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The Fastest Growing and Declining Industries in the U.S. (2021-2031P)

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U.S. Employment Trends by Industry (2021–2031)

The labor force is always shifting, responding to technological or societal changes.

For that reason, keeping an eye on the fastest growing industries can help workers and businesses stay on top of the crucial trends driving employment.

Today, we look through projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the fastest growing industries, as well as those that are the fastest declining, by percentage employment change between 2021 and 2031.

Ranked: Fastest Growing Industries By Employment Change

Event Promoters, Agents, and Managers top the list of fastest growing industries, with an impressive predicted growth of 39%, employing over 180,000 workers by 2031.

Amusement Parks and Arcades follows close behind, with an expected 38% increase—adding over 60,000 new employees—in the same time period. Ranked third, the Performing Arts industry will start the next decade with around a 100,000-strong workforce, up 35% from 2021.

Below is the full list of BLS’ projected fastest growing industries, ranked by percent change in employment, between 2021–2031.

RankIndustrySectorChange
(2021-2031)
% Change
(2021-2031)
1Event Promoters,
Agents & Managers
Leisure &
Hospitality
50,800+39%
2Amusement Parks
& Arcades
Leisure &
Hospitality
60,500+38%
3Performing
Arts Companies
Leisure &
Hospitality
28,400+35%
4Individual &
Family services
Health Care850,000+31%
5Mining Support
Activities
Mining69,700+31%
6Spectator SportsLeisure &
Hospitality
36,500+31%
7Other Information
Services
Services
& Other
112,900+30%
8Other Personal
Services
Services
& Other
87,200+28%
9Travel &
Reservation
Services
Professional &
Business Services
32,300+23%
10Agriculture &
Forestry Support
Agriculture
& Forestry
26,200+23%
11Artists, Writers
& Performers
Leisure &
Hospitality
11,500+23%
12AccommodationLeisure &
Hospitality
333,700+23%
13Private Education
Services
Services
& Other
169,200+22%
14Government TransitServices
& Other
61,200+22%
15Home Health
Care Services
Health Care330,100+22%
16Health PractitionersHealth Care205,500+20%
17Film, Video, &
Audio Recording
Services
& Other
75,300+20%
18Museums &
Historical Sites
Leisure &
Hospitality
27,600+20%
19Computer
Systems Design
Professional &
Business Services
455,200+20%
20Professional,
Scientific &
Technical Services
Professional &
Business Services
144,100+18%

Note: Services & Other sector includes Information, Education and State & Local Government industries.

All of the top three industries belong to the Leisure and Hospitality sector, which accounts for seven of the 20 fastest growing industries. This outsized performance reflects recovery more than pure growth, as the BLS notes that the Leisure and Hospitality sector was unduly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, giving it a lower-than-usual baseline in 2021.

Ranked fourth by employment change percentage is Individual and Family Services, though it is actually expected to see the largest growth in total employment terms, adding 850,000 new workers by the end of the decade. It is one of three industries in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector with large projected growth, thanks to an increased need for care service due to an aging American population.

Not to be missed is Computer Systems Design, projected to grow by 20% in employment thanks to growing demand for computing infrastructure and IT security. Due the industry’s sheer size in employment force with 2.3 million workers in 2021, that’s close to half a million additional workers over the next decade.

Ranked: Fastest Declining Industries By Employment Change

Tobacco Manufacturing leads the group of industries expected to register employment declines by 2031, with a projected decrease of 53% in employment, bringing its already small workforce down to only 5,000 employees by the end of the decade. This stark decline is not necessarily driven by waning smoking habits, as cigarette sales in the U.S. went up during the pandemic. Instead, further automation of the industry may replace tobacco manufacturing employees.

Another industry facing a similar situation is CDs & Tapes Manufacturing, which is expected to witness a 51% reduction in employees by 2031.

Below is the full list of BLS’ projected fastest declining industries, ranked by percent change in employment, between 2021–2031.

