The Top Growth Industries for 2017 and Beyond

The Top Growth Industries for 2017 and Beyond

James Cash Penney, founder of JCPenney, said that growth never comes by mere chance; instead, it is the result of forces working together. The same goes for growth in the commercial sector. With that in mind, here’s a look at a few of the industries projected for the highest growth by 2024, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

As a small business owner, the growth and demand of these industries might shape the future of your operations. Consider how tapping into these markets could help you grow your business.

Big Potential Gains in the Service Sector

Service sector industries are slated for the most growth by 2024, with an estimated 9.3 million jobs being added by then, according to the BLS. Here are the growth projections for the individual categories in that sector.

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: Projected to gain nearly 3.8 million new jobs
  • Professional and Business Services: Projected to gain nearly 2 million new jobs
  • Retail and Wholesale Trade: Projected to gain nearly 1.2 million new jobs
  • Leisure and Hospitality: Projected to gain nearly 1 million new jobs
  • State and Local Government: Projected to gain nearly 800,000 new jobs
  • Financial Activities: Projected to gain over 500,000 new jobs
  • Education: Projected to gain about 340,000 new jobs
  • Other Services Category: Projected to gain about 270,000 jobs
  • Transportation and Warehousing: Projected to gain about 140,000 new jobs


Meanwhile, the BLS projects a slowdown in these industries, with estimated losses by 2024:

  • Information: Projected to lose about 30,000 jobs
  • Utilities: Projected to lose about 50,000 jobs
  • Federal Government: Projected to lose about 400,000 jobs
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Stagnation in Goods, Production, and Agriculture

Although the service sector has been growing pretty steadily since 2004—and, based on projections, should add nearly 20 million jobs from 2004 to 2024, the goods/production and agriculture sectors haven’t been doing so well.

  • Since 2004, the goods/production and agriculture sectors had either stagnant growth or the loss of overall jobs. From 2004 until projections going out to 2024, goods/production will have lost at least 2.5 million jobs, with the vast majority of those losses taking place in manufacturing and construction.
  • Within the construction industry, however, the losses were mainly between 2004 to 2014. Within the 2014 to 2024 time period, the sector is on track for growth to get back to the level of jobs it had in 2004, which is a good sign.
  • Mining is the only industry in this grouping that has grown consistently from 2004, projected to 2024.
  • Agriculture stands to lose more than 100,000 jobs during the 2004 to 2024 time period.

Looking Ahead for Your Small Business

So what does this information mean for you as a small business owner?

It means that if your business is set up within or serves customers within the health care, social assistance, professional/business services, retail/wholesale trade, or leisure/hospitality sectors, then you’ll likely see more opportunities for revenue growth. These sectors are expected to add about 8 million new jobs by 2024. If you are positioned properly, this could allow you to cash in on the revenue and profit opportunities.

If you supply services to the federal government, possible cutbacks might hurt your growth potential. On the other hand, state and local governments look like they might continue to make investments in particular services and products, which opens up opportunities.

If you’re positioned in the manufacturing sector, you might want to prepare for coming challenges, as manufacturing has consistently lost jobs since 2004. However, construction looks promising, with job levels estimated to get back to 2004 levels by 2024.

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