that their occupation is that of an economist. By 2028, the number of people working as economists is expected to reach 22,800, which is an increase of about 1,800 jobs. This amounts to an eight percent rate of increase between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The average rate of growth for all occupations from 2018 to 2028 is expected to be six percent.

Industries That Employ the Most Economists

Some industries of employment are growing faster than others, and some industries employ a large proportion of economists. The industry of employment with most economists is the federal government’s executive branch, which employs about 4,420 economists. Scientific research and development services employ about 3,370 economists. The other top industries for the employment of economists include management, scientific and technical consulting; state government; and local government. The industries with the highest concentration of economists include monetary authorities and central banks, scientific research and development services, grant-making and giving services, federal government executive branch, and management, scientific and technical consulting.

Places With the Highest Concentration of Economists

Some locations have a higher concentration of economists than others, which is information collected by the BLS as location quotient. The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that the states or areas with the highest location quotient of economists include District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Alaska and Maryland. The metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of economists are Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia; Harrisburg and Carlisle, Pennsylvania; College Station and Bryan, Texas; Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Trenton, New Jersey. The non-metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of economists include Central New Hampshire and Southwest Montana.

Related Resource: 10 Best Deals on Online Master’s in Economics

Locations With the Highest Numbers of Economists

Another way to look at the employment numbers and potential growth of jobs in economics is by the total numbers of people employed in the occupation. The five states or areas with the highest total numbers of economists are District of Columbia, California, Virginia, Massachusetts and Texas. The metropolitan areas with the most economists include Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia; Boston, Massachusetts; New York, New York; San Francisco and Oakland, California; and Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim, California. The non-metropolitan areas with the highest numbers of economists include Southwest Montana, with 50 economists; and Central New Hampshire, with 40 economists.

Knowing whether or not economics is a growing field could drive a person’s career path in one direction or another. When there are more job openings in a field, it paves the way for employers to offer higher compensation, better benefits and other advantages to the top tier of candidates or applicants. Familiarity with the projected growth in the economics field could also facilitate a person’s choice in whether or not to take out student loans and whether or not to earn an advanced degree in the field of economics.