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The outlook for employment in the chemicals industry is mixed, with some sectors enjoying rapid growth and health and others declining. Overall, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) predicts that the chemical manufacturing industry will decline rapidly-by 8.8 percent-through 2020. The DOL also predicts that the number of jobs in the chemical industry will increase very slowly, by only 6 percent, through 2020. This decline can be attributed to several factors: the lagging global economy; increased automation in production and off-shoring of chemical manufacturing jobs; the volatility of crude oil and natural gas prices; and increased public awareness of "green" manufacturing practices and organic goods, which may compel chemical manufacturers to implement costly emissions-saving measures that could also decrease production. But even in light of this projected decline, demand for the output of chemical manufacturing will be strong.
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