MONEY Finding a job

Need a Job? These 5 Fields Are Hiring Like Crazy

Companies are desperate for qualified candidates.

The unemployment rate in America keeps inching downward, measuring 5.3% in July, compared with 5.7% in January 2015 and roughly half the level it was during the worst of the Great Recession circa 2009.

The fact that life has gotten better (or at least more stable) for employees in a wide range of careers means that businesses have a harder time finding eager, aspiring job candidates—especially the kind of experienced, well-qualified ones that are most in demand. Here are a handful of fields facing big worker shortages right now.

Read next: How Do You Actually Land Your Dream Job?

  • Teachers

    High school precalculus teacher
    RJ Sangosti—Denver Post via Getty Images

    According to Education Week, there are now 100,000 fewer public school teachers than there were in 2008, before the Great Recession caused budget cutbacks and broad layoffs. State budgets have since rallied, and school districts all over the country have gotten the green light to hire many of those teachers back. But because the number of students training to be teachers declined significantly during the recession years, it’s been very difficult to find qualified candidates for the large number of openings.

    The New York Times is reporting that cities like Charlotte, Louisville, Nashville, and Oklahoma City—as well as pretty much everywhere in California—need new teachers so badly that they are “hiring novices still studying for their teaching credentials, with little, if any, classroom experience.” Aspiring teachers who are bilingual, and/or who are capable of handling math, science, and special education are particularly desirable candidates.


  • Chefs

    Chef in kitchen
    Cyrus McCrimmon—Denver Post via Getty Images

    Not long ago, restaurant owners had it pretty easy when they needed to hire a new chef. There was an abundance of qualified candidates for almost any opening, and restaurants could give a few aspiring employees a test-run in the kitchen before hiring anyone. Lately, however, the tables have turned. According to one restaurant owner who recently spoke to Fortune, it’s more typical nowadays for a dozen different restaurants to be fighting over the same single qualified chef to hire.

    The reasons for a shortage of quality chefs mostly boil down to two factors: 1) there have been a flood of new restaurant openings (perhaps 50 in a city like Denver, whereas 10 openings per year is more typical); and 2) the impatience of younger, debt-ridden culinary employees, who aren’t as game as those in the past to learn the craft as low-wage kitchen staff and work their way up the rungs.

  • Construction

    A carpenter carries lumber inside a house under construction.
    Daniel Acker—Bloomberg via Getty Images

    The housing bust took a huge toll on construction workers, to the tune of two million lost jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal. Now that the construction business has picked up again substantially, large building companies are struggling to find all of the experienced, qualified carpenters, plumbers, and electricians they need to keep up with the pace of the work.

  • Skilled Manufacturing

    Automation machinist
    Michael Ciaglo—AP

    The shortage of skilled manufacturing workers has been growing for years. The number of American manufacturing jobs that remained vacant was reportedly 600,000 a couple of years ago, and a 2015 report estimates that a skills gap will result in two million jobs going unfilled over the next decade.

    Average manufacturing wages have crept up to just over $25 per hour, compared with $24 in 2013. But at least some of the reason manufacturing firms have a hard time finding good workers is that the majority of Americans rank manufacturing low as a career choice. It seems that many think of assembly line and production workers, who tend to make wages of sub-$20 per hour, when they imagine a career in manufacturing. Relatively few think of engineers and machinists—the higher-paid kinds of skilled workers manufacturing companies need so badly.

  • Health Care

    Circulating nurse
    Dina Rudick—Boston Globe/Getty Images Circulating nurse

    In Michigan, hospitals have created paid apprenticeships to help attract and train medical assistants. Montana recently hosted a series of summer camps to expose high school students to careers in health care and medicine. Colleges in Florida, Wyoming, Nebraska, and beyond are ramping up outreach and educational programs to entice workers to enter a career in health care. These are among the many strategies being employed to address the looming shortage of doctors, aides, nurses, and other health care workers—who are in demand more than ever as more Baby Boomers retire and more Americans get access to treatment via Obamacare.


