With Utah's employment growth currently running at 2.3 percent, the outlook for the remainder of this decade looks slightly better; averaging about 2.4 percent per year. The national employment growth rate is at 1.4 percent.
The Utah Department of Workforce Services has released new occupational projections that are summarized in the Fall 2012 publication of Trendlines. Some highlights in the report:
- Healthcare-related occupations continue to lead the way. Of note, however, is the fact that many of these expanding jobs are in the support area, which typically pays lower-than-average wages.
- Occupations in computer-related fields still provide good employment opportunities and wages.
- Construction and mining areas indicate strong growth rates.
- Even declining occupations will have job openings due to the need to replace retiring workers.
- Approximately 20 percent of jobs in 2020 will require at least a bachelor's degree, representing the fastest growth category for the remainder of this decade.
- Production, transportation/material moving and installation/maintenance/repair occupations should also have continued growth.
DWS also provides occupational information using a "star" system, rating each occupation from zero fo five stars. The ratings take into consideration employment outlook as well as wages. Five stars represents the strongest employment outlook and high wages, with zero stars representing limited employment outlook and low wages. This information can be found at jobs.utah.gov under "Labor Market Information."
These occupational projections can be valuable for those making career decisions as well as for educational and training institutions as they do their best to prepare students for good jobs with good pay.
With Hostess announcing its closing, 650 Utah workers will be looking for work, as companies such as Lofthouse and several other large commercial bakeries are accepting applications. For those displaced workers wishing to change occupations, the occupational projection information provided at DWS can be extremely valuable.
The Ogden-Weber Tech College continues to offer training in business and information technology, construction, healthcare, manufacturing and service occupations.
For military veterans, it is noteworthy that The Military Times ranked the Ogden-Weber Tech College number 16 in the nation as "Best for Vets" in a review of colleges.
The Ogden-Weber Tech College also provides customized training for employers to upgrade the skills of their workers in order to remain current with new technologies and business practices.
While the recent recession significantly hurt employment growth, the outlook for the remainder of this decade, especially here in Utah, looks promising.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.