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Numbers to know: 2020 projections from BLS for electrical distribution

By Joe Salimando

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently published its 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook. This every-two-years exercise requires the BLS to provided guesses at the numbers of people working in different jobs and different industries in the future—in this case, in 2020.

The BLS felt moved to merge Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers with those in Electrical Distribution. The result is a figure of 311,100 for employment for 2010, as shown below.

From elsewhere on the BLS site, a table created for NAICS 42361, “Wholesale trade, electrical equipment and wiring” showed average 2010 employment in the industry at 136,400.

Is the BLS right about the future? Probably not, but there’s no way to know how wrong it is, or in which direction. Do all of the trend shown in the table apply to “someone else,” or do some apply to electrical distribution? No telling.

Note that this table, as presented on the BLS.gov website, is sortable. To get to it, go the National Employment Matrix search by industry page. Then hit “continue” and the next page will give you all industries. Pick one to highlight (in this case, pull it down to “Electrical and electronic good wholesalers,” highlight that one, and hit “continue.”)

On the very next page, highlight “all occupations in list” and in the pull-down next to “Show results in group of,” pull down to “All” and then hit “continue.” You should get exactly what you see here (136 occupations in electronic/electrical distribution), with the ability to sort by column.

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