Some Sectors Reporting Job Growth

By Staff

Although layoffs and hiring freezes are boosting the unemployment rate, some states and industries have added jobs at a vigorous rate.

USA Today reports that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 4.4 million people found new jobs in January, and 3 million more positions were still open. While the numbers reflected a significant dip from December 2007 and were not enough to offset the 4.9 million people who lost their jobs in January, they also pointed to growing industries offering career opportunities.

"Government and service jobs are the big places to get jobs today," said John Connaughton, director of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Economic Forecast. He noted that service jobs include health care and education.

The healthcare industry is growing significantly, with nearly every job in demand, including nurses, lab technicians and physician assistants. Virginia's Culpeper Star-Exponent [from an article originally located at] reports that according to the Virginia Employment Commission, healthcare occupations in Virginia are expected to grow nearly 37 percent between 2006 and 2016.

Job demand in healthcare is being seen across the country. "There are no nurses looking for work," remarked Mary McNamara of the American Nurses Association in USA Today.

Jobs have increased significantly in government as well, including in police, firefighting and blue-collar jobs connected to infrastructure. Additionally, jobs in education and energy have grown, such as oil, gas, coal and electricity production.

Sara Dunnigan, vice president of existing business services with the Greater Richmond Partnership, a regional economic development agency, noted that out of 100 companies polled, 24 percent said they planned to add employees.

"There's definitely some hiring going on all across the spectrum," Dunnigan told the Star-Exponent.

Computer jobs are expected to grow in Virginia, including computer software engineers, network systems and data communications analysts, database administrators and computer systems analysts.

While unemployment has risen in every state, BLS data indicated that some states have significantly low rates, including Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, South Dakota and North Dakota. The latter's online job database has more than 10,000 available jobs posted, and is being accessed heavily by out-of-state job seekers.

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