The Toughest Jobs to Fill in 2019 (Article)

The Toughest Jobs to Fill in 2019 (Article)


In 2018, the U.S. labor market offered more openings than there were job seekers. 2019 arrives with some economic uncertainty, the result of federal government shutdown carrying over from the end of the previous year.

The showdown in Washington casts uncertainty over the economy, but continuing trends in the labor market offer some insight into which jobs will have the highest demand for the new year.

Healthcare begins 2019 as the industry with the highest percentage of job openings, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Healthcare and professional/business services has historically been the two leading sectors in terms of openings, but healthcare dipped to third in early 2017, behind retail.

A dramatic increase for the rest of 2017 into 2018, combined with a decline in professional/business services from a 2018 high of 6.1% to 5.3%, puts healthcare at No. 1.

That aligns with forecasts from trade organizations and other, independent analysis — like this 2018 report from healthcare staffing consultancy Mercer. It estimates that 2.3 million new hires will be needed in healthcare over the next six years, but that’s a number which is outpacing professionals in the industry.

Some of the professions with potential shortfalls include Home Health Aide and Personal Care Aide. Both jobs boast BLS growth forecasts that rank among the largest of the careers tracked for by the Jobs Rated report, but both have low median annual salaries.

Pay is indeed a contributing factor for a variety of jobs facing high demand to be filled. To attract applicants, industry-wide wages in construction are on the rise. Forbes published a report in the latter-half of 2018 spotlighting lucrative opportunities emerging, commensurate with construction’s painstaking return from steep drop-offs in employment during the recession.

Income alone isn’t a contributing factor for their jobs in need of applicants in the coming year. Application Software Developers can bring in $101,790 a year. Registered Nurses earn an annual median salary of $70,000. Application Software Developers can bring in $101,790.

In both instances, demand is high but finding enough applicants with the education and experience necessary can be a challenge. Over the last decade, the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research last decade recommended educational initiatives to attract and prepare more nursing school students.

At a time when projected growth outlook was more than 22%, these efforts did pay off. That number is 15% a decade later. However, concerns of labor shortages persist.

In the case of Application Software Developers, the proliferation of mobile-based internet usage exponentially outpaced the focus of professionals in the tech industry. Growth outlook for the field is a lofty 31%, in response to an ever-evolving app economy.  

CareerCast’s most in-demand Jobs for 2019 are: