Hot Jobs in 2016

Every two years, the Census Bureau, along with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, refreshes a study that forecasts job trends over the next ten years.  he latest study was published back in January 2018; analyzing the job market in 2016 and making projections through the year 2026.

In this article, we're going to start with a brief explanation of the study's' origin. Then we'll quickly slice and dice the data, identifying the hot job trends over the next decade. This summary data will not only include those sectors of the job market that are growing, but those jobs that are on the decline too.

Job Opportunities Study

The latest version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook was released on January 30, 2018. This study is a composite of information gathered from three sources:

  • Current Employment Statistics (CES):  a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that surveys roughly 140,000 businesses in order to gain insights into employment, hours of work, and earnings.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics (OES): a second study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics used to produce employment and wage data for over 800 job types.
  • Current Population Survey (CPS): this last study is conducted by the Census Bureau, and collects data on employment, earnings, as well as demographics.

We're going to split the results of these studies into two parts. In this article, we're going to run through what might be called "hot jobs." That will include fast growing jobs, calculated as both new jobs created as well as openings. In part two, we'll dive a bit deeper into requirements in terms of both work experience and education.

Jobs in High Demand

The discussion of this job growth data is going to be further divided into two categories. In this first category, we'll start by talking about those professions expected to grow rapidly over the next ten years. Then we'll talk about those jobs that are expected to decline, or contract, over time.

Top Ten Jobs in Terms of Growth

Occupation Thousands Of Jobs
Personal care aides 777.6
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 579.9
Registered nurses 438.1
Home health aides 431.2
Software developers, applications 255.4
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 236.5
General and operations managers 205.2
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 199.7
Medical assistants 183.9
Waiters and waitresses 182.5

The above table tells us how many new jobs will be created from 2016 through 2026.  For example, the study is projecting 777,600 new jobs for personal care aids. It's interesting to note three of the top four spots belong to the healthcare industry:  personal care aids, registered nurses, and home health aides.

Top Ten Jobs in Terms of Annual Openings Created

Occupation Thousands Of Openings
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 736.0
Retail salespersons 670.3
Waiters and waitresses 522.7
Personal care aides 414.3
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 388.4
Customer service representatives 373.5
Office clerks, general 356.2
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 344.1
Stock clerks and order fillers 269.2
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive 244.3

Another way to look at job growth is the percentage increase in the number of jobs over time. For example, these studies are projecting 431,200 new home health aide jobs, and the above table tells us that's an increase of 47.3% from 2016 through 2026. Once again, the top positions are dominated by workers in the healthcare industry.

Top Ten Fastest Growing Jobs

Occupation Increase over 10 Years
Solar photovoltaic installers 104.9%
Wind turbine service technicians 96.3%
Home health aides 47.3%
Personal care aides 38.6%
Physician assistants 37.3%
Nurse practitioners 36.1%
Statisticians 33.8%
Physical therapist assistants 31.0%
Software developers, applications 30.7%
Mathematicians 29.7%

Another way to look at job growth is the percentage increase in the number of jobs over time. For example, these studies are projecting 431,200 new home health aide jobs, and the above table tells us that's an increase of 47.3% from 2016 through 2026. Once again, the top positions are dominated by workers in the healthcare industry.

Jobs to Avoid

While it's certainly interesting to know the jobs that will be in high demand over the next decade, it's equally important to understand which jobs are contracting. 

Top Ten Jobs in Decline

Occupation Thousands Of Jobs
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive -164.9
Team assemblers -145.0
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants -119.2
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers -55.5
Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers -45.6
Data entry keyers -43.3
Tellers -41.8
Postal service mail carriers -38.2
Legal secretaries -37.1
Correctional officers and jailers -34.5

The above list does not bode well for administrative assistants. Here we see a total loss of 164,900 jobs, in addition to job losses for legal secretaries, and executive secretaries.

Top Ten Fastest Declining Jobs

Occupation Decrease over 10 Years
Locomotive firers -78.6%
Respiratory therapy technicians -56.3%
Parking enforcement workers -35.3%
Word processors and typists -33.1%
Watch repairers -29.7%
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles -25.6%
Foundry mold and coremakers -24.0%
Pourers and casters, metal -23.4%
Computer operators -22.8%
Telephone operators -22.6%

The table above tells us workers in parking enforcement and word procession positions will experience a steep decline in jobs. This information is stated as a percentage of the total workforce; meaning over 56.3% of respiratory therapy technician jobs is expected to disappear over the next decade.

Summary

The patterns in the above tables of information are clear. Over the next ten years, more healthcare practitioners will be needed to help an aging population in the United States. The patterns in the above tables of information are clear. Over the next ten years, more healthcare practitioners will be needed to help an aging population in the United States.

Email and other competitive services continue to take its toll on the post office, with a significant decline in a variety of positions providing postal services over the last several reports. Finally, administrative positions are projected to be in sharp decline over the next ten years as office workers continue to be more self-sufficient and automation replaces this once valuable skillset.


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