January 17, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

Job Market Trends for 2017

By Jennifer Vaida, Teacher and Life Coach

Jennifer Vaida


It's a new year, and many of us are happy to put 2016 behind us and look ahead to what's to come.

Fortunately, if you're in the job market in 2017, prospects look pretty good.

According to ManPower Group, in the first quarter of 2017 employers nationwide are expecting a 16% net increase in employment, and California is among the top five states with a positive employment outlook, with projected hiring rates of 18% (Forbes.com).

"The job market in 2017 will be about as good as it gets," according to Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics. "There are currently a record number of job openings and layoffs are at a record low." Zandi foresees job growth across all pay scales (Associated Press), while Steve Lindner, executive partner of recruiting for the WorkPlace Group expects "a robust demand for experienced workers" (Time.com/Money).

So what can you do to be ready for a successful job search?  Here are 5 quick tips for the new year:

  1. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date (including that photo!). Now's the time to update job titles and skills so your profile will be snagged when recruiters are "fishing."
  2. Try LinkedIn's new Open Candidate Setting. This tells employers you're on the market.
  3. Check out the jobscan app. It lets you tailor your resume to postings by identifying key words.
  4. Take courses for certification or just experience if your field has grown so much that you need to show mastery of current skill sets. Nearly all fields offer some sort of online option for coursework. Even if you haven't completed a course, you can list it on your resume as "in progress" so an employer knows you're staying current and will soon have the requisite skills/certificate.
  5. Stay open to new prospects. Remember that most of your skills are transferrable, and many jobs need the same types of talents: communication skills, interpersonal skills, flexibility, willingness to learn. The technical skills are only a small part of the hiring picture, so don't limit your options based on a job title or a field of expertise that might not be completely familiar.


And where are the hot hiring prospects for 2017?  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (as quoted in Boston.com), these are the areas projected to have the fastest growth in the coming year:

  • Fitness trainers, aerobics instructors, athletic trainers.  (Don't forget that the world of "senior" fitness is booming, and there's room for trainers and instructors for this demographic.)
  • Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Aides, Occupational Therapy Assistants (this may also mean that office managers, accountants, and other business support services will be needed in this growth industry)
  • Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Aids, Physical Therapy Assistants (and don't overlook the office/business support this growth industry will need)
  • Environmental Engineers, Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Personal Financial Advisors
  • Survey Researchers
  • Computer Software and Systems Software Engineers
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Compliance Officers (including Loan Adjustors, Claims Adjustors)
  • Self-Enrichment Education Teachers ("lifelong learning" is a big draw for people with ample discretionary income, especially those who have some life experience already under their belts; they will be looking to like-minded individuals to relate to and to lead them in their self-discovery)
  • Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Veterinary Assistants
  • Medical Assistants, Physician Assistants, Personal and Home Care and Home Health Aides
  • Dental Assistants, Dental Technicians, Dental Hygienists
  • Biochemists, BioPhysicians, Biomedical Engineers
  • Genetics Counselor
  • Skin Care Specialists (Estheticians) - (don't rule out specialized skin care for the over-40 set!)
  • Medical Scientists
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  • Financial Analysts


Here's to a prosperous and successful new year!


Jennifer Vaida is current Board Member of Phase2Careers, a teacher and a life coach.  She is a frequent blogger for Phase2Careers.