As the inexorable advance of automation kills jobs from retail to manufacturing to data entry while wages in the US show only marginal signs of improvement, the Labor Department's latest biennial employment projections have revealed the fastest and slowest-growing fields in the US.
…The industries that dominate the list aren't surprising. Home health aides, statisticians, solar-panel installers and software developers and other jobs that, as Bloomberg points out, reflect the needs of an aging population, a shift to clean energy and employer demand for science, technology and math talent.
Solar photovoltaic installers – America’s fastest growing field – are responsible for installing systems on roofs or other structures, and earning a median annual wage of $ 39,240 in 2016 – is projected to more than double from 2016 to 2026, according to data from the Labor Department’s biennial employment projections.
A staggering eight of the remaining 14 fastest-growing occupations are in health care, with median salaries in 2016 ranging from $ 21,920 for personal care aides to $ 101,480 for physician assistants. The highest paid among them – mathematicians – earned a median $ 105,810 last year, though the job typically requires a master’s degree. And as baby boomers advance into their twilight years – the while the knock-on effects of the opioid crisis continue to multiply – more growth is effectively assured.
…Meanwhile the fastest de typists, watch repairers, and postal workers are facing a bleaker outlook, the Labor Department data show…
In America’s topsy-turvey labor market – where the unemployment rate can still tumble to record lows during a month where hurricanes caused the US economy to shed 33,000 jobs – college students and early-career workers need to be cognizant of the challenges they might face in the labor market – especially given the paucity of careers that require or strongly encourage applicants to have a background in Art History.