The American private sector has experienced an increase in job creation since 2013, which many experts attribute to more general demand for goods and services in the economy, corporate and government re-shoring policies to bring jobs back domestically, and impacts from major geopolitical events.
Over the last 10 years, the demand for staffing among private firms has risen by approximately 75%. The onset of COVID-19 in early 2020 hit the labor market hard, leading to job losses in ways unseen since the time of the Great Depression. But in 2021, the job market substantially recovered, with around 60% of lost jobs restored, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Notable industries that drove the recovery included hospitality, business services, and leisure—sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Business services, transportation and warehousing, and the information sectors saw employment reach pre-pandemic levels, the agency reported.
In 2013, for every 10 private sector hires in a month, there were about nine job openings at the month's end. In 2023, for every 10 private sector hires in a month, there are about 15 job openings at the end of that month. This signals that rather than progressively filling open jobs over time, the economy has more job openings than those that are being filled.
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, altLINE ranked the top 10 industries with the most significant increases in job openings and hires over the past decade. Changes are calculated from June 2013 to June 2023.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 72,000 jobs (+55.8%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 129,000
- Hires, June 2023: 72,000
Common jobs in the real estate, rentals, and leasing industry, according to the job search website Indeed, include leasing agents, foreclosure specialists, leasing consultants, real estate brokers and sales agents, and community association managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment for real estate brokers and sales agents to increase by 5% between 2021 and 2031. However, according to the agency, many job openings in this industry result from demand caused by workers leaving the industry or retiring.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 1,124,000 jobs (+65.9%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 1,694,000
- Hires, June 2023: 1,135,000
Jobs in business and professional services require workers to have a high degree of training and expertise. Examples of jobs in the business and professional services industry include legal services, logistics, accounting and management, project management, marketing, and creative services. Employees engaging in business and professional services enjoyed wages over the $45,760 median annual salary across all occupations in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to consulting firm Grant Thornton, notable factors driving growth and disruption in the industry are competition for securing talented professionals, technological development, and globalization requiring workers to engage with markets from all over the world. That the U.S. has a relatively highly educated population gives it a comparative advantage in the services trade.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 149,000 jobs (+76.4%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 171,000
- Hires, June 2023: 173,000
Thanks to technological innovations that enabled digital purchases, online ticketing, streaming services, and in-game purchases, the media, arts, and entertainment industries witnessed growth in demand for their services in the years before the pandemic. During the pandemic, as people experienced lockdowns, demand for digital entertainment increased, stimulating the creation of new jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that entertainment employment is expected to increase by 13% from 2021 to 2031—a rate faster than the growth rates of other jobs. With the end of lockdowns, people are going out more, and the demand and job growth in these industries are set to grow further.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 854,000 jobs (+77.4%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 1,051,000
- Hires, June 2023: 906,000
Even before the pandemic, the accommodation and food industries were growing. That growth halted and huge numbers of people lost their jobs in this sector when COVID-19 hit. But since the lifting of lockdowns, the prior growth trend has resumed. Data from Switzerland's EHL Hospitality Business School shows that hospitality is one of the world's fastest-growing industries, with 22 million new jobs in 2022—a 7.9% increase over job openings in 2021. Fine dining and restaurants are tied to the hospitality and accommodation industries, so growth in one may help feed growth in the others.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 188,000 jobs (+83.9%)
Thanks to digitization, growing competition, greater demand, and innovation, the wholesale industry has experienced significant growth and disruption. Furthermore, the gradual increase in commodity prices following a period of historic decline has also driven growth in the sector. To remain competitive, firms in the industry have created new jobs to better adapt to innovations and digitization in the industry.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 274,000 jobs (+98.6%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 356,000
- Hires, June 2023: 196,000
Durable goods manufacturing refers to the manufacturing of goods that last very long, such as automobiles, furniture, tools, and equipment. Thanks to re-shoring efforts by companies and the federal and state governments to bring back manufacturing in the country, the manufacturing sector in the U.S. has experienced a revival, with a million additional workers joining the sector between 2010 and 2021, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Notable initiatives contributing to additional jobs in the sector include the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, according to the Department of Labor.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 161,000 jobs (+124.8%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 192,000
- Hires, June 2023: 98,000
Educational services include training and coaching centers, schools, universities, and colleges, and professional certification programs—as well as creating books and teaching materials, administrative functions, and even building and maintaining schools. With opportunities in STEM-related fields and professional services jobs, on top of the pandemic-sparked drive of many people to learn new skills, demand for education services has risen steadily, with job creation following suit.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 251,000 jobs (+145.9%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 226,000
- Hires, June 2023: 197,000
Nondurable goods refer to those intended to be used in a short period, requiring regular purchases once they are consumed. These include foods, soap, disposable paper plates and cups, air fresheners, and hair conditioners. Along with durable goods manufacturing, the manufacturing industry as a whole has witnessed significant growth in the past decade, particularly in 2022, when it added 367,000 jobs, according to the Department of Labor. Government initiatives driving growth and job creation in this sector include re-shoring and employment creation policies such as the Good Jobs Initiative, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 1,583,000 jobs (+153.1%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 1,837,000
- Hires, June 2023: 780,000
This industry includes any economic activity giving people medical care, health services, and social assistance. According to Deloitte, notable jobs in this industry include those in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and day care centers, such as nurses, physicians, therapists, and personal care aides. COVID-19, an aging population, longer life expectancies, and a rise in the number of people with chronic illnesses have contributed to an increase in demand for labor in this sector, as evidenced by the large number of jobs created in the industry.
- Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 505,000 jobs (+169.5%)
- Job openings, June 2023: 493,000
- Hires, June 2023: 310,000
This industry deals with moving finished and unfinished goods from one place to another, fulfilling deliveries for online orders, and storage. According to Deloitte, notable jobs in this industry include drivers, supply chain managers, mail carriers, and taxi drivers. Growth in other sectors, re-shoring, and the post-COVID-19 supply crunches have all contributed to greater demand for labor in this industry.
Data reporting by Paxtyn Merten. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Tim Bruns.
This story originally appeared on altLINE and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.