Industry Spotlight: Professional and Business Services is Booming

August 24, 2021
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Author: Lisa Bascom

A LaborIQ® Report on the Professional and Business Services Industry Labor Market

The Professional and Business Services industry has been growing sharply during post-pandemic recovery, adding 1.2 million jobs over the past 12 months. This is about half of the jobs added in Leisure and Hospitality, which was so hard hit by COVID but well ahead of the next-closest industry of Education and Health Services for the same period.

Professional and Business Services industry growth is outpacing the national all-industry rate.

This important sector makes up more than 14% of the total national employment and includes top-paying jobs in fields like law, accounting, engineering, computer design, consulting services and scientific research, which have a low 3.2% unemployment rate and strong market demand.

Other industry jobs include bookkeeping, auditing, supervisors and general and operations managers, office administration, human resources, clerical, security, and cleaning and waste services. These bring the industry unemployment rate to 5.1%, still better than the national average and much improved from the industry high of 9.8% in April 2020.

While following the national trend across all industries, job growth in Professional and Business Services remains slightly ahead of the national average. This sector employed 20.9 million workers as of July 2021, recovering well but still below the February 2020 peak of 21.5 million jobs.

Job gains are occurring across private industry and in government organizations and have been widespread across metros of varying sizes. Professional and Business Services currently has about 1.8 million job openings and is dealing with a high number of separations, similar to other industries.

Learn more in the downloadable industry report below.

Download the LaborIQ Professional & Business Services Industry Report (PDF format)



Industry Forecast

After strong post-pandemic recovery job growth in the Professional and Business Services industry, growth is tapering off to 4.1% in 2021, but still ahead of the 2021 forecast of 3.5% for all industries. It is on track to return to full pre-pandemic employment by the end of 2022.

With an employment rate below the U.S. average, signaling a tighter job market, workers may change jobs for higher compensation, career advancement or more flexible working conditions.

Demand in the industry will remain strong, making it a leading contributor to job growth. LaborIQ forecasts that by 2025 it will provide 1.5 million more jobs than before the pandemic.

Related: U.S. Labor Market On Track for Recovery with Almost 1M Jobs Added; Hiring Challenges Persist