Understanding Job Growth

It’s always hopeful when you hear reports that jobs are on the rise and that more hiring has been done in the past month or two. Of course, reading this information doesn’t necessarily help you understand what it means or where it comes from. Most people are content with the fact that it seems like employment is good, overall, but there’s more to job growth than just the overall picture.

What’s interesting is that in most reports since the economic recovery started, the Department of Labor has been understating the gains in the job market. When things were bad, of course, they were understating losses as well. Basically, that means that things are better than people thought they would be in recovery. There aren’t really a lot of patterns or trends that can be followed and most analysts chalk it up to pure chance, but one thing is certain: the job market is on the rise.

Are All Jobs Hot?

As with anything, the overall picture looks good. There are some jobs that are growing faster than others, though. It appears that job openings have been increasing in every major city in the past few months, giving people hope for the future of their careers. There are increases in all industries, although some are going to see faster growth than others.

Locality and industry will affect whether or not the position that you seek is following this rising trend of job growth. For example, healthcare and IT jobs are growing at an alarming rate, including those with engineering management degrees and administrative positions. There are some areas, however, where staffing is already overpopulated with a specific type of professional and might not see as much growth in the coming years. The best way to make the most of the job growth that is taking place is to investigate your preferred locality and see where it stands, or where it will be standing when you complete your education.

It’s not helpful to see that California is experiencing a job boom if you are working in Ohio, or that there is a growing demand for teachers in Oklahoma City if you want to live in Atlanta. If you are willing to relocate or go where the work is, then by all means watch where the biggest growth and demand will be so that you can make the most money and have more job security. Otherwise, you need to focus on job growth and market conditions in the area that you want to live and work.

How to Decipher Statistics

A lot of analyst reports will break down the hiring numbers, payroll, and other data that looks great in a nice chart, but they won’t really explain things so that you understand what they mean. It’s best to find reports that tell you exactly what you want to know: the job outlook for your chosen career, either now or once you complete your education. You don’t have to memorize statistics from reports and analyze data to find out how likely you are to find work after graduation.

One great source of information is the BLS Job Outlook Guide, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services. It’s updated regularly and includes information on job growth and outlooks in various industries, and in laymen’s terms so that you can understand what it says.

The Bottom Line

The job market is good right now, and it seems to be on an upward track. It’s going to be easy to justify getting an education if you choose a degree program that leads to an in-demand career field.

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