Hiring Growth in These 25 Industries Has Exploded


 While many industries have been dealt a crushing blow during the COVID-19 pandemic, some lucky ones are actually experiencing an uptick in demand. Businesses in these sectors are working hard to hire thousands of new people to keep up with the surge in demand and serve customers in these otherwise gloomy times, and some cities are especially primed to reignite their economies. In fact, many businesses are even increasing wages and/or benefits by a significant amount.

Whether you’re looking for a part-time job to make ends meet or eyeing a new career that might last beyond the crisis, knowing which industries are hiring can greatly improve your chances of success. Here’s a closer look at growing industries, ranked from the lowest to highest rise in job growth over the most recent month.

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

Stay-home orders and restrictions on non-emergency, non-COVID-19-related healthcare have had a devastating effect on many medical practices, according to a report from JAMA Network. Not surprisingly, offices of other health practitioners such as physical therapists were hit hard as well. Jobs in this field are still down compared to a year ago, but future prospects are improving.

  • Total employed: 910.000
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 13,800
  • 1-Month change: 1.5%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 44,500
  • 3-Month change: 5.1%
  • Jobs in this industry: Rehabilitation counselors, human resource specialists, physical therapists, pharmacy technicians

Nonmetallic Mineral Products

The nonmetallic mineral products industry involves mining and quarrying sand, stone, clay, gravel, and other nonmetals, and then processing them for use. The finished products run the gamut from glass to bricks. Opportunities for the folks who help get these vital materials to market are looking up, thanks to the 6,200 jobs created in the past month.

  • Total employed: 405,600
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 6,200
  • 1-Month change: 1.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 5,000
  • 3-Month change: 1.2%
  • Jobs in this industry: Production managers, laborers, machine setters, material movers, truck drivers

Local Government, Excluding Education

Overall, government workers have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than private-sector workers. Private workers were almost twice as likely to be unable to work due to the pandemic and they were significantly less likely to be compensated for missed work. However, the government sector still has a six-month net loss of 335,600 jobs. The good news is, government jobs are coming back, with 96,400 new jobs created within the past month and more than 187,000 within the last three months.

  • Total employed: 6,282,800
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 96,400
  • 1-Month change: 1.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 3.1%
  • 3-Month change: 187,200
  • Jobs in this industry: Financial managers, life scientists, computer network support specialists, business operations specialists

Health and Personal Care Stores

In terms of job losses since the beginning of the pandemic, health and personal care stores fall about mid-range compared to the other industries in this survey. Despite the essential nature of this industry’s products and services, it has experienced a net loss of 70,600 jobs over the past six months. However, a 5.4% increase in the last three months bodes well for new and returning workers.

  • Total employed: 986,300
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 15,900
  • 1-Month change: 1.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 50,400
  • 3-Month change: 5.4%
  • Jobs in this industry: Pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy technicians, retail salespeople, retail supervisors/managers

Motor Vehicles and Parts

The pandemic dealt a serious blow to the motor vehicles and parts industry. Stay-home orders and travel restrictions led to people driving less and putting less wear and tear on their vehicles. However, this sector has bounced back of late, adding 53,700 new jobs in the last three months alone. Technicians and mechanics as well as retail workers can expect more job opportunities as the industry continues to recover.

  • Total employed: 919,000
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 14,300
  • 1-Month change: 1.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 53,700
  • 3-Month change: 6.2%
  • Jobs in this industry: Automotive service technicians and mechanics, retail sales supervisors and managers, parts salespersons, retail salespersons

Rental and Leasing Services

Rental and leasing services cover real estate rentals as well as car, machine, and equipment rentals, consumer good rentals, and general rental centers. This is a sizable industry that employs nearly half-a-million Americans. Things are looking up for these workers. Of the 18,400 jobs added in the last three months, nearly half were created in September alone.

  • Total employed: 484,900
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 8,100
  • 1-Month change: 1.7%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 18,400
  • 3-Month change: 3.9%
  • Jobs in this industry: Counter and rental clerks, real estate agents, truck drivers, vehicle and equipment cleaners, retail supervisors/managers

Nonstore Retailers

Nonstore retailer sales shot up 22.4% from August 2019 to August 2020, at least in part because pandemic-related stay-home orders and business shutdowns led consumers to order products online rather than buy them from a store. This increase in demand means new jobs for customer service reps, telemarketers, and others involved in the processing and delivering orders. September brought 9,300 new jobs to the industry.

  • Total employed: 554,800
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 9,300
  • 1-Month change: 1.7%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 21,500
  • 3-Month change: 4%
  • Jobs in this industry: Customer service representatives, order clerks, stock clerks, telemarketers, retail salespersons

Broadcasting, Except Internet

Early in the pandemic, stay-home orders drove consumers to take in nearly 60% more media content than usual, according to the Nielson Total Audience report. The broadcasting industry has demonstrated an ability to adapt to the changing business environment by adding people. More than half of the 7,500 new jobs created in the last three months opened up in September — good news for on-air talent as well as technicians and ad reps.

  • Total employed: 246,400
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 4,400
  • 1-Month change: 1.8%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 7,500
  • 3-Month change: 3.1%
  • Jobs in this industry: Advertising sales agents, broadcast technicians, radio and television announcers, reporters and correspondents

Textile Product Mills

Textile product mills make non-apparel goods such as bed linens, towels, and home furnishings. This is a relatively small industry in the U.S. these days, employing only about 104,000 workers. But job prospects for machine operators, inspectors, and other textile workers are improving thanks to the 1,900 jobs created in the last month.

  • Total employed: 104,000
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 1,900
  • 1-Month change: 1.9%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 100
  • 3-Month change: 0.1%
  • Jobs in this industry: Inspectors, sewing machine operators, textile cutting machine setters, knitting and weaving machine tenders, production supervisors/managers

Food Services and Drinking Places

Employing nearly 10 million people in the U.S., the food services and drinking places industry represents one of the largest in this survey. It’s also one of the hardest hit by stay-home orders and business shutdowns, losing 17.6% of its jobs since September 2019. But as consumers venture back out to these establishments, you can expect to see a rise in hiring of cooks, servers, bartenders, and restaurant managers. September ended with more than 200,000 new positions having been created.

  • Total employed: 9,985,100
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 200,300
  • 1-Month change: 2%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 828,900
  • 3-Month change: 9.1%
  • Jobs in this industry: Food prep workers, cooks, waiters and waitresses, food preparation and service supervisors/managers

Museums, Historical Sites and Similar Institutions

In addition to workers who operate the facilities, museum and historical site workers include those who preserve and care for the objects and natural wonders on display. Because this is a comparatively small industry with only 128,900 workers nationwide, every job counts. Of the 4,000 new positions created in the last three months, 2,600 came in September.

  • Total employed: 128,900
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 2,600
  • 1-Month change: 2.1%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 4,000
  • 3-Month change: 3.2%
  • Jobs in this industry: Curators, museum technicians, and conservators, nonfarm animal caretakers, public relations specialists

Child Day Care Services

There’s no denying the essential nature of child daycare, but with many parents working from home or not working at all during the pandemic, these front-line service providers have had to overcome serious challenges. The impressive number of jobs created in recent months indicates that openings are on the upswing for the teachers, administrators, and others who make it possible for America’s parents to return to work.

  • Total employed: 853,000
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 17,700
  • 1-Month change: 2.1%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 70,600
  • 3-Month change: 9%
  • Jobs in this industry: Education and child care administrators, social workers, teachers, food preparation workers, office clerks

Water Transportation

The water transportation industry keeps people and cargo moving via ship, barge, and boat. It includes both inland transport and transport through deep sea, coastal, and Great Lakes waters. With a total workforce of just 56,100, this is the second-smallest industry in the GoBankingRates survey. But it’s holding its own in terms of job growth.

  • Total employed: 56,100
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 1,200
  • 1-Month change: 2.2%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 900
  • 3-Month change: 1.6%
  • Jobs in this industry: Captains, mates, and pilots, general and operations managers, laborers, marine oilers, ship engineers

Accommodation and Food Services

Lodging and restaurant reopenings are likely behind the surge in demand for accommodation and food services workers. Viewed independently from the leisure and hospitality “supersector” it falls under, accommodation and food services are the largest industry in this ranking. As such, it has an outsized impact on employment opportunities, with more than 250,000 jobs created last month and over 900,000 in the last three months.

  • Total employed: 11,350,700
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 251,000
  • 1-Month change: 2.3%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 904,000
  • 3-Month change: 8.7%
  • Jobs in this industry: Cooks, hotel/motel/resort desk clerks, waiters, and waitresses

Leisure and Hospitality

As noted above, leisure and hospitality is a supersector that includes accommodation and food services in addition to arts, entertainment, and recreation. A whopping 318,000 new jobs created in September means companies in this category are on a hiring spree to fill positions ranging from fitness instructor and singer to hotel desk clerk.

  • Total employed: 13,027,000
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 318,000
  • 1-Month change: 2.5%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 1,094,000
  • 3-Month change: 9.2%
  • Jobs in this industry: Amusement attendants, fitness trainers, musicians, gaming supervisors, lobby attendants, ticket takers

Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores

Considering how much time Americans are spending on indoor and safe outdoor activities these days, it comes as no surprise that sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores are scrambling for more workers. The 11,500 new jobs created in September make up 2.5% of the total workforce in this industry, representing a significant — and much needed — gain.

  • Total employed: 466,400
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 11,500
  • 1-Month change: 2.5%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 46,900
  • 3-Month change: 11.2%
  • Jobs in this industry: Cashiers, retail salespersons, shipping/receiving clerks, stock/order clerks, retail supervisors/managers

Textile Mills

Whereas the textile product mills listed previously manufacture only non apparel items, the larger textile mills category includes both apparel and non-apparel manufacturers. Although finished products might be classified under another manufacturing industry, the mills themselves employ 96,400 people in the U.S. The wait might be over for anyone who’s been looking for an opportunity to enter this industry. Of the 2,700 jobs created in the last three months, 2,400 opened up in September.

