Insights of the Labor Market and Trends

Are you waiting for an alarming labor market report? We  still haven’t received it. Although many employees are transitioning in their careers, including layoffs, the overall labor market remains favorable.

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, projected that between 2021 and 2031, employment will increase 5.3%, add 8.3 million jobs, and grow 0.5 percent annually.  In April, 253,000 job gains exceeded economic expectations, bringing the year-to-date total to more than 1.1 million additional jobs. 

Growth Industries

The Employment Projections program (EP) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment over a 10-year period for more than 800 occupations and 300 industries.  It concluded that, of the 8.3 million new jobs to be added by 2031, almost one-fourth, or 2 million new jobs, are within the healthcare occupational group.  The 5 occupational groups that will add 70% of the 8.3 million new jobs are healthcare, food preparation and serving occupations, management occupations, transportation and material moving occupations and business and financial occupations.

 According to the EP, growth in some industries will synergize growth in other industries.  For example, growth in Healthcare, IT and E-Commerce will drive demand for management, transportation, package delivery, warehousing, logistics, market research, business/financial services and other occupations. 

The EP projects much-faster-than-average employment growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling services. This growth is due to the increasing use of integrated care, which is the treatment of multiple problems at the same time by a group of specialists. In providing integrated care, such as substance abuse, behavioral disorder, or mental health counselors, the patients’ issues are helped by a team.

The top five fastest growing occupations within building and grounds cleaning occupations are housekeeping, pest control, pesticide and vegetation applicators, janitorial, landscaping and groundskeeping workers.  The Bureau of Labor predicts 5.4% growth while the Sacramento State Labor Market Insights tool that provides live labor market trends projects an increase of almost 10% for Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers over the next 10 years.

Overall growth in the economy will increase construction and extraction occupations to meet demands for new buildings, roads and other structures. 

Turning Layoffs into Employment

The Department of Labor tracks initial unemployment claims and continued claims for a good send of layoff impacts.  Initial unemployment claims are people who have recently lost their jobs and this appears to be steady and not currently increasing at a pace that would suggest job gains would decline. Continued unemployment claims also appear steady since mid-to-late March indicating it takes time for people to find a new job rather than an unstable job market. 

Despite the pessimistic headlines and comparisons, we are not experiencing the unraveling that had occurred in the Great Recession when job openings fell to 2.2 million and unemployment was 4.6 million long term unemployed compared to the recent four-week average of 1.8 million and initial claims of nearly 500,000 per week compared to the latest four-week average of 244,000. 

This is an opportunity for employers looking to hire, particularly for jobs that do not require education credentials and provide on-the-job training.  Employers can post jobs on a number of sites including as well as state job banks.

The takeaway is that the majority of businesses continue to move forward and add new roles providing opportunities for those who have been impacted by a layoff and are taking time to find the next role. 

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