Career Advice

Four Areas To Look For Jobs

The unemployment report Friday rained dreary news about hiring and job prospects – from no temporary services hiring to reductions in real estate and many sectors sitting unchanged in July.

“The pain continues for America’s workers.  Jobs, the metric that matters most to working families, show little sign of life,” National Employment Law Project (NELP) Executive Director Christine Owens said in a statement. More than 1.3 million workers have been unemployed for 99 weeks or longer, NELP estimates based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and millions more are unemployed for shorter times.

Yet despite such tepid job picture, there are pockets of prosperity and places that are hiring, if we look carefully. Here’s four areas where jobs will jump:

Look for profitable sectors and organizations.

Companies paying big bonuses to executives or adding new executives to their ranks are good possibilities for hiring. So are dental offices, accounting and tax preparation firms and other health practitioners.  Those three had the highest profit margins of any industry in 2009, all topping 12 percent, according to Sageworks Inc.

All three industries also spend a larger share of their revenue on staff payroll versus other high-profit industries, according to Sageworks, which gathers and aggregates anonymous financial data from CPAs and commercial lenders. Two other good targets in the high profit, high payroll area are physicians’ offices and private technical and trade schools.

See a list below of the 10 highest profit industries:

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Look for influx of money.

Some non-profits win grants and major donations.  Many technical schools get government aid to help the jobless. Corporations win contracts or major new clients. When those headlines show up, jobs will turn up soon.  Last year it was the Census Bureau; this year it could be local hospitals and home health care organizations, which have seen sales surge through May, Sageworks reports.

Watch for organizations and employers in your region that land new funding – whether from venture capitalists or the government. They’ll show up in articles, in promotional information and in business development association websites.

Look for comeback stories.

General Motors was in bankruptcy last summer; since then it’s hired or recalled 6,900 people including 1,100 in my home state of Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported this week..    After racking up big losses earlier, Citigroup and other banks are on a hiring tear.

Many of those companies may have cut too deeply into their employee ranks and now need to restaff. The index shows occupations such as legal, finance, office support and transportation rising.

Do some homework to consider staff morale, long term prospects and a “we’re still sickly” mindset before taking a job at a comeback kid.

Look for problems to solve.

Trouble can spell opportunity for some individuals and at some employers. So with the unemployment rate staying stubbornly above 9 percent, community colleges and private training and educational organizations are going to keep thriving. So are organizations that help distressed consumers deal with debt, foreclosure and starting over as small business people or in scaled-back lifestyles.

Put your focus on growth and opportunities – and you’ll be surprised to see that they do exist. To be sure, the places that are growing are going to hear from plenty of job candidates. But they may have plenty of openings too, and that is a ray of sunshine in a still dark employment picture.