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Job openings in education, medical fields expected to continue growth | Dollars and Sense

As more people look to get back into the job market, local staffing pros discuss where they're expecting to see the most growth in the coming months.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When the Employment Development Department (EDD) issued its annual Labor Day report on job market trends, it pointed to leisure and hospitality as the field that would show the most gains statewide over the next two years.

Projections anticipate an increased job count of 417,000 in that sector, with 315,000 of them in restaurants and bars alone.

Other fields expected to show big growth include nursing, accounting, trucking, retail sales, and warehouse labor.

The Dollars and Sense team checked in with a couple of local job placement services to find out what they're expecting locally.

"If you want to work in the Central Valley, there is a job out there. Literally, there are hundreds of blue-collar and white-collar roles out there and a lot of entry-level," Chris Peterson of Availability Professional Staffing said.

Peterson confirmed that there are warehouses with 100 openings right now and that things are, indeed, wide open in the restaurant and hotel space, but says there's a good number of higher-paying jobs available, too.

"Everything from the front office all the way up to the C-Suite. There's literally hundreds of openings there as well," Peterson said.

Michelle Clanton of Chartwell Staffing Solutions in Sacramento says much the same, but with one difference. "We've seen an incredible increase of late in residential property management, mostly apartment communities," she said.

When asked why, Clanton explained, "From previous experience through the pandemic, with many returning home to work, a lot of the larger and smaller apartment communities have more of their residents at home." That's resulted in more maintenance requests.

Speaking of working from home, Clanton says it's not a must-have for everyone. "There are those who really love the office environment," she said.

Not all employers are on board with full-time remote work anyhow, although a hybrid approach can sometimes do the trick. 

"We can help [job seekers] by allowing them to work remote two days a week, but come into the office three days a week and everyone wins," Clanton said. "There's that flexibility mindset of what's going to get everyone back to work."

In Peterson's case, he's taken remote hiring to an extreme. "We actually hired an executive recruiter from Florida," he said with a laugh from his Modesto office. "We've had people work remote, but for heaven's sakes, they live in Escalon."

Based on what Peterson is hearing from clients and others in the business, the EDD got it right with its health care prediction. "Not just the high-end roles of nursing, but really the front office, back office health care," he said.

Peterson points to retirement to explain some of the demand. He says that's also a big driver when it comes to the number of vacancies in education.

"Prior to COVID, there was 10,000 baby boomers a day reaching age 65, not all of them retiring. But with COVID, we're seeing retirees moving on from their position, and that is blowing up in the education market."

Even the staffing agency business is booming, he says. "We're actually up. We've added three staff members in the past nine months to our team," Peterson said.

Clanton reports similar growth. "It's non-stop. We tripled the number of associates new and returning in the office just Tuesday."

Peterson has some encouragement for anyone looking for work.

"Wake up every day, be optimistic, and if you're currently not working, then your number one job is to work at getting a job. So, go work at that and work hard at getting a job. It's not impossible, it's out there."

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