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Staffing Central: Record Low Unemployment and Strong Healthcare Market

Keeping up with trends in the world of work is an essential part of managing one’s career. Yet, how many of us can find the time in our busy days to do the legwork necessary to be an expert on the fast-changing labor market? In the hopes of making your life a little easier, we’ve prepared this list of five of the most up-to-the minute happenings affecting the work force today.

1. The employment situation

In January, U.S. employment rose by 151,000 and the unemployment rate fell to a record low at 4.9 percent, down from 5 percent in December. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported job gains in multiple industries, including retail trade, healthcare and manufacturing. The economy saw a decrease in employment in private educational services, transportation and warehousing and mining.

2. Record earnings for staffing industry

With 47 percent of U.S. companies planning to add contract or temporary employees in 2016, more and more workers and employers are turning to staffing agencies to find employment. The result? This year the U.S. temporary staffing industry is expected to reach an all-time high of $121 billion, according to the U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast, a semi-annual report released recently by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA).

3. Healthcare market is strong

If you’re a healthcare professional, or considering a career in healthcare, the world is your oyster. “It’s a good time to be in healthcare staffing,” says Staffing Industry Analysts. The organization’s recent Growth Forecast, found that, healthcare staffing outpaced growth of the overall staffing industry in 2015, when it grew by seven percent. SIA projects that the industry will experience six percent growth in 2016.

4. Top 10 hardest-to-fill occupations

Not surprisingly, the American Staffing Association’s Skills Gap Index found that seven out of 10 of the hardest-to-fill occupations in the U.S. for the third quarter of 2015 were in the healthcare field. Here’s the complete list.

  • Podiatrists
  • Photographic process workers and processing machine operators
  • Occupational therapists
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists
  • Internists, general
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Occupational therapy assistants

5. Construction market builds

The strengthening economy means more opportunities in the construction industry according to the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate. “Seventy-one percent of construction firms plan to expand their payrolls in 2016 as contractors expect a range of public and private markets to grow.” The growth is expected despite “tight labor conditions, regulatory burdens and IT security challenges,” says the AGC.

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