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The U.S. job market has been strong for workers for much of the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. After the pandemic shut down large parts of the economy and put millions out of work, employment recovered quickly and the unemployment rate stood at 3.6% in June 2022. But the workers were also able to be more selective about their employment opportunities. Workers across all income scales have sent quit rates to historic highs in what’s been called the ‘Great Quit’, seeking jobs with better pay, better working conditions or aligned with their mode lifestyle or professional goals.
Despite the economic disruptions of the pandemic and the looming prospect of a recession, many workers today have great opportunities to earn more or advance their careers. And some areas offer even more opportunity than others thanks to economic, demographic and technological trends that predate the pandemic. From globalization to the aging of the population to the rise of the Internet, major forces have reshaped the economy and created new professions and even new industries in a few years.
Among the broad occupational categories, health support occupations have experienced the greatest growth over the past decade. These occupations have seen a 67% increase in employment since 2011, fueled in large part by the aging and rising health care needs of the baby boomer generation. Other high-growth categories include business and financial operations, transportation and material moving, and management, which have each grown more than 40% over the past decade during the steady recovery of the economy. economy after the Great Recession. And computer science and math occupations have seen impressive growth of 36.6% as technology, data and analytics become increasingly essential to the operation of businesses.