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April 12, 2011 > Counseling Corner: Good News on the Job Front

Counseling Corner: Good News on the Job Front

By Anne Chan, PhD, MFT

How about some good news about the economy for a change? The job forecast for over a year now has been bleak, bleak, bleak. We keep hearing the awful news about our down economy, with dire predictions of more doom and gloom to come. But is it all doom and gloom out there, with no reason whatsoever for hope and optimism? I thought I'd take a closer look at the data and see if I could bring you some good news to offset all the bad news we've been hearing in the press.

Here's the first bit of good news - the United States Census Bureau found that from the first quarters of 2009 through 2010, there was net growth in two sectors: education services and health care and social assistance. This data pertains to the United States as a whole and might not capture what is going on at our state and local levels, but its good news all the same, particularly when we hear such dreadful news about education in this country.

Here's more good news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which makes projections of jobs with the greatest growth from 2008 to 2018. According to the Bureau, the top 11 jobs with the greatest projected employment growth are:

1. Network systems and data communications analysts (53%)
2. Home health aides (50%)
3. Personal and home care aides (46%)
4. Computer software engineers (34%)
5. Medical assistants (33.9%)
6. Management analysts (23.9%)
7. Registered nurses (22.2%)
8. Physicians and surgeons (21.8%)
9. Accountants and auditors (21.7%)
10. Licensed vocational nurses (20.7%)
11. Construction/ laborers (20.5%)

(I decided to give you a list of the Top 11 jobs since anyone can make a Top 10 list but how many times have you seen a Top 11 list?)

Note the array of jobs and industries in this Top 11 list: high tech, management, healthcare, accounting and construction are all represented. Plus, at least four of the jobs listed do not require an advanced degree (though they may require specialized, short-term training).

Even more good news - in order to get a more fine-grained outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also made projections of ooccupations with the largest number of total job openings due to growth and replacements. Here are the Top 11 jobs that are thought to have the greatest job openings due to growth and the need for replacements in the same time period of 2008 to 2018:

1. Cashiers (except gaming)
2. Retail salespeople
3. Waiters and waitresses
4. Customer service representatives
5. Registered nurses
6. Food preparation and service
7. Office clerks
8. Laborers
9. Elementary school teachers (except special education)
10. Stock clerks and order fillers
11. Truck drivers

Again, a wide range of industries and jobs appear on this list. Also, these jobs require varying degrees of education and training - more good news for those who may not want to pursue higher education.

Of course, these are projections - they do not come with a 100% guarantee. I certainly do not recommend that you pick a career solely on the basis of these projections. But in my mission to bring you some good news, I hope I gave you some food for thought, some ideas for industries and occupations to explore, or some reason for optimism when it comes to job trends in the future.

Anne Chan is a career counselor and licensed psychotherapist in Union City. She specializes in helping people find happiness in their careers, lives, and relationships. She can be reached at 510-744-1781. Her website is

(c) Anne Chan, 2011

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