Next time you drive by a construction site, get a nail in your tire, and end up with a flat that makes you an hour late for that crucial call to Toledo, don’t get mad. Just tell your boss you were doing your part for the American economic recovery, because according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and Sageworks that construction is what’s helping lead to our lowest unemployment in years and an improved economy.
But if you’re not so much up for thanking the errant developer who put a nail in your tire, there are a bunch of other industries that’re rapidly growing and getting this country back to where it belongs. Here are a few of the biggest growth industries, in terms of dollars and jobs, as well as some others who’ve made a mark.
Construction is King
According to that Sageworks report, a full 13 of the top 20 fastest growing business sectors were related to construction. #1 was real estate offices, but also on the list:
- Residential building construction
- Foundation and structure contractors
- Lumber and construction material wholesalers
- Building equipment contractors
- Commercial machinery and equipment rental
There are also half a dozen others that have benefitted, even in a supposed slowdown. Further, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics found construction spending at $358.1 billion through June of this year, up about 8 percent from where it was in 2013. In addition, Inc.com named “eco-friendly building” one of its 10 best industries for growth in 2014.
Transportation Moving Right Along
You’ve got that song from The Muppet Movie stuck in your head now, don’t you? Sorry. Well, put Kermit and Fozzie aside for a minute and check this out: During the first five months of this year, that same BLS survey found transportation added 17,000 jobs, ranking it 5th among job growth industries.
And rounding out that list of fastest-growing industries? Four transportation industries including, all who saw at least 9 percent growth:
- Automobile dealers (14 percent)
- Automobile parts wholesalers (17 percent)
- General freight trucking (18 percent)
- Other motor vehicle dealers (19 percent)
Robotic forklifts were also named by Inc.com as a top industry for growth.
Healthcare Growing at Home
As the population ages, and hospital space is increasingly at a premium (and a premium price) more people are getting their health needs taken care of at home. As a result, BLS projected home health care to be the largest growth industry over the next decade. In addition to seeing 6.9 percent annual growth and adding a projected 1.9 million jobs by 2020, 8 of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations involved some form of home health care, according to that BLS study. Those jobs included:
- Personal care aides
- Home health aides
- Occupational therapy assistants
- Physical therapist assistants
- Physical therapist aides
- Occupational therapy aides
- Health specialties teachers, post- secondary
- Physical therapist
Ambulatory health care alone added an average of 16,000 jobs per month thus far this year, helping it place the health care and education sector third in job growth. Outpatient and ambulatory care is also projected to add 1.4 million jobs by 2020 with 3.2 percent annual growth.
Technology Tapering Off
While jobs in tech have exploded for the past decade-plus, the only industry the BLS rated in its top 20 for growth was computer systems design, which ranked 7th. Technical consulting services, however, have seen some growth, contributing to the overall Consulting category, with 4.7 percent annual growth and an expected 1.5 million jobs added by 2020.
What are family services, you ask? This can be anything from child care to family counseling to drug prevention specialists, life coaches, marriage counselors, psychiatrists and therapists. Basically, anybody working with people to make their families better. That industry was not only ranked in the BLS’ top 10 growth industries, but is expected to see 5.5 percent annual growth and add 2 million jobs by 2020.
Small Businesses Creating Jobs
While you can’t really classify “small business” as an industry, fields like retail and hospitality have shown great job growth thus far in 2014. Food service and drinking establishments, for example, added 33,000 jobs through June, accounting for 80 percent of all hospitality job growth. Similarly, retail added 40,000 jobs, though many were in building supply sales – possibly an offshoot of construction.
Some Other Industries of Note
Though we don’t have hot sauce manufacturing to on this year’s list (no, seriously, it was one of the fastest growing industries of 2012. It was a slow year) , there are some other interesting industries that Inc.com has suggested could see dramatic growth over the next few years. Among them are specialty foods, translation services, online baby products and online detectives. Although one might think with the growth of the family services sector, that last one might not be so necessary.
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