The 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook was released today. There is updated entry on Urban & Regional Planning that's more honest now than it has been in the past.
One interest note: The entry level education for similar occupations lists a bachelors degree for all of the related professions: architects, landscape architects, engineers, etc. For Urban Planners it lists the entry level education as a master's degree along with 1-2 years in relevant work experience through internships. The OOH now acknowledges that this is one tough profession to break into for recent grads.Job Prospects
Job opportunities for planners often depend on economic conditions. When municipalities and developers have funds for development projects, planners are in higher demand. However, planners may face strong competition for jobs in an economic downturn, when there is less funding for development work.
Although government funding issues will affect employment of planners in the short term, job prospects should improve over the 2010–20 decade. Planners will be needed to help plan, oversee, and carry out development projects that were deferred because of poor economic conditions. Combined with the increasing demands of a growing population, long-term prospects for qualified planners should be good.
Job prospects will be best for those with a master’s degree from an accredited planning program and relevant work experience. Planners who are willing to relocate for work also will have more job opportunities.