10 industries with the most job openings
The U.S. economy has had a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund. The unemployment rate has returned to 2019 levels and wage increases for lower-income workers have reduced income gaps. Inflation, however, has posed a problem.
The country's gross domestic product, or GDP, did drop in the first half of the year, but the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas argues that the U.S. likely did not fall into a recession. The IMF predicts the U.S. economy will slow in 2022-2023 but narrowly avoid a recession.
Since the end of 2020, 8.5 million jobs have been created in the U.S. There were nearly 10.7 million job openings as of June 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Knowing this, Tovuti LMS used data from the BLS to find the 10 industries with the most job openings in June 2022. These are preliminary estimates released on Aug. 2, 2022.
Some openings are a result of government actions. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress is expected to spur construction across the country. Others, in health care, for example, are a reflection of our aging society. Read on to find out which industries offer the best prospects for jobs.
These industries had the largest volume of job openings in June 2022. Job openings are defined as positions that are open at the end of the month and can be full-time, part-time, seasonal, short-term, or permanent. They don't include job openings where candidates are only sourced internally.
Data is from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which uses sampling to make estimates about larger industries. There is some variability in the data, represented in the chart overlay. So, as an example, though JOLTS estimated that health care and social assistance had the most job openings, it's also possible that professional and business services had more openings due to potential sampling errors.
Keep reading for a more detailed look at the hiring landscape in each of these industries.
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 334K
-- Change since June 2021: +4%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 346K
-- Change since June 2021: -1%
Associated Builders and Contractors in February 2022 predicted the need for 650,000 additional workers over the year to meet labor demand in the field. That's on top of the normal pace of hiring. In a statement, the president of the industry group, Michael Bellaman, pointed to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress in November 2021 and stimulus from COVID-19 relief. Skilled workers are required to modernize roads, bridges, and energy production across the country, and 3,900 new jobs are projected for each billion in additional construction spending.
The industry expects some 1.2 million construction workers to move to other industries in 2022, a loss that will likely be offset by 1.3 million workers who will enter from other industries. Among the largest construction companies are The Turner Corp., Bechtel Corp., Fluor, and Kiewit Corp.
Given the margin of error, it's also plausible that wholesale trade or state and local government education or both could have the same amount or more job openings than construction, but the BLS estimate put construction in the lead.
#9. Finance and insurance
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 401K
-- Change since June 2021: +63%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 128K
-- Change since June 2021: -6%
Jobs in finance and insurance run the gamut from portfolio managers to insurance agents or loan officers at a bank or credit union. Finance and insurance businesses account for 4% of U.S. jobs. The sector, which has been expanding faster than the economy as a whole, is projected to grow 4% through 2025, with insurance carriers and other insurance-related businesses expected to add the most jobs or 139,807 by then.
Commercial banks and credit issuers, insurance carriers, and brokerages make up 75% of the industry. The five years before the COVID-19 pandemic saw growing demand based on the improving economy and the trend is likely to continue as the country recovers.
#8. Other services (excluding public administration)
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 459K
-- Change since June 2021: +17%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 220K
-- Change since June 2021: -9%
"Other Services" is a catch-all category created by the BLS for jobs not accounted for elsewhere. According to the bureau, they include repairing equipment and machinery, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing a variety of services such as dry cleaning and laundry, personal care, death care, pet care, photofinishing, temporary parking, and dating.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit personal care businesses especially hard as many people avoided close contact and governments imposed stay-at-home orders and restrictions. Even as businesses reopened, their capacity was often limited.
Now, the industry is expected to grow at more than 8% between 2020 and 2030, almost five times faster than the average growth for all employment—and that does not include the recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic. Among the contributors behind the growth include the demand for services, especially as people saw themselves on Zoom calls; more customers, particularly among men; and new services, from eyebrow tattoos to tattoo removal.
#7. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 520K
-- Change since June 2021: +4%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 315K
-- Change since June 2021: -1%
The transportation industry saw severe disruptions during the pandemic as a result of illness and stay-at-home orders. The supply chain was upended as capacity on container vessels fell and rates rose. The demand for air freight increased too. Now cargo and passenger airlines are adding jobs. Commuting networks saw ridership plummet and some are still experiencing reduced ridership.
The number of riders on the New York City subway system, for example, is at 90% of pre-pandemic levels in working-class neighborhoods but still lags in the business districts. The industry encompasses airplanes, railroads, ships, trucks and other vehicles, and pipelines, moving passengers and cargo.
#6. State and local government (excluding education)
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 547K
-- Change since June 2021: +26%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 176K
-- Change since June 2021: +21%
During the coronavirus pandemic, state and local governments had high job losses, and the public sector was still 664,000 jobs below its pre-pandemic level as of June 2022. Between March 2020 and March 2021, employment fell 5.1% in state government and 6.5% in local government, per the BLS. That compares with a 4.3% drop in the private sector.
Among the largest category of jobs in state government in March 2020 were correctional officers and jailers, office clerks, registered nurses, and secretaries and administrative assistants. In local government, once education jobs were excluded, police and sheriff's patrol officers, janitors and cleaners, secretaries and administrative assistants, office clerks, and firefighters topped the list. One caution about salaries: The state government has a higher pay scale for lower-paying jobs but a lower one for higher-paying jobs, the bureau found.
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 790K
-- Change since June 2021: -12%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 475K
-- Change since June 2021: +7%
The Manufacturing Institute in Washington D.C. and Deloitte Insights project that manufacturers will need to fill 4 million jobs by 2030. But unless more people enter the field, 2.1 million of those jobs could remain unfilled, according to their January 2022 study, Creating Pathways for Tomorrow's Workforce Today. Not filling those jobs could cost $1 trillion in 2030, Deloitte estimates.
They have been tracking a skills deficit in manufacturing for 19 years and warn that it could slow the growth of manufacturing. Finding workers with the right skills is harder than ever—1.4 times harder than in 2018, according to the report, which found younger workers showed less interest in manufacturing as a career. Top manufacturing companies range from Broadcom Inc. to Boeing to Juul Labs.
#4. Retail trade
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 842K
-- Change since June 2021: -22%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 803K
-- Change since June 2021: -16%
During the coronavirus pandemic, retail trade suffered steep drops in employment as customers ordered online or sought curbside pickup. Although the sector is expected to lose 587,000 jobs between 2020 and 2030—the largest projected job loss of any of the BLS employment categories—some industries could add jobs over the next decade.
Employment in the retail industry increased by 2% in 2021, compared to the overall growth of 0.7%. The number of jobs also increased from 2010 to 2017, but at the same time, the growth of online retail took business away from brick-and-mortar stores.
In 2030, retail trade will likely account for 8.6% of total employment, a drop from 9.7% in 2020 and 10.2% in 2010, according to the bureau. Among the country's top retailers are Walmart, Amazon, Costco Wholesale, The Home Depot, and Kroger Co.
#3. Accommodation and food services
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 1.30M
-- Change since June 2021: +3%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 1.00M
-- Change since June 2021: -5%
The leisure industry, which includes hotels and restaurants, is rebounding as pandemic restrictions are eased. The industry also was especially hard-hit during the pandemic shutdowns. As of March 2022, employment had dropped by 8.7% since February 2020.
Recently, it has shown gains of 100,000 jobs or more over successive months—but at the same retention, which appears, again, to be a problem. In March 2022, 3 in 50 people working in the industry quit, Restaurant Business noted, as hirings rose and unfilled jobs fell, according to the BLS. Marriott, Hilton, and Best Western Hotels are among the largest hotel chains in the United States.
#2. Professional and business services
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 2.01M
-- Change since June 2021: +13%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 1.20M
-- Change since June 2021: -1%
The professional and business services market is expected to grow now that the economy is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and government shutdowns that had once curbed the need for some services have been eased.
The sector is broad, encompassing law and accounting firms, architectural and engineering companies, advertising companies, and those that design computer systems. Among some of the prominent companies in the field are Deloitte Touche, Tohmatsu Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Accenture, and KPMG. The largest market for professional services in 2021 was North America.
#1. Health care and social assistance
- June 2022 job openings (preliminary): 2.05M
-- Change since June 2021: +32%
- June 2022 hires (preliminary): 796K
-- Change since June 2021: +18%
The health care profession is expected to add more jobs in the next decade than any other occupation, according to the BLS. The number of jobs is projected to grow 16% between 2020 and 2030, for an addition of 2.6 million new positions. Health care occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups, with the country's aging population accounting for the growing demand for health care.
Employment of social workers is projected to grow 12% over the same timeframe. On average, about 78,300 openings for social workers are expected each year, many the result of the need to replace workers who have left the profession. Some large employers in health care include CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group, Cigna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.