As its economy recovers from the global recession, the US begins a slow but steady hiring trend across most job sectors.
After at least two years of suffering through rounds of layoffs, staff deficiencies and financial uncertainty due to the global recession, American businesses are finally hiring again. Though most regions of the country are still not seeing significant hiring yet, the US is cautiously optimistic about its future. According to economic experts, it may take the country three to four years to return to pre-recession employment levels, but certain sectors are wasting no time beefing up staff now that they have the green light to hire.
Health care industry boom
Statistics show health care support occupations have already experienced major increases in hiring activity over the last several months. Of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the US economy, half are related to health care, due in large part to the aging of the baby boomer generation. In addition, as health care costs continue to rise, work is increasingly being delegated to lower-paid workers in order to save money. Physician assistants, medical assistants, dental hygienists, home health workers and physical therapist aides are in demand throughout the US. Many other job sectors have also experienced consistent hiring increases of at least 10% in the first half of 2010. Chief among these are the customer service, sales, information technology, administration, business development and accounting/finance sectors.
While there are abundant needs in certain established industries, many new hires will also be for emerging industries. Hiring managers, 41% of whom plan to hire within the next six months, are recruiting for jobs focused on new areas such as social media, green energy, global relations and healthcare reform.
Twenty two percent of employers report some hiring will also be for unfilled positions for which they have been unable to find qualified candidates. The areas of IT, customer service and communications report the greatest skills deficits. Many companies have begun to look for creative ways to fill these and other positions. Some are looking to skilled freelance or contract workers to move their businesses forward. By going this route, companies alleviate the cost of hiring full-time workers before the economy is more stable. Some businesses are choosing to rehire retirees, while others are looking beyond the US to find needed talent.
Looking outside US borders will also help to diversify a company's work force, something many American businesses would like to do. In order to attract talent, many US companies also plan to provide new employees with greater flexibility in hopes this will help retain those who may consider switching jobs when the economy fully recovers.
While hiring is increasing across the country and in many sectors, those fresh out of business school still may have trouble securing a job quickly. A recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) finds companies surveyed expect to hire fewer graduates from the class of 2010. Starting salary offers for new graduates are also down. CareerBuilder.com sees salaries and benefits, for new and current employees, continuing to stay tight over the next year. It may take a while before companies feel secure enough to give employees a bump up in pay.
As the US begins to recover from the economic recession, its businesses are focused on rehiring laid-off workers, replacing lower-performing employees and steadily expanding their work forces. Every region of the country has increased its hiring activity by approximately 20% over the last six months. Employment services industry leader Manpower Inc reports 95 of the nation's 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas have a positive hiring outlook for the upcoming quarter. Expectations are American businesses will continue their hiring trend well into the foreseeable future.
Mary Anne Thompson is the founder and president of Going Global Inc a subscription database service that contains career and employment information for more than 80 locations.