Employment of upholsterers is expected to grow by 4 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected because demand is projected to increase for reupholstering work on used and antique furniture.
People are increasingly interested in refurbishing furniture that they find in antique and second-hand stores and at flea markets. In addition, people often want to repair their furniture—especially if it is high quality—rather than replace it. As a result, there has been an increased demand for the services of upholsterers.
However, growth will be slowed, as customers continue to demand relatively inexpensive furniture. As this furniture becomes worn or broken, it is more likely to be replaced than repaired. This could decrease the demand for upholstery services.
Although overall employment of upholsters is expected to increase by 4 percent, employment of upholsterers in manufacturing industries is expected to decline by 3 percent from 2010 to 2020. Much furniture manufacturing has been sent to countries where labor is less expensive, limiting the demand for upholsterers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition