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Occupation Spotlight

The Fastest-Growing Jobs and Searches on Indeed

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The strong US labor market is reflected in the fastest-growing job titles and postings on Indeed.

Key points:

  • The tighter job market has triggered strong increases in some retail job postings, even as retail jobs overall decline, likely reflecting the difficulty employers have in filling these positions.
  • Less-educated nursing occupations like nurse’s aide and licensed practical nurse are growing faster than more-educated roles like registered nurse and nurse practitioner. 
  • Marijuana budtender job postings are up 69% in the year to December 1, 2019.
  • Job searches for “felony friendly employers” and “fair chance” (named after the California law) rose strongly in 2019, showing those with criminal backgrounds feel more confident about finding work.

Millions of people use Indeed.com every day. Employers post jobs. Job seekers hunt for work. And just as the US economy is constantly changing, so too are the most popular job postings and searches on Indeed. As we did last year, we’re taking a look at the job titles that grew fastest in job postings as well as the fastest-growing job seeker searches in the year to December 1, 2019.

Fastest-growing jobs include retail, healthcare, cannabis roles

It’s no secret the US job market is strong  — low unemployment, decent wage increases, and slowing-but-still-healthy job growth. So job seekers have good options. 

But because of this, employers hiring for entry-level, low-skill occupations sometimes struggle to attract and retain workers at prevailing wages. On Indeed.com, several retail jobs are among the fastest-growing postings. In particular, two retail job titles, “senior retail sales associate” and “merchandising associate,” were up more than 400% in the year to December 1, 2019. This is despite the fact that retail jobs as a whole are declining. What gives? The tighter job market has triggered strong increases in some retail job postings, even as retail jobs overall decline, likely reflecting the difficulty employers have in filling these positions.

Job postings for most healthcare occupations, and especially for nurses, grew strongly in 2019. This probably isn’t due to supply falling short of demand, as in retail. Rather, it’s because of a long-term trend — an aging population simply requires more nurses, so demand for nurses far exceeds supply. Interestingly, we find that less-educated nursing occupations like nurse’s aide and licensed practical nurse are growing faster than more-educated roles like registered nurse and nurse practitioner. 

Growth in the relatively new legal cannabis industry is striking. How many job postings increase 69% in one year? Well, marijuana budtender postings did in 2019. This is no surprise — since 2016, cannabis job postings have quadrupled, and cannabis job searches have risen even faster.  Because marijuana budtender is the top cannabis job title, you’d expect it to be among 2019’s fastest-growing jobs.

Job seeker queries reflect desire for more hours, “felony friendly” employers

The tight job market affects both employers and job seekers. Queries by users on Indeed.com reflect job seeker interest. But Indeed research has found that job seekers often don’t have a job title in mind. Instead, they’re looking for work based on location, flexibility, pay, and skills. So the fastest-growing searches in 2019 reveal a few interesting trends.

Job searches for “felony friendly employers” and “fair chance” (named after the California law) rose strongly in 2019. This reflects one benefit of the tight labor market — those with criminal backgrounds feel more confident about finding work, knowing employers are increasingly hiring applicants with a rap sheet.

Another sign of the strong job market is the rising number of workers searching for full-time work. People currently unemployed or out of the labor force may feel that, in this strong economy, now is the time to look for a full-time job. And those currently employed but working part-time may try to get more hours. These trends are evident in the fact that searches including the phrase “full time” rose at a far faster pace than searches containing “part time.” “Full-time” searches were up an eye-popping 164% in the year ended November 2019, way more than “part time” searches, which notched a 27% jump.

Conclusion

The tight US labor market is reflected in the fastest-growing jobs postings and searches. Because retail workers can more easily find better-paying positions elsewhere, several retail job titles are quickly rising. Similarly, the strong job market has empowered those with a criminal background to look for work, as searches like “fair chance” and “felony friendly employers” have exploded.

Beyond cyclical economic factors, there are long-term trends too. The emerging legal cannabis industry is creating jobs, and marijuana budtender positions have more than doubled. And because of the aging population, healthcare jobs are likely to proliferate. Interestingly, we find nursing jobs with fewer education requirements, like licensed practical nurse, are growing much faster than nursing jobs that demand more education, like nurse practitioner.

Methodology

The period examined is from November 1, 2018 to December 1, 2019. Job postings and searches were calculated as a share of all postings and searches per million respectively and indexed to the monthly level of November 2018. All searches had a minimum of 500 queries and job titles a minimum of 10,000 postings over the whole period.