2019’s Hottest Jobs Are Very Different From 2018’s

Tech jobs are hot, but if you want a fast-growing, high-paying job, they’re far from the only game in town, according to PayScale’s survey.

“Consumer spending is diversifying the labor force,” writes Sudarshan Sampath, director of research at PayScale, in his annual reflection on the year’s economic trends. “Last year, 6 out of the top 10 fastest growing jobs within PayScale’s employee survey data were all in technology, but this year we found a much more diverse set of job titles popping up in the data across a broad spectrum of industries.”

The top 30 jobs included occupations as disparate as machine operator and maternity nurse, and pulled from a wide variety of industries, including health care, manufacturing and retail & customer service.

However, tech jobs are still a driving force in the economy. Sampath points out that some occupations, including tech, have experienced a wage boom. This increase in discretionary income has effects on other industries.

“For example, a single tech worker is estimated to support 5.7 additional jobs throughout the economy via direct and indirect multiplier effects,” says Sampath. “Tech workers create a higher demand for more goods than the average American (such as bigger homes, eating out more, more Uber trips etc.) due to their increased purchasing power.”

2019’s Hottest Jobs, According to PayScale

Looking Ahead to 2020

Sampath notes that job growth was unequal during 2019. For example, transportation jobs like tanker truck driver showed up frequently in the survey, but the industry itself is experiencing challenges.

“Many truckers are facing bankruptcy as spot prices for freight shipping have fallen dramatically in the past year,” writes Sampath. “The current industry climate suggests that transportation companies are facing labor shortages, significant competition and a decline in the closely-tied manufacturing sector — a job family that also showed up a lot in the data despite being in bad shape economically.”

In the year ahead, the manufacturing and transportation industries will likely continue to lag, with manufacturing especially affected by the impact of tariffs, outsourcing and automation.

For more on the year ahead — including whether a recession is likely in 2020 — read “Economic Trends: Reflections on 2019, Predictions for 2020.”

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