  • Total employed: 96,400
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 2,400
  • 1-Month change: 2.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 2,700
  • 3-Month change: 2.9%
  • Jobs in this industry: Inspectors, machine setters, machine operators, machine tenders, supervisors/managers

Warehousing and Storage

Warehousing and storage companies don’t sell the products they store, but they’re often involved in managing inventory and distribution. It’s a large industry that employs more than 1.25 million people. With 32,200 jobs created in September, the outlook is bright for truck drivers, transportation managers, laborers, and shipping/receiving clerks looking for work.

  • Total employed: 1,253,800
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 32,200
  • 1-Month change: 2.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 60,400
  • 3-Month change: 5.1%
  • Jobs in this industry: Truck and tractor operators, laborers, shipping/receiving clerks, store clerks, order fillers, transportation managers

Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation

The smallest industry in this ranking has seen one of the biggest increases in new jobs. Careers in the scenic and sightseeing transportation industry include bus drivers and boat captains as well as sales and support staff who keep the vehicles and vessels filled with tourists. It’s a good time to look for work in this industry. Paycheck protection loans helped keep dozens of tour companies solvent this past summer and set the stage for the creation of 800 new jobs in September, which helped offset job losses in prior months.

  • Total employed: 21,700
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 800
  • 1-Month change: 3.8%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 700
  • 3-Month change: 3.3%
  • Jobs in this industry: Bus drivers, water vessel captains, ticket agents, travel clerks, sailors

Accommodation

In contrast to the pain hotels and vacation rental companies have experienced because of the pandemic, RV dealers, parks, and campgrounds have benefited from travelers in search of socially distanced vacations — in many cases, as first-time RVers. With RV-related activity still going strong — and hotels and vacation rentals companies regaining their footing — jobs in the accommodation industry are climbing once again.

  • Total employed: 1,365,600
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 50,700
  • 1-Month change: 3.9%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 75,100
  • 3-Month change: 5.8%
  • Jobs in this industry: Lodging managers, maids and housekeeping cleaners, housekeeping managers

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry is part of the leisure and hospitality sector listed previously. Among the sectors included under that category are museums and historical sites, and amusement, gambling, and recreation — both of which have their own entries in the GOBankingRates rankings. Overall, arts, entertainment, and recreation saw the creation of 67,000 new jobs in September.

  • Total employed: 1,676,600
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 67,000
  • 1-Month change: 4.2%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 190,500
  • 3-Month change: 12.8%
  • Jobs in this industry: Recreation attendants, aerobics instructors, gaming supervisors

Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores

If your passion is helping people look their best, this is a great time to snag a job in the clothing and clothing accessories stores industry. Job growth has recently exploded as stores reopened and consumers started to shop again. With 39,800 jobs added in September, applicants should have an easier time landing a position.

  • Total employed: 964,200
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 39,800
  • 1-Month change: 4.3%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 159,300
  • 3-Month change: 19.8
  • Jobs in this industry: Retail salespersons, stock clerks, tailors, dressmakers, cashiers

Amusements, Gambling, and Recreation

The amusements, gambling and recreation industry has added more than 185,000 jobs in the last three months. However, it’s the robust one-month increase of 5.7% that earned it the No. 3 spot in this ranking. As winter approaches, workers having trouble getting hired elsewhere might have better luck applying for a position at a gambling facility or ski resort.

  • Total employed: 1,278,100
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 68,800
  • 1-Month change: 5.7%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 185,200
  • 3-Month change: 16.9%
  • Jobs in this industry: Amusement attendants, lifeguards, ski patrol, protective service workers

Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation

As people return to work and resume some of the activities they enjoyed before the pandemic, they need transportation. This is good news if you’re looking for work as a driver, mechanic, or dispatcher. As of September, 367,600 U.S. workers were employed in this industry, and 21,400 jobs were created that month. Although jobs are still down by more than 26% compared to a year ago, September’s numbers indicate that the recovery is picking up speed.

  • Total employed: 367,600
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 21,400
  • 1-Month change: 6.2%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 53,100
  • 3-Month change: 16.9%
  • Jobs in this industry: Bus and truck mechanics, diesel engine specialists, dispatchers, taxi drivers, chauffeurs

Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries

Motion picture and sound recording was the hardest-hit industry in this ranking, with a 12-month decrease of 40.7% jobs. That makes the number of jobs added this month especially impressive. COVID-19-related production delays have pushed back release dates and sent studios scrambling for alternative distribution channels, but motion picture and sound recording jobs are now recovering nicely.

  • Total employed: 264,300
  • Number of jobs added in the last month: 23,200
  • 1-Month change: 9.6%
  • Number of jobs added in the last three months: 48,200
  • 3-Month change: 22.3%
  • Jobs in this industry: Actors, motion picture projectionists, producers, and directors

Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article. 

For this piece, GOBankingRates looked at the September 2020 employment by industry, monthly changes dataset published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. GOBankingRates identified the top 25 industries/occupations in terms of 1-month percent change in employment, with the highest percent change being best. GOBankingRates also found the 3-month total change and percent change in employment as supplemental data. All data was collected on and up to date as of October 6, 2020.

Photo disclaimer: Photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the images may not reflect the actual companies listed in this article.