RankIndustrySectorChange
(2021-31)
% Change
(2021-2031)
1Tobacco
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-5,700-53%
2CDs & Tapes
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-5,800-51%
3Apparel & Leather
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-41,800-36%
4PrintingManufacturing-96,800-26%
5Coal MiningMining-9,500-26%
6Newspaper &
Book Publishers
Services
& Other
-60,000-24%
7Satellite &
Telecommunications
Services
& Other
-19,300-22%
8Cable ProgrammingServices
& Other
-9,700-21%
9Other Furniture
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-7,600-20%
10Engine & Power
Transmission
Equipment
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-14,800-17%
11Railroad Rolling
Stock Manufacturing
Manufacturing-3,100-16%
12Rental ServicesServices &
Other
-22,200-15%
13General Machinery
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-39,800-15%
14Iron Ore & Steel
Scrap Smelting
Manufacturing-10,600-13%
15Lighting Equipment
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-5,600-13%
16Metalworking
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-21,100-13%
17LoggingAgriculture
& Forestry
-6,000-13%
18Textile MillsManufacturing-26,100-13%
19Agriculture,
Construction &
Mining Machinery
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-25,500-13%
20Office Furniture
Manufacturing
Manufacturing-12,600-13%

Most of the industries facing large total employment contraction belong to the Manufacturing sector. The troubles of American manufacturing aren’t new, but the variety of industries presented suggests a mix of factors causing slumps across the sector.

Some industries like Printing, Cable Programming, and Newspaper and Book Publishers face shifting consumption habits.

Meanwhile, others like Textiles, Apparel, and Furniture Manufacturing are expected to suffer from further automation and shifted production abroad.

Factors Shaping Future Employment Trends in the U.S.

It’s important to note that these projections by the BLS were released in September 2022. That means they do not reflect the rapid rise of generative AI like ChatGPT and how they have begun to affect the economy.

A recent Goldman Sachs report, for example, stated that AI could replace 300 million jobs—almost the size of the U.S. population—around the world in the next 10 years.

That makes it an open and important question as to whether AI or powerful demographic trends, such as slower population growth and an aging workforce, will be the most impactful in terms of determining the future employment landscape.

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Retail

The World’s Top Retail Companies, by Domestic Revenue

As price pressures and e-commerce reshape shopping behaviors, we show the top retail companies by domestic revenue around the world.

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This circle graphic shows the world's top retail companies by domestic revenue.

The World’s Top Retail Companies, by Domestic Revenue

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The retail sector plays a vital role in powering economies, contributing $5.3 trillion annually to America’s GDP alone.

Moreover, the industry is America’s biggest private-sector employer, responsible for one of every four jobs, or 55 million employees. Yet in today’s challenging consumer environment, retailers are facing higher e-commerce penetration and inflationary pressures—across an industry notoriously known for razor-thin margins.

This graphic shows the world’s top retail companies by domestic revenue, based on data from the National Retail Federation.

Methodology

To be included in the rankings, companies must engage in a goods-for-consumer resale business accessible to the public and have direct selling operations in a minimum of three countries.

The rankings include both publicly and private companies, and are based on the most recent 52-week period analyzed by the National Retail Federation between January and March 2024. All revenue figures were converted to U.S. dollars.

Ranked: The Top 10 Global Retailers by Domestic Sales

Here are the leading retailers worldwide based on domestic sales as of 2023:

RankingRetailerDomestic Retail Revenue
(USD)
Share of Total Retail RevenueHeadquarters
1Walmart$532.3B85%🇺🇸 U.S.
2Amazon.com$250.0B70%🇺🇸 U.S.
3Costco$175.4B75%🇺🇸 U.S.
4The Home Depot$142.0B94%🇺🇸 U.S.
5Walgreens Boots Alliance$105.1B89%🇺🇸 U.S.
6Alibaba$91.5B97%🇨🇳 China
7Apple$70.9B87%🇺🇸 U.S.
8Aeon$64.3B93%🇯🇵 Japan
9Schwarz Group$56.5B32%🇩🇪 Germany
10Rewe$55.5B75%🇩🇪 Germany

Walmart towers ahead as the world’s largest retailer with $532 billion in domestic revenue—more than Amazon.com and Costco combined.

Known for its everyday low prices, Walmart achieves a competitive advantage through pricing goods approximately 25% cheaper than traditional retail competitors. Overall, groceries make up more than half of total sales. While its main customer base is often low and middle-income shoppers, the retail giant is seeing a surge in sales from higher-income customers as shoppers seek out lower grocery prices.

E-commerce giant, Amazon, is the second-biggest retailer globally, commanding nearly 40% of online retail sales in America. Since 2019, the number of Amazon employees has grown from 800,000 to over 1.5 million in 2023.

While the company has tried to introduce online grocery platforms to the market, it has largely fallen flat given its clunky system in a highly competitive market.

Like Amazon, China’s e-commerce juggernaut, Alibaba, stands as a leading global retailer. Overall, 97% of revenues were generated domestically through online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall. In recent years, the company has focused on international expansion, delivering products to 11 markets including America, in just five days.

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