7 Trends Driving US Job Growth

Matthew Tarpey

Job growth is one of the clearest indicators we have for evaluating the strength of our country’s economy, and perhaps the most important to average American workers. Understanding where that job growth is coming from and just what kinds of jobs are growing can be extremely useful.

That’s why the latest study from CareerBuilder and Emsi identifies seven key trends that are fueling job growth on a national scale, and examples of occupations that are impacted by these trends.

1. Rapid technological innovation – Technology has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, and the pace of innovation continues to accelerate. From an endless selection of apps to inventions in machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and 3-D printing, technology is introducing new possibilities for business and everyday life.

  • Software developers (applications) added 201,961 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 31 percent increase.
  • Software developers (systems software) added 74,813 jobs, a 21 percent increase.
  • Computer and information systems managers added 67,748 jobs, a 22 percent increase.

2. A culture of connection – With constant access to the Internet, Americans not only expect information to be delivered on-demand in bite-sized pieces – they also expect purchases to happen with just a click and to be delivered the same day. Maintaining a strong web presence has become essential to nearly any business’s success.

  • Web developers added 44,558 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 34 percent increase.
  • Light truck or delivery service drivers added 128,885 jobs, a 16 percent increase.
  • Film and video editors added 9,647 jobs, a 30 percent increase.

3. Lifestyle changes – Americans are becoming more health-conscious and focusing on self-improvement, and there is a greater emphasis on planning for the long-term.

  • Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors added 58,482 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 22 percent increase.
  • Self-enrichment education teachers added 63,251 jobs, a 19 percent increase.
  • Personal financial advisors added 35,056 jobs, a 16 percent increase.

4. The gig economy – With the advent of Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and others, more people are going to work for themselves and taking on freelance assignments.

  • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs added 81,687 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 35 percent increase.
  • Chefs and head cooks added 29,948 jobs, a 24 percent increase.
  • Graphic designers added 24,895 jobs, a 9 percent increase.

5. Globalization – In recent years, global markets have become far more accessible and intertwined. As companies are moving beyond borders, serving customers in different time zones and languages with different market needs, they’re investing heavily in roles that will help facilitate expansion into new these markets.

  • Customer service representatives added 388,961 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 16 percent increase.
  • Interpreters and translators added 21,646 jobs, a 36 percent increase.
  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists added 125,338 jobs, a 26 percent increase.

6. Medical advancements – New discoveries in medicine are increasing survival rates, enabling people to manage chronic conditions more effectively and are extending life spans. The increased demand on health care brought on by an aging baby boomer generation is also expected to lead to prolonged job growth in this field.

  • Registered nurses added 334,757 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 13 percent increase.
  • Home health aides added 256,459 jobs, a 35 percent increase.
  • Physical therapists added 42,001 jobs, a 21 percent increase.

7. The race to rebuild – While the recovery efforts in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will see a spike in construction related jobs, these types of occupations have actually already been seeing significant growth over the past few years, which is expected to continue. From the government’s investment in infrastructure to families renovating their homes, there is a growing movement to rebuild and repair.

  • Construction laborers added 228,375 jobs from 2010 to 2017, a 20 percent increase.
  • Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters added 84,250 jobs, a 21 percent increase.
  • Electricians added 98,753 jobs, a 17 percent increase.

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