Why Nebraska Has The Lowest Unemployment Rate in the US

Welcome to Nebraska street sign
Thinkstock—Getty Images

Hint: It was largely spared from the housing market crash in 2007.

During the Great Recession, North Dakota was the nation’s golden child, where the unemployment rate never topped 4.3% even as joblessness across the rest of the country reached double digits. But as the economic recovery has played out, another state has undercut North Dakota’s impressively low rate: Nebraska.

At 2.6%, the state’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation. The rate for June is also Nebraska’s second lowest rate recorded in more than a decade and lower than North Dakota’s 3.1% rate, according to monthly local unemployment data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While North Dakota can attribute its low unemployment rate to the state’s fracking boom, the reasons for Nebraska’s low joblessness are less clear. However, one explanation could be that the state’s job market didn’t suffer as much as the rest of the country during the dark days of the recession.

“In Nebraska, it was just a bad recession rather than a Great Recession,” says Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. “We were hit hard by the recession, but not nearly as hard as many other states.”

What’s more, Nebraskans have their state’s diverse economy to thank.

“There’s not one segment of the economy that dominates the state, such as automobile manufacturing in Michigan. We don’t have anybody that big,” says John Albin, Nebraska’s commissioner of labor. And it didn’t hurt that agriculture, the industry that contributes the most to the state’s GDP, “was going through a boom time right when the rest of the economy was tanking,” he says. Crop prices were up thanks to a falling dollar and robust overseas demand. Corn, for instance, reached $7.50 per bushel in early 2008. That meant “manufacturers were still making farm equipment and car dealerships were still selling pickups,” Albin says. “In this last recession, that cushioned us a lot.”

The state was largely spared from the housing market crash, too. “Construction activity, including home building, did drop sharply during the Great Recession. However, our home prices had not risen that much and therefore did not fall much during the housing crisis,” Thompson says. The median property value in Nebraska was $122,600 between 2007 to 2009, according to the U.S. Census. Between 2010 to 2012, it increased to $127,800. (By comparison, Florida, among the states hardest hit by the housing market crash, saw median property value drop from $210,800 to $154,900 during the same period.)

Nebraska’s geography was a factor in its dodge of that crisis. The state’s landlocked location in the midwest means it has few natural barriers to population growth. Oceans and rivers limit housing expansion in places like California, New York City, or Massachusetts, which saw rapid increases in home values before the housing market crashed. “In Nebraska, if demand is there you can always just convert more farmland to housing,” Thompson says.

In explaining the state’s current 2.6% jobless rate, Thompson points to what he says is Nebraska’s high quality labor force. At 88.5%, Nebraska ranks second nationwide in high school graduation, according to the most recent data released by the Department of Education. (First place is neighboring Iowa, where the rate is 89.7%.). According to the Census, 28.5% of Nebraskans 25 years of age and older hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, just under the nationwide rate of 28.8%.

“In short, Nebraskans have good resumes in terms of education and history—these are the types of workers who generally have lower unemployment rates and also fair well during a recession. Employers try to find ways to keep such employees and when workers with good resumes do lose their jobs, they are usually able to find one quicker,” Thompson says. Indeed, in June, the national unemployment rate among high school graduates was 5.4%, according to the BLS figures. For individuals without a high school diploma, it was 8.2%.

To be sure, not everyone is convinced that the state’s super low unemployment rate is a sign of a healthy economy. A closer look at job growth “portrays an economy that’s not as healthy as when just unemployment is considered,” says Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University in Omaha. In the past three months, payrolls in the state have dropped from just over 1 million in April to 999,300 in May to 997,000 in June. Goss pegs that dip to the same factors that buoyed Nebraska’s economy during the recession—commodity prices, which have declined with the strengthening U.S. dollar. “You can trace slowing job growth to the farm economy,” Goss says. BLS employment figures don’t capture farm jobs, but they would reflect a slow down in the services that support the agriculture industry.

Nebraska’s low jobless rate and decreasing employment is certainly a disconnect—you’d expect unemployment to increase as employment shrank. There are a few theories to explain the rift: For one thing, Nebraskans have a propensity to hold multiple jobs—7.9% do so, compared to 4.9% nationally—which means if a worker with two jobs loses one, she would be considered unemployed. Goss says that workers who lose a job could be leaving the state or returning to work on farms — both scenarios would mean they wouldn’t budge the state’s jobless rate.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.


