In 2009, just after the onset of the Great Recession, the national unemployment rate was nearly double the 5.7 percent reported last month by the federal government. That means more people are locking down steady jobs, and it also means some industries are facing shortages of qualified workers.
In an informative Money story titled “Need a Job? These 5 Fields Are Hiring Like Crazy,” financial writer Brad Tuttle highlights some of the best opportunities out there in 2015. First on his list is teachers, who seem to be facing a definite sellers’ market. As Tuttle reports, there are now 100,000 fewer teachers than there were during the Great Recession, when states were forced to slash budgets and make widespread cutbacks. Now that they’re hiring again, they’re struggling to find good candidates, as the number of young people training to be teachers fell during the economic downturn.
Teachers are in especially short supply in California, according to the New York Times, as well as in cities like Nashville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, and Charlotte. Teachers able to cover math, science, and/or special education, as well as those who are bilingual, are especially well positioned, Tuttle reports.
Next on the list: chefs. As more and more eateries open across the country, there’s a growing need for skilled culinary personnel — so much so, Tuttle writes, that it’s “typical nowadays for a dozen different restaurants to be fighting over the same single qualified chef to hire.” Part of the reason is that low-level kitchen staff facing personal debt aren’t willing to slowly work their way up the ladder, Tuttle says, and that’s creating a wealth of opportunities for chefs already possessing the requisite skills.
Those handy with knives and frying fans aren’t the only ones in luck. The next field on Tuttle’s list is construction, which has rebounded in a big way after the recession. As more buildings go up, companies need carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, and some firms can’t find enough workers to meet the demand.
On a somewhat similar note, skilled manufacturing, next on Tuttle’s list, is also experiencing a hiring boom at the moment. While many people hear the word “manufacturing” and think of monotonous, low-paying assembly-line gigs, skilled machinists and engineers tasked with more complex jobs can earn far more than the $20-per-hour average wage paid to those on production lines.
Finally, there’s health care, a rather broad field that includes nurses, doctors, aides, and other types of personnel. Why the huge need? It’s a double-whammy of Baby Boomers getting older and Obamacare providing access to treatment for more and more Americans.