Jobs: where they are now

Today’s job market is changing geographically and metaphorically, and current job seekers must keep their eyes on the literally shifting sands of opportunities. For the first time in a generation, gains in jobs are happening now within industries that might surprise you, and in locations that might have been declared “dead and done” in the last period of growth of our economy.

If there is one word to describe what’s happening in this country and where the jobs are, it’s change. Silicon Valley is once again booming with the success of companies like Instagram,, Yelp, LinkedIn and Twitter joining Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Facebook and YouTube. Wired magazine, in its May 2013 edition, reports that Silicon Valley continues to produce the most spectacular companies of our era, this time no longer in danger of a bust. A plus side in finding employment there is the general salary range, which tends to average $90 to $100K per year, as opposed to $50K throughout the country.

The June 2011 issue of Wired Magazine dedicated a large section of its pages to delivering the employment -related facts and figures that emerged from 2006 to 2010. There are jobs out there, and some of them are growing swiftly, but they may not be in the places we used to find them. The good news is, if you’ve got your game on, these industries, according to Wired, grew at a pretty good clip.

Wired asked Linked In to analyze the 7 million US members who had switched jobs since 2006 and present the industries to which they had gone. The results? The “renewables and environment” industry grew enormously since 2006, a whopping 56.8%; and jobs involving the Internet grew 29.8%. Jobs in the wireless industry grew 21.4% from 2006 to 2010. Employment in the computer industry and network security grew 21.8%.

But Silicon Valley jobs are not the only growing ones. Jobs in online publishing grew 29.1%. The professional training industry grew 13.9%. The E-learning industry grew 18.7%, and graphic design grew by 7.8%.

If you’re in the business of computer games, information services or biotechnology, your field grew by 11.1%,  8%, and 12.8% respectively.

“Old-fashioned industries” are being transformed as well, with oil and energy up 7.3%. Jobs in that industry are driven by exploration in North Dakota and Louisiana, and are attracting thousands of unemployed Americans. Railroad manufacturing is up 9.4%, and medical device manufacturing up 12.5%. Time magazine reports that farming income was up 27% in 2011.

As a testament to the “old fashioned” trend, an April 24, 2013 Forbes online article by Jacqueline Smith  listed the “Ten Happiest Cities For Young Professionals” which surprisingly included Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Riverside, California; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. These seasoned cities ranked alongside the more commonly cited San Diego and San Jose. Their resurrection is driving jobs.

The employment picture in the U.S. reflects major changes in the industries that are hiring, and where the opportunities lie. Smart job seekers are polishing their resumes accordingly, and hitting the road.

Di Chapman is Chief Communications Officer of Power Connections, Inc., and a speaker/writer. Her book How Smart People Sabotage Their Job Search was coauthored with Susan Howington, and is available on She can be read at, CBS Local Atlanta Online, and Her LinkedIn profile is


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