2020’s Most In-Demand Occupations and Metros

February 12, 2020
Author: ThinkWhy Analyst

Companies in search of talent often use job postings to cast wide nets. Businesses can post jobs on their website, online job boards, through recruiter sites and the like. While such job postings provide one picture of talent demand, user-generated data heavily influences these numbers. Because of the tight labor market, companies frequently post one job in multiple cities or multiple times to get their jobs to the top of the “list” on an applicant site. When calculations are limited only to posted jobs, it can lead to artificially inflated perceptions of demand.

Jobs in management and construction continue to be vital.

In addition, job titles can be translated incorrectly. Does a company’s job posting for a Data Ninja fall under a Data Analyst, a Data Scientist, a Statistician or a blend of the three?

Using job gain data, at the occupation level, and understanding occupational wage changes allows for a more accurate analysis, removing duplication or artificial inflation.

Five occupational categories were identified through annualized job gain and growth within 22 of the hottest labor markets in country. These 22 markets were identified based on the strongest job and wage gain and growth expected for 2020.

Occupational Categories Include
*methodology provided at the end

Demand Ranking for Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Management Occupations

Management Occupations appear as a top-five position in 19 of the 22 ranked metropolitan areas. As hiring continues to increase across the country for most sectors, companies must be equipped to handle the onboarding and integration of new talent into their organizations. This places Human Resource Managers in the top spot for Management Occupations in 12 major markets. Closely behind, management professionals who supervise individuals in other in-demand occupations also appear at the top of the in-demand management occupations list.

Top Management Occupations

Unexpected Blue-Collar Demand

Construction & Personal Care Occupations
Demand for blue-collar occupations, like Construction and Extraction Occupations and Personal Care and Service Occupations, is surprisingly outpacing Computer-related and Financial-related occupations.

The eight metro areas below will all experience higher demand for Construction and Personal Care than they will for management, computer or finance-related occupations. Demand for these categories in these metros is driven by single and multifamily construction and the aging of the population. This does not exclude common top occupations like Software Developer or Data Scientist, but it means that these cities will see higher demand in specific blue-collar fields. If there is a short supply of blue-collar talent in any of these markets, talent acquisition may be a particular challenge.

Metro Areas by Occupation Category

Transportation Occupations
With consumers going to fewer and fewer brick-and-mortar stores, online companies like Amazon that deliver products are heavily increasing their presence in the transportation sector.

This represents both inbound and outbound transit, moving materials into warehouses from vendors and out to consumers. Transportation and Material Moving Occupations will see high demand this year in 15 of the 22 markets.

Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix and San Antonio will see a strong need for Truck and Tractor Operators in the Transportation Occupation category.

Along with transporting goods, air traffic will see an increase in demand for flight attendants at specific airport hubs.

Denver, Houston, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and New York metros will see strong demand for flight attendants in Transportation.

Computer and Related Occupations

Software, Statistics and Security
Fifteen of the top 22 markets list Computer and Related Occupations in the top five most in-demand occupational categories, frequently showing up in the fourth or fifth spots, behind the previously mentioned Construction and Personal Care Occupation categories.

Within this category, three occupations rise to the top. The third spot, Information Security Analysts, highlights the increasing need for specialists in the information security space.

Top 3 Computer and Related Occupations

Sales and Related Occupations

Sales and Related Occupations, while not occupying the top spot for in-demand occupations, do rank toward the top in some of the country’s major population centers. With a strong U.S. economy and as demand for goods and services climbs, the demand for sales representatives is also increasing. Employees seeking sales-related jobs can consider the following areas and occupations as potential employment prospects. Moreover, businesses looking to expand sales teams in these areas may face increased competition.

Sales and Related Occupations

In summary, the demand for occupations depends on where a company operates. However, demand at the national level provides interesting anecdotal information. Companies launching 2020 hiring plans are urged to consider occupational demand data at a more granular and actionable level.

22 markets were ranked based on job gain and growth, median wages and median wage growth. Within these markets, major and minor occupational categories were indexed and ranked based on a proprietary blend.
As a whole, aggregated data sources allow for a substantial volume of occupation information to be analyzed, providing a statistically sound measure of occupations. In addition, displaying national data removes a great deal of the granularity that affects each market. As a result, ThinkWhy elects to present this data at the metropolitan statistical area level to provide a more granular view.