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New Report: The Fastest-Growing Occupations and Metro Areas in the U.S.

CB_Job_Outlook_2013Much like the man Katy Perry once sang about, the labor market can be a temperamental beast: It’s hot, then it’s cold…it’s up, then it’s down. And then it just stops texting you back altogether. For example, in the next five years (2013 to 2017), the U.S. workforce is projected to grow 4.4 percent, which is faster than the 2009-2013 period (3.5 percent), but not as fast as the pre-recession period of 2003-2007 (5.8 percent).

This finding comes from a new occupational outlook report from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), which explores projections over a five-year period by occupation, wage group and education level for the United States and the 52 largest metropolitan areas. The report provides key insight into the future of the labor market, which employers can use to spot trends that will have an impact on their business in coming years.

The report outlines the following projections, which identify many of the key labor market realities laid out in Ferguson’s new book (and unofficial nominee for Oprah’s book club), The Talent Equation: Big Data Lessons for Navigating the Skills Gap and Building a Competitive Workforce, co-written by CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson.

Workforce Projections 2013-2017: Key Findings

  • The U.S. workforce is projected to grow 4.4 percent from 2013 to 2017—faster than the 2009-2013 period (3.5 percent), but still down from the pre-recession 2003-2007 period (5.8 percent).
  • At 5 percent, high-wage occupations ($21.14 and above) are expected to grow faster than low-wage ($13.83 and below) and medium-wage ($13.84-$21.13) occupations—4.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
  • 75 percent of the 165 occupations expected to lose jobs nationally are in the middle-wage category.
  • Occupations requiring college degrees are growing significantly faster than those that do not. Associate degree and master’s degree occupations are each projected to grow 8 percent, while jobs requiring short-term, on-the job training trail at 4 percent. Bachelor’s degree jobs are projected to grow 6 percent.
  • 23 of the 52 largest metro areas will outpace the projected national rate of job growth, led by three in Texas (Austin, Houston and San Antonio); Raleigh, NC, and Phoenix, AZ. Washington, D.C. is poised have the largest share of new jobs coming from the high-wage sector, but San Antonio is expected to have the fastest rate of high-wage growth.

Fastest-Growing Occupations: 2013-2017

The report also looks at the fastest-growing occupations that are projected to see at least 8 percent growth and 30,000 jobs added from 2013 through 2017, the top 10 of which are listed below.

  1. Personal Care & Home Health Aides:
    • New Jobs: 473,965; 21% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $9.77
  2. Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists
    • New Jobs:  60,889; 14% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $29.10
  3. Medical Secretaries
    • New Jobs:  76,386; 14% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $15.17
  4. Emergency Medical Technicians & Paramedics
    • New Jobs:  30,234; 13% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $15.28
  5. Software Developers (Systems & Applications)
    • New Jobs: 110,049; 11% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $47.64
  6. Medical Assistants
    • New Jobs: 60,109; 10% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $14.35
  7. Registered Nurses
    • New Jobs: 256,703; 9% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $32.04
  8. Network & Computer Systems Administrators
    • New Jobs: 34,825; 9% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $35.14
  9. Pharmacy Technicians
    • New Jobs: 31,975; 9% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $14.29
  10. Landscaping & Groundskeeping Workers
    • New Jobs: 111,444; 9% increase
    • Median Hourly Earnings: $11.07

The full report, America’s Job Outlook: Occupational Projections 2013-2017, includes a detailed analysis on projected growth by wage group and education requirements, as well as projections for the 52 largest metropolitan areas. (For a technical note on methodology and definitions, please see the sections at the end of the report.)

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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