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  • Best and worst job areas for job growth

    The overall forecast for the nation's job outlook in the second quarter of 2014 is not too dissimilar from previous years, yet a number of industries are slated to roar past the national hiring average, according to a recent report from CareerBuilder.

    Software developer is one of the top growing job fields.The survey, which was conducted among 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals, found that manufacturing employers planning to add full-time, permanent employees topped the national average by seven percentage points and beat out last year's second quarter results by three percentage points. Other industries in line to create additional jobs included information technology, financial services, health care and professional and business services.

    "While employment has not yet reached an ideal level, the U.S. is moving closer to the tipping point for substantial job growth," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "The economy is expanding, the housing market is recovering, consumer confidence is up and companies are starting to tap into cash reserves to invest - these are all good signs. As these trends strengthen, we expect hiring to hold steady in the second quarter and gain ground in the back half of the year."

    In the previous survey that was completed in December 2013, 27 percent of employers planned to hire full-time, permanent workers in the first quarter of 2014. Employers actually exceeded that forecast, as 29 percent of companies went out and hired permanent staff during that time.

    Best job opportunities in the near future
    According to U.S. News, the top five fields for growing employment include software developer, computer systems analyst, dentist, nurse practitioner and pharmacist.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that nearly 140,000 new software development positions will be created by 2022. The BLS predicted that computer systems analysts will also have a much easier time finding a job, with a 24.5 percent growth rate through 2022.

    Job cuts by industry
    While the survey from CareerBuilder said the health care industry was one of the top sectors for job growth, the report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas said the sector is also cutting jobs.
 The health care sector cut the most jobs in March when it let go 5,768 employees. The industry slashed the fourth-most jobs of any sector in the first quarter of 2014, as 10,984 jobs were cut.

    "We continue to see downsizing in the health care sector, as hospitals adjust to lower Medicare reimbursements and cutbacks in Medicaid funding," said John Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global outplacement consulting firm. "There has also been a surge in job cuts among the workers hired to sign-up Americans for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. With the sign-up period ending on March 31, call centers around the country have been purging their payrolls of these temporary employees."

    The retail sector had the most job cuts throughout the country in the first three months of 2014, though that's typical, as the sector often lets workers go after the holiday season. The industry cut 18,231 jobs in the first quarter. The financial sector was second in that category with 15,306 jobs trimmed.

    Second quarter growth paired with less cuts
    Challenger stated that heavy job cuts are often frequent in the first quarter of each year.

    "Since we began tracking planned layoffs in 1989, the first quarter is only slightly lower than the fourth quarter when it comes to the pace of downsizing, with an average job-cut total of just over 205,000," Challenger said.

    In solid news for the economy, first quarter job cuts in 2014 were the lowest total in 19 years, according to a recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.