Where the Jobs Are: Hot Growth Industries


Looking for a career in an industry that's projected to grow instead of shrink? One that can survive recessions both deep and shallow?

Industries that provide services will see a boost in jobs compared with industries that produce goods in the next several years, according to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Here are a few industries that are expected to grow:

A Healthy Workplace
With an aging overall population, there’s high demand for healthcare and social assistance services including work in assisted living facilities. On the other end of the social services spectrum, the demand for child care is increasing.

“Healthcare, certainly for lots of reasons, has withstood the stresses of this recession,” says John Challenger, CEO of executive search firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. For example, he says, “there are some extraordinary scientific developments going on. Identifying the human genome has led to new product development."

More than three out of every 10 new jobs created in the U.S. between 2006 and 2016 will either be in healthcare, social assistance or public and private educational services, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.  And there’s always a need for good nurses.  If you’re looking for a nursing job, try AccessNurses.com.

Services for the Young and Old
Education and health services jobs are expected to grow nearly 19%, adding nearly 5.5 million jobs. Jobs for those providing public and private educational services are expected to grow by 10.7%, adding 1.4 million new jobs through 2016.

If you’re looking for a teaching job, try EducationAmerica.net.  Most teaching jobs require a master’s degree in education, though if you haven’t gotten your master’s or you’re working on it, you can try PublicCharters.org or USCharterSchools.org to find teaching jobs that don’t require a master’s degree.

Keeping Informed
Newspapers may be a dying industry, but other sectors related to the dissemination of information should see a rise in employment in the next several years.  Jobs in the information sector are expected to increase by 6.9%, and information tech jobs employ a wide range of skills.  In this arena, software publishing is expected to grow 32%, Internet publishing and broadcasting could grow more than 44% and wireless telecommunication carriers are expected to increase their staffs by 40.9%. The growing industry also includes movie production and broadcasting, cable service, high-speed Internet connections, and software industries.

As businesses increasingly rely on information technology and require system and network security, professional, scientific and technical services will grow by 28.8%, adding 2.1 million new jobs by 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even better, computer systems design and related service jobs will grow by more than 38.3%, the bureau says. And management, scientific and technical consulting services will grow at 78%.  To search for technology jobs, try Dice.com.

A Little Escapism
The leisure and hospitality sector is also expected to grow in the short and long term.  In the near term, discount hospitality companies and, possibly, services that let you forget about your economic woes will grow.

McDonald’s (Stock Quote: MCD) is doing particularly well, as well as beer companies and beer distributors, Challenger says, adding that people tend to drink more in a bad economy.  “It’s not something people stop doing.”

Overall employment in leisure and hospitality is expected to grow by 14.3% by 2016. Arts, entertainment and recreation will grow by 30.9%, and 79% of these job openings will be in the amusement, gambling and recreation sector. For jobs in hospitality, try searching HCareers.com.

The Bright Side of the Decline
Automakers like General Motors (Stock Quote: GM) are suspending manufacturing at some U.S. plants this summer and car dealerships seem to be closing left and right. But, Challenger says, “People servicing the cars are in a great time."

Consumers are holding onto their cars and other expensive items longer, Challenger explains. So in addition to mechanics, retailers selling replacement auto parts and people who fix computers and other gadgets are also doing well.

Manufacturing jobs are expected to decline by 10.6% as automation and other updates improve manufacturing productivity. However, employment in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing is expected to grow by 23.8% and add 69,000 new jobs by 2016.

“And people are going to continue to buy food, just not upscale food,” Challenger says. That means many food product companies and grocery store chains will continue to do well.

In the long term, however, employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting is expected to decrease by 2.8% due to rising costs of production, increasing consolidation and more imports of food and lumber.  Crop production will see the largest job loss, with 98,000 fewer jobs in 2016 than in 2006.

Among other industries that are expected to see a decline in the next few years, production related occupations could decline by 4.9% and employment in mining could fall by 1.6%.

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