The Industries Where Jobs Are Growing Most

Original Post: By Seth Cline – Forbes.com

As the nation’s economic recovery repeatedly jerks forward and then stumbles, here’s some good news: 11 of 12 major industries are posting more jobs online than a year ago, according to data gathered by Indeed.com. Indeed.com, which aggregates online job postings, found that the transportation, hospitality and retail industries are posting the largest increases in job listings over last year. Each had at least 40% more job listings in June 2010 than in June 2009, despite the weak improvement in overall employment numbers recently.

Transportation industry job postings are up 73% from a year ago, including 20,000 new ones since April, making the industry by far the fastest growing of the 12. The top transportation job titles: driver, stocker and similar shipping- and freight-related positions.

In Pictures: The Industries Where Jobs Are Growing Most

The U.S. Department of Labor considers transportation a high-growth industry. It has benefited from new technology that allows cargo to be tracked and delivery times to be more precise, but also it is cyclical and often mirrors trends in the national economy. In fact, transportation job postings have increased substantially since January, coinciding with modest improvements in unemployment.

Hospitality has also experienced a jump in online job postings over the last year, specifically in the food service sector. The old saying that people will always need to eat is backed up by Indeed.com’s findings.

“The industry’s recent job growth was driven by an uptick in restaurant sales in recent months. Eating and drinking place sales rose each month from February to May,” according to Bruce Grindy, chief economist at the National Restaurant Association, writing in an e-mail. “Restaurant industry job growth generally coincides with industry sales growth, so when sales pick up as a result of pent-up demand, the jobs will typically follow.”

Another winner in Indeed.com’s survey is the retail industry, whose already numerous job postings increased 41% in the last year. Customer service positions are by far the most posted jobs in retail, because of the importance to businesses of cost-efficiency and loyalty, says Bill Gessert, president of the International Customer Service Association. “There’s always been growth in our industry, but it is accelerating in a down economy,” he adds. “It is less expensive to keep the customers you have than to try to go out and win new customers.”

The one industry that failed to report employment growth over the past year is real estate, which saw its job postings decline by 4%. Real estate also has the fewest postings of any industry, a full 15,000 less than the next-lowest industry, media and newspapers.

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