Finally, Some Better News For Job Seekers

businessman extending hand for handshake
Getty Images

There are more jobs, and they're paying better

If you’ve looked for work within the past several years, you know the job market offers pretty slim pickings, even more so if you’re not in a highly-sought-after field like technology. There finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, though: A new survey of employers finds that more of them are optimistic about the future and plan to grow their head count. Even better is the news that a substantial number of them are willing to pay more to do so.

CareerBuilder released its mid-year jobs forecast Thursday, and it definitely paints a sunnier picture than we’ve seen in a long time. For starters, roughly half of the 2,300 HR and hiring managers surveyed say they plan to hire full-time workers in the second half of 2015, an increase over 2014. Just over a third plan to hire temps, and 28% will add part-time workers, both increases from a year ago.

What’s even better news is that more HR departments are willing to pay to attract this new talent. Almost half of respondents say they’ll raise starting salaries in the next year, an increase of four percentage points in a year, and about one in six say they’ll hike what they pay new hires by more than 5%.

“This is the best forecast from our survey since the recession,” says CareerBuilder spokeswoman Jennifer Grasz. “Companies are hiring across industries, company sizes and geographies.”

The industries that plan to pick up the pace the most are a diverse lot: IT and healthcare are at the top of the heap, but not all of the fast-growing fields are just for high-skill workers. Hospitality and retail are also outperforming the average. Even embattled industries like financial services and manufacturing are enjoying better-than-average hiring rates.

Hiring is expected to be especially strong at small businesses and tech companies, the survey finds. Although 62% of big companies will add workers, compared with 37% of businesses with fewer than 250 workers, the increase in hiring is rising faster at smaller firms. “Enterprise organizations bounced back first and are considerably more likely to hire, but what’s encouraging is that small businesses have gained confidence every year, and that’s translating into more robust job creation,” Grasz says.

And while the picture is pretty good across the U.S., the Northeast has the biggest uptick: 52% of companies say they plan to add people in the second half of 2015, up from 48% last year. Grasz says the growing investment in technology in this part of the country is one reason for the acceleration, along with other regionally strong industries like healthcare and financial services continuing to rebound.

“This is a very different scenario for the labor market than four or five years ago,” Grasz says. It’s definitely a market job seekers of all types are likely to greet with a sigh of relief.

MONEY The Economy

The Worrisome Number in This Month’s Jobs Report

Despite a jump in jobs and lower unemployment, analysts are focusing on a different stat.


U.S. Job Growth Slowed in June

The share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job sank to the lowest rate since October 1977.

U.S. job growth slowed in June and Americans left the labor force in droves, according to a government report on Thursday that could tamper expectations for a September interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 223,000 last month, the Labor Department said. Adding to the report’s soft note, April and May data was revised to show 60,000 fewer jobs were added than previously reported.

With 432,000 people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.3%, the lowest since April 2008.

The labor force participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, fell to 62.6%, the weakest since October 1977. The participation rate had touched a four month high of 62.9% in May.

In addition, average hourly earnings were unchanged, taking the year-on-year increase to a tepid 2.0%.

MONEY consumer psychology

10 Lies Rich People Never Believe

Giorgio Majno—Getty Images

Forget abut YOLO.

We are all guilty of telling ourselves little white lies on a daily basis. Anything from “One more slice of cake won’t make a difference,” to “There’s time to watch one more episode before bed.” However, some of the lies we tell ourselves about money, especially if we’re short on it, can be very harmful.

They are the lies that keep us in debt, and stop us from living the life we really want to live. Here are 10 of the biggest lies that struggling people tell themselves week after week — and that successful people never tell themselves.

1. “I Really Need It!”

We need to separate the want from the need. Do any of us really need the latest smartphone? Do we need to dine out every Friday night? Do we need a $40,000 wedding? (No one does.) Do we need new clothes? And if we do need new clothes, do they need to be brand new, or can they come from a thrift store?

