Energy and tech jobs: where job hiring is (finally) happening
Postings for tech jobs were up 30 percent last month compared with a year ago, according to Craigslist. Job hiring already resulted in upbeat employment numbers last week.
SolarCity, a fast-growing provider of alternative energy, hopes to hire 600 more employees this year.Skip to next paragraph
Eventbrite – which uses mobile devices to market, sell, and e-print tickets for events such as concerts – plans to add 70 tech-savvy people to its workforce this year.
With sales strong, DecoArt, a manufacturer of acrylic paints, wants to beef up its staff by hiring nine additional workers.
Yes, energy firms, high-tech businesses, and even some manufacturing companies are expected to be among the bright spots in hiring this year. Most in demand are skilled laborers (for example, those who can run a complex piece of machinery), salespeople, engineers, and computer whizzes.
The expected uptick in hiring is a welcome development after stubbornly high unemployment rates.
"Overall the US job market is as strong now as we have seen it since the onset of the recession," e-mails Jim Buckmaster, chief executive officer of Craigslist, the website that publishes millions of job listings.
The monthly employment numbers gathered by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are beginning to improve. After adding only 68,000 jobs in January, the economy tacked on 194,000 in February and 216,000 last month. In March, the unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point, to 8.8 percent.
In February, according to the BLS, 27 states and the District of Columbia experienced a drop in their unemployment rates, while only seven saw them rise. (The remaining 16 states had no change.)
Some reports seem to indicate the trend will continue. A February KPMG survey of 6,000 senior executives found that 41 percent of those involved in manufacturing expected to increase employment at their companies, up from 28 percent in October. Much of the increase is because businesses are beginning to shift from cost cutting to growth, says Lynne Doughtie, KPMG national managing partner in New York.
"What we are seeing from talking with our clients is a needed buildup of inventory to meet new market demand," Ms. Doughtie says. "More executives think they have to hire more to get this capacity back in the system."
In the case of manufacturing, this is coming after a huge number of layoffs, points out Dan Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI in Arlington, Va. During the recession, 2.28 million workers in manufacturing lost their jobs, and only 186,000 new manufacturing positions have been added in the past 14 months.
"There has been some job growth, with the best of it coming in durable goods, in many cases related to the automotive rebound," Mr. Meckstroth says.
Some of the job growth is also related to businesses believing this is a good time to expand. That's the case at DecoArt, a privately owned company in Stanford, Ky., which saw sales grow 20 percent in 2010 compared with 2009.