The April jobs report came in below expectations, but the overall unemployment trend has continued to improve throughout the last few months. Currently, it sits at 6.1%, which is up from 6% last month — still below January (6.3%) and far below the lows of one year ago (14.8%). But if you’re looking for a job in Arizona, you might wonder what the fastest-growing jobs in Arizona might be.
So, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we looked at the fastest-growing jobs from 2019 to 2020 — the most recent report available on occupational job growth. And, although the report excludes the majority of the pandemic, it does include the first two months — April and May. Consequently, the report shows which jobs and industries were on the rise at the beginning of last year — a good indication of what’s to come as the pandemic seemed to accelerate existing trends.
READ ALSO: The 15 highest paying jobs in Arizona
Here are some of the highlights from our study:
• Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers represent the fastest-growing occupation in Arizona, adding nearly 8,230 jobs here over the course of one year, from 49,630 employees in 2019 to 57,860 in 2020.
• The fastest-growing job in Arizona by growth percentage is Forest and Conservation Technicians, with a 101% increase between 2019 and 2020.
• As the US population is aging, personal care aide positions are still on the rise with a 1.5% increase from 2019 to 2020 — adding more than 50,000 jobs nationwide.
• The fastest-growing industries in the U.S. in the past year are Logistics and IT. Order fillers and Software developers combined added 145,000 jobs, accounting for 44% of the total jobs added by all top 10 occupations.
Logistics & IT Occupy Fastest-Growing Jobs Nationwide
Together, the number of jobs added by the top 10 occupations totaled more than 330,000 from 2019 to 2020. And, it’s no surprise that two of the fastest-growing industries added the most jobs: Order fillers and software developers combined added 145,000 jobs, accounting for 44% of the total jobs added by all top 10 occupations.
Below is a map of the continental U.S. that shows which industry added the most positions in each state during the last year, according to volume. Hover over the states to see the fastest-growing job in each state.
As you might expect, Amazon was a leader in the creation of stockers and order fillers. Its fulfillment centers and delivery services — in addition to other companies like them — were not only deemed essential services but were also essential for everyone stuck in their homes for extended periods of time.
Similarly, IT and technology sector jobs also saw significant growth from 2019 to 2020, accounting for three of the five industries represented in the top 10 fastest-growing jobs. Indeed, the top three tech jobs added more than 105,000 positions in the same time period. These jobs also proved to be resilient when the pandemic hit, as many transitioned to working remotely with less difficulty than other types of jobs.
Likewise, jobs in home healthcare also increased as Baby Boomers continue to move through retirement and the overall age of the U.S. population ticks higher. In fact, personal care aide positions grew 1.5% from 2019 to 2020, adding more than 50,000 jobs nationwide.
Industrial Jobs Dominate Midwest & South, Environmental Science Strong in West
The map below shows which occupation has grown the most in each state from 2019 to 2020 by percentage. Hover over the states to see the fastest-growing job in each state.
The industrial sector led the way in the Midwest and South. Construction workers, carpenters, highway maintenance workers and machinists were just some of the various industrial positions that grew the fastest in these states. The largest growth in this sector was in South Carolina, which added 2,120 highway maintenance workers from 2019 to 2020 — an increase of more than 400%.
However, the occupation that grew the fastest is the forest and conservation technician, which led the way across the western part of the country. What’s more, the growth rate for this position also increased. For instance, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Oregon all saw an increase of more than 100% in these positions in just one year. Many deal with forest management, working mostly in national parks. However, recently, they’ve also been expanding into the private sector and have become instrumental in helping private landowners manage the forests on their own properties. They also assist in controlled burns to avoid wildfires, as well as plant trees to aid in landslide prevention and support natural wildlife habitat.
Granted, these job growth figures only take the first two months of the pandemic into account. But many of the trends that were occurring prior to the pandemic have only been accelerated by it. And, if it wasn’t already, e-commerce is now a permanent staple in our lives. Just like software was already eating the world prior to the pandemic, both it and e-commerce have only accelerated in the last year. Even so, job growth in environmental conservation occupations is encouraging, especially as it seems to be coinciding with a renewed push toward renewable energy, like solar and wind power.
Check out the table below for the fastest-growing jobs by state, complete with total numbers of jobs.