Photograph by Christopher Furlong — Getty Images
The healthcare and technology industries tied for the most openings.
If you’re a nurse and looking for a job, it’s pretty easy to get a new gig. The same is true for truck drivers.
In fact, they’re the most in-demand jobs, according to a report released earlier this month by the job bulletin board Indeed.com. And as the economy recovers and with U.S. employment at a nearly six-year high, the report paints a clear picture of what industries need workers most.
January is always a big month for job seekers, many of whom wait until after the New Year to start their search. The uptick in activity can be tracked on online job sites.
On Indeed, unique visitors increased an average of 38% between the lull of December and the frenzy of January in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The reason? Ambitious employees who picked up their holiday bonus and are looking for a change, according to Indeed’s director Kevin Walker.
This year, many job seekers can afford to be picky. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% in December, the lowest its been since June 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In its report, Indeed tracked the kinds of jobs listed most frequently on its site. Healthcare and information technology were the top industries, according to data collected from the first two weeks of 2015.
Both had five different jobs in the top 25. For instance, healthcare included nurses, physical therapists and personal home care aids for the healthcare industry. For information technology, it was software engineers, computer information systems managers and network administrators.
Of course, many of these positions that are most “in-demand” by Indeed’s standards also happen to be big industries always searching for more employees. Some of the jobs listed, like trucker drivers and customer service representatives, also happen to be low paying.
The top ten most in-demand jobs were following, according to Indeed:
1. Registered nurses 72000
2. Truck drivers 35000 to 50000
3. Customer service representatives
4. Sales managers
5. Sales representatives
6. First-line supervisors or managers of retail sales workers
7. Software quality assurance engineers and testers
8. General and operations managers
9. Managers (all other)
10. Accountants and auditors
Walker said that registered nurses and truck drivers are regulars in lists of top job openings. But he added that there were also some surprises like retail jobs.
Indeed’s list of top job openings doesn’t exactly align with similar research from the Labor Department. For instance, the agency’s November data showed that trade, transportation and utilities industry led all others with just over one million openings. Professional and business services followed with over 900,000 openings while the health care and social assistance industries had around 460,000.
Indeed’s report said that companies have a strong incentive to get open positions filled quickly. Unfilled jobs cost businesses $160 billion annually, according to separate report Indeed released in November. That figure is based on an “annual potential value of unfilled job opportunities,” according to the report.
Manufacturers, for example, end up taking longer to fill orders and missing deadlines. As a result, production is slowed dramatically and there’s less money earned. The report offered one potential solution: businesses should ramp up their recruitment to fill a position more quickly.
“The cost of unfilled roles should serve as a wake-up call to U.S. businesses developing recruitment strategies in a post-recession environment,” said Indeed SVP Paul D’Arcy in a statement.
But it did not address another sure fire way to attract recruits: Higher wages.