Job losses for middle-skill workers may have been severe during the recession, as a recent MIT report suggests. Nonetheless, there was still growth in select occupations — lots of growth, in fact, across a few sectors.
To find out which jobs have experienced the most recent growth, we pulled data from the recently released 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Employment Statistics program. Below is a table that shows occupations that fit the following criteria:
- Growth of at least 1,000 jobs nationally from 2008 to 2009;
- Average earnings of at least $20 per hour; and
- Can be classified as “middle-skill” (i.e., jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree).
(Click image for full-sized chart.)
No shocker at the top: Registered nurses gained the most new jobs (41,010), and six other healthcare-related occupations made the list. But if you look at the jobs just below nurses — and the ones took the biggest percentage jumps from 2008-09 — some trends emerge.
In particular, protective services occupations like correctional officers and jailers, police and sheriff’s patrol officers, and fire fighters showed very healthy growth. Most of these jobs can be classified in local or state government, and they can be lucrative for management and supervisors. Managers of fire fighters, for instance, have an average annual salary of $71,680.
Growth in healthcare and government jobs is one thing, but a few construction and production occupations also stand out — namely boilermakers (which grew by 9.8%), power plant operators, and chemical plant and systems operators.