We will convince ourselves, through a series of pep talks and excuses, that we really need to have something. But often, we just want it. People who are good with money will know the difference between what they need, and what they want, and if they cannot afford it, they won’t get it.

2. “Credit is FREE Money!”

No, it’s not. Credit is actually more expensive money, if you really want to analyze it. Almost all credit comes with an annual APR, so when you borrow money, be it on a credit card, a loan, or any other form of credit, you are entering into a contract to pay back the money you borrow plus interest. Some people think that by getting out a bunch of credit cards, they are helping themselves to a ton of free money. But those bills will have to be paid at some point, and the interest will be accumulating until it’s paid off. This also leads into another huge lie…

3. “I Can Only Afford to Pay the Minimum.”

Actually, none of us can really afford to pay only the minimum on credit cards and loans. The interest quickly racks up on any debt you incur, and by paying the minimum you are spending it almost entirely on paying off that monthly interest charge. That means very little, if any, of the money we pay back on a loan gets applied to the principal. For instance, if we have $5000 on a credit card with an 11.9% interest rate, and pay $100 a month on that card, it will take 70 months to pay it off. We will have paid almost $2000 in interest. By doubling that payment to $200 a month, it takes just 29 months, and we pay only $775 in interest.

4. “I’m Never Going to Have Any Money Anyway.”

Says who? There are many examples of people who came from nothing and made fortunes; Oprah Winfrey is perhaps the most famous example of that. If we continue to tell ourselves that we won’t be successful, or we are destined to be financially challenged, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By thinking positive, we can at least start to get out of that rut and make opportunities for ourselves.

5. “I Have to Buy It; It’s on Sale.”

There are several ways to look at sales. They can be opportunities to save money, or even make money. By all means, we should shop the sales when we are looking for a specific item. However, buying something when it’s on sale just because it is on sale is a terrible way to waste money.

If we buy something, for instance a blender, for $60 because it is reduced by $20, we think we’ve saved money. But if we didn’t really need a new blender (remember the need vs. want argument) we haven’t saved $20 at all…we’ve spent $60. It can get even worse when we buy lots of sale items simply because we like the feeling we get of saving money. We cannot fall into that trap. Unless we really need something, or can see a way to buy and sell at a profit, we should all avoid those sales like the plague.

6. “Everyone Has a Car Payment.”

Ask around at work. Ask your friends, and family. You will find out that some people have small car payments, other have huge car payments, and some have no payments at all. The ones who don’t have a payment are smart. They either paid off their car in one lump sum, or made monthly payments until it was paid in full, and then kept the car. We all get tempted by the latest models, and as few of us can afford to drop $25,000 to $30,000 on a shiny new car, we opt for a monthly bill. But that monthly bill comes at a cost greater than money. It’s taking away from money we could be putting into a savings account, or spending on experiences like vacations or education.

7. “I’ve Earned It.”

“I worked really hard this week, I’ve earned this $5 cup of coffee.” “I worked an extra shift, I definitely earned this new outfit.” We are all guilty of this kind of thinking. We work hard, we feel like we earned the rewards that come from those endeavors. However, what are those little treats really costing us?

A $5 cup of coffee every day is around $150 a month. That’s $1800 every year. What could that money buy us, especially when we can make a decent cup of coffee at home for just pennies? What we have really earned is the chance to have a better life, and we’re cheating ourselves out of it by spending money on frivolous things just because they give us a few extra minutes of pleasure.

8. “It’s Only Money.”

That’s a little like saying “It’s only oxygen.” We need money to live (unless we have found a way to survive without it, which is rare to say the least). That kind of blasé attitude to money is what keeps poor people poor; rich people never think that way about money. It shows a complete lack of respect for the currency that we need to live on, and if we spend like there’s no tomorrow, guess what…tomorrow is going to suck. Money may not bring us happiness, but a lack of it can certainly make us very unhappy, and even unhealthy.

9. “I’m Not Gonna Live Forever.”

Add “You only live once (YOLO)” to that, and “Spend it while you’re young enough to enjoy it.” The problem with that kind of thinking is that the money runs out, the debt piles up, and we are committing ourselves to a future of worry, stress, and life without any kind of comfort. Humans are living longer lives. We may not live forever (yet) but we need to live like there’s a long future ahead of us, and save accordingly.

10. “Something Will Turn Up.”

Relying on luck to change our fortunes is foolhardy. Yes, something may very well turn up out of the blue. We may buy a lottery ticket and win millions. The chances of it happening are microscopic, but it could happen. We may also get a massive promotion at work, out of the blue. However, most of the time we create our own luck. We need to make sure that we’re working towards a way to grasp opportunities when they present themselves, or the things that “turn up” could include unexpected medical bills, unemployment, or bankruptcy.

More from Wise Bread:


TIME career

How to Talk to New Grads About Finding a Job

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Be there in a productive way

It can’t be easy watching your beloved, talented, educated money pit child walk off that graduation stage, diploma in hand…and move back home with no job prospects. Last summer when I graduated with a couple of freelance jobs but looking for something full-time, I was lucky that my parents mostly employed the strategy they had been using with me since the fourth grade: “She’s got it.” They were always supportive but never pestered me about what progress I had made that day, where I was applying, who I had reached out to, because they knew I was on top it. And guess what? Their trust in me gave me much more confidence in my job search than constant nagging would have.

Any expert and anyone who has been there can tell you that self-esteem is the thing that takes the biggest hit during unemployment. Trust me, your kids are just as eager to find a job as you are for them to have one. They know you’ve just spent thousands of dollars on their education, and (I hope) they are endlessly grateful. They desperately want to have an answer to the question, “Where are you working?” Social media is there with unrelenting reminders of what isn’t true but certainly feels like it is: “EVERYONE HAS A JOB EXCEPT YOU, LOSER.” In short, they’re downright terrified. (For confirmation on that, just read this piece I wrote last year, “Fears of a New Graduate.”) From talking to many friends who have been through this difficult situation with their parents in the past year, here is some friendly advice for being there for your child in a productive way during the job search.

1. Don’t micromanage.

You know your kid, and maybe he or she is someone who needs an extra push to get things done. But either way, trying to micromanage your adult child’s career is ill-advised. I just read a truly horrifying anecdote in Aliza Licht’s new book Leave Your Mark about an insistent mother who called DKNY repeatedly seeking a job for her daughter. She literally sent an email with the subject line, “A job for my daughter.” While I doubt that most parents reach that degree of desperation (God I hope), it is an extreme illustration of the difficulty in watching your college graduate look for a job, and your natural desire to help in any way possible. Don’t go down that path. At this point, the kids are officially raised—you have to trust they’re equipped to find a job on their own.

2. Trust their unconventional choices.

I have written about nine successful millennials who did something after graduation other than start a full-time job. Your child’s career path might not look like you expected it to. In fact it almost certainly won’t, given the rapidly changing job market. One of my friends said one of the things he appreciated most about his parents was that they never questioned his unusual career choices, in particular one summer when he took an internship at Sesame Street. This may have seemed crazy at the time, but the internship turned out to be an eye-opening experience that motivated him to go to law school. The paths to success are many, and multiplying every day.

3. Be realistic in your expectations.

When that same friend found himself applying to law schools two years later, his dad insisted that he apply to all of the Ivy Leagues, despite my friend explaining that his GPA was below the threshold they even considered. Not very productive. This goes double for your sons and daughters seeking jobs right now. Sure, it’s getting better, but it’s tough out there. You can’t expect them to send applications one week, have an interview the next, and be sitting down at their new desk the week after that. Asking, “have you heard anything yet?” every day will only make them frustrated and demoralized. You also can’t expect them to be searching for a job eight hours a day–yes finding a job is a full-time job, but other goals or even social events can be equally essential.

4. Don’t throw their financial status in their faces.

I’m not in a position to tell anyone how to parent, but I am in a position to determine whether someone is being rude. If you agreed to let your child live in your house and they are obeying the terms of that agreement, it is unfair and wrong to throw that fact back in their face if they are clearly making an effort to find a job. Yes, they live in your house again and you’re allowed to impose whatever rules you see fit. You can make them do the dishes every day, shovel the driveway, hand wash your unmentionables, whatever. But using “well you’re living here for free!” as an angry or passive aggressive jab is not only cruel but insanely counter-productive. (Pro tip: Making someone feel like a loser is not conducive to that person rocking an interview and landing a job).

5. Don’t make comparisons to “when I graduated.”

“When I graduated I had four six-figure offers…” Stop right there. You’re different people, you have different paths in life. But even if your child is in the exact same profession as you, that comparison is flat out untenable. Most millennials graduated during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and this year’s graduates are still feeling its effects. During our Great Recession, the unemployment rate for those over 34 peaked at about eight percent, but unemployment between the ages of 18 and 34 peaked at 14 percent in 2010 and remains elevated. According to Pew Research we are the first generation ever to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations had at the same age. We all know it’s not the same, so don’t make the mistake of acting like it is.

6. Support them, love them…

…in the same way you’ve been doing for the past 22 years. Thanks for that by the way. I hope that I speak for my generation when I say that we appreciate it more than you know.

This article originally appeared on

More from

MONEY Workplace

These 5 Industries Are Hiring Like Crazy Right Now

Hotel reception
Paul Maguire—Alamy

The overall economy added 280,000 new jobs last month, but 77% of them were in these fields.

Despite unemployment remaining steady in May, the economy still produced 280,000 new jobs, beating the average monthly gain of 251,000 from the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Since March, jobs have increased by an average of 207,000 per month.

Huzzah for you, job seeker. Your chance for a new gig continues to improve.

Of course, you’ll have an even better shot if you concentrate your search in these five fields‑-which accounted for three quarters of the new job growth last month:

1. Professional and business services
Jobs added in May: 63,000
Jobs added past 12 months: 671,000
Particular growth areas: computer systems design and related services, temporary help services, management and technical consulting services and architectural and engineering services

2. Leisure and hospitality
Jobs added in May: 57,000
Jobs added past 12 months: 57,000
Particular growth areas: arts, entertainment and recreation

3. Health care
Jobs added in May: 47,000
Jobs added past 12 months: 408,000
Particular growth areas: Ambulatory care services (which includes home health care services and outpatient care centers) and hospitals.

4. Retail
Jobs added: 31,000
Jobs added past 12 months: 288,000
Particular growth areas: automobile dealers

5. Construction

Jobs added: 17,000
Jobs added past 12 months: 273,000
Particular growth areas: none specified

More from

MONEY The Economy

What Do the Jobs Numbers Actually Mean?

A look at the monthly employment reports and what they mean.

The unemployment rate can often be used as a measure of how tough or easy it may be to get a job at a certain time. That one number, however, paints a picture that’s a little too simplistic. The unemployment rate fails to include people who have given up looking for work and those who consider themselves underemployed. To get a clearer picture, look at the employment growth number and the unemployment rate together.


Here’s One Statistic Explaining Why You Haven’t Gotten a Raise Lately

Krakozawr—Getty Images

A big chunk of workers are yearning for more hours, raise or no raise.

More than one-third of American workers would be willing to work longer hours without a raise, according to a new Federal Reserve report.

The report, which surveyed nearly 6,000 individuals about their financial well-being, found 36% of respondents would prefer to work more hours at their currently hourly wage. Another 58% of respondents said they are happy with the number of hours they currently work, while 5% wished they could work fewer hours.

While those who took the survey were not necessarily hourly workers, a Federal Reserve spokesperson said the question is a general proxy for whether employees would be willing to work longer for higher pay.

As Bloomberg notes, the Federal Reserve’s findings may help explain why inflation-adjusted wages have remained essentially flat, even as the economy has improved.

“When [Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen] says that the unemployment rate probably does not fully capture the extent of slack in the labor market, this is exactly what she’s talking about,” said Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies LLC, in an email to Bloomberg. “Until workers perceive that there are more opportunities available that offer higher wages, they will be content to work for the same rate rather than take a risk for more.”

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