Employment of general office clerks is projected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment will grow as organizations increasingly hire administrative support workers who can do a variety of tasks rather than a single, specialized task.
However, growth will be moderated as technology makes these workers more productive and reduces the need for general office clerks. For example, some organizations are going paperless or using automated phone systems, which can decrease demand for general office clerks who file papers or answer phones.
In addition, other support workers may increasingly do tasks that general office clerks used to do, further reducing growth in this occupation.
Employment growth of general office clerks will vary by industry. Healthcare, for example, is expected to add many new jobs, and as it does, jobs for general office clerks will increase. The federal government, on the other hand, is projected to have employment declines.
The job outlook for general office clerks also may depend on the state of the economy. Employers who are reducing their staff often cut general office clerk jobs. But, as organizations cut back on administrative staff, they may increase employment of general office clerks because these workers can cover several administrative support functions.
Job prospects are expected to be good in this large occupation. Workers will be needed to fill new jobs and replace those who leave the occupation. General office clerks who can learn new skills and adapt to changing technologies will have the best prospects.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition