Obama team sees jobs growth in health, environment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jobs in the healthcare and environmental sectors are growing at a faster rate than those of the U.S. economy as a whole, President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers will say a report to be released on Monday.

People walk in line to register for the 2009 CUNY Big Apple Job Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, March 20, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The report, which looks at how the U.S. labor market is expected to develop in the next few years, says a rebound in employment in construction and some manufacturing sectors is expected as stimulus spending approved early this year invests in projects around the country.

The report is based on an analysis of recent labor market data, a White House official said. The report identifies likely changes in the U.S. labor market as economic drivers shift from sectors like financial services to the growing sectors that are transforming the economy, the official said.

The report, entitled “Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow,” will also discuss the skills and training that will likely be most relevant in growing occupations, the official said. It also will discuss the type of education and training system needed to prepare workers for those jobs.

Obama said in an opinion piece in The Washington Post published on Sunday that he would be talking this week about how to ensure workers have the skills needed to compete for the jobs of the future.

“In an economy where jobs requiring at least an associate’s degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience, it’s never been more essential to continue education and training after high school,” he wrote.

Obama has said he wants the United States to lead the world in college degrees by 2020.

“Part of this goal will be met by helping Americans better afford a college education. But part of it will also be strengthening our network of community colleges,” he said.

“We believe it’s time to reform our community colleges so that they provide Americans of all ages a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for the jobs of the future,” Obama wrote.

Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, told a meeting of the Democratic Leadership Council several weeks ago that the administration was planning a major education initiative dealing with community colleges.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh