Monster's 2017 year in jobs report

We studied a year’s worth of Monster data to uncover the industries, cities, dates, companies and skills that shaped the jobs market in ’17. Read this before you kick off your ’18 search.


Ah, the end of the year. A time for merriment, celebration…and reflection. As we careen toward the new year’s countdown, probably you’ll be looking back the past 12 months and thinking about your goals for the next 12.

As these thoughts will likely include your career—and given that it’s also the season for list making!—we thought we’d do a retrospective of our own.

Using proprietary Monster data, as well as data provided by the TalentNeuron tool from insights and technology company CEB, we looked back on the labor market trends of 2017 before we bid it adieu. What we found—from top jobs posted, to top days for search, to most common keywords—may help you get ahead of your job search in 2018.

Cheers to a good job year!


Top jobs posted on Monster in 2017

It was a record-low year for unemployment, and that means there are jobs out there. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 1.9 million jobs added so far in 2017. Which roles came available most often? We took a look at our data to find out which jobs were most frequently posted Monster, and drumroll please…

  1. Registered nurse
  2. First-line supervisor of retail sales workers
  3. Light truck or delivery services driver
  4. Retail salesperson
  5. Customer service representative
  6. Software developer, applications
  7. Sales representative, wholesale and manufacturing
  8. Computer user support specialist
  9. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver
  10. First-line supervisor of office and administrative support workers

This list reflects the diversity of the U.S. economy and also highlights some of the industries projected by the BLS to have tremendous growth over the next eight years.

For example, it’s not surprising to see registered nurse top this year’s list. The health care industry continues to lead the charge in job growth. In fact, it is expected to add the most jobs in any sector over the next few years, with RN roles projected to have a 15% increase.

With delivery service drivers, retail salesperson, and customer service reps also making the list, we saw the continued strength of retail and e-commerce.


Top industries hiring by state in 2017

Whether you’re looking for a new job in your current location or thinking about relocating for a job, it helps to know who’s hiring. We looked at each state to find out which sectors were doing the most hiring by state.

Transportationheath care, and the military did big hiring this past year. Considering that UPS was the company that posted the most jobs on Monster in 2017—more than 28,000—it comes as no surprise that transportation was the top industry in 19 states (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C.)

The U.S. Army did a lot of hiring throughout the country this year, too, as it was the top employer in 12 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming ).

To make it even easier to find a job, check out our list of the top employers in each state.


Top cities hiring in 2017











The stars really are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, or at least the employers are. When it comes to cities with the most jobs, the Lone Star State nabbed three spots in the top 10 this year, with Houston at number one.  The full list:

  1. Houston
  2. New York City
  3. Dallas
  4. Atlanta
  5. Chicago
  6. San Antonio
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Boston
  9. Phoenix
  10. San Francisco

According to BLS, Houston is one of the metropolitan areas that has seen continued year-over-year job growth. New York City, Atlanta, and Boston are also growth cities according to BLS, so it makes sense that they’re part of our top 10 too.

Check out our complete list of the top jobs posted on Monster in each of these cities.


Top job keyword searches in 2017

We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we weren’t connecting job seekers with companies hiring. On both sides, keywords are the secret sauce—they help you find jobs when you type them into our search and they help recruiters find you when you upload your resume. By examining popular search phrases on Monster, we were able to compile a list of the most common keywords you searched this year to find job listings. The following were the most frequently searched terms on Monster in 2017:

  1. Administrative assistant
  2. Part time
  3. Customer service
  4. Receptionist
  5. Accounting
  6. Sales
  7. Warehouse
  8. Human Resources
  9. Manager
  10. Administrative

The good news is that Americans were looking for jobs in fast-growing industries! According to BLS data, sales jobs are expected to see 10% growth until 2026, and HR and receptionist jobs are on track for a 9% increase during the same timeframe.  And a recent Forbes article examined how retail jobs are growing in new ways, including an increase in warehouse positions.

For those of you looking for part-time work, remember that we round up new part-time positions every month on Monster—bookmark it!


Top Monster articles of 2017

Finding a new job is hard work—and you need some help and advice along the way. Oh, hey, that’s what we’re here for.

You can always get the latest career advice on our, uh, Career Advice landing page. Whether you’ve just graduated and are looking for your first job, or you’re ready to make the move to the corner office, we’ve got articles to help you. Looking back at what you came to us for most often in 2017 shows that the oldest job-search tools—the resume and cover letter—are still some of the trickiest to master

Check out the complete list of the career advice you sought most in 2017 and the lessons to we learned from helping you.

1.    Are you being taken advantage of at work?

2.    Buzzwords to include and avoid on your resume

3.    Cover letter mistakes you should avoid

4.    The most powerful action verbs for professional resumes

5.    This is one emotion that you should fake

6.    Top skills to list on your resume

7.    Difficult interview questions and the answers to get you hired

8.    How long does it really take to get a job?

9.    8 jobs where you get paid to travel

10. How to quit a job you just started


Most in-demand soft skills

In creating this list, we wanted to offer you a bit of advice that you can use in your job search regardless of the type of job you’re seeking. Hiring managers and recruiters are always on the lookout for applicants with top-notch skills, but what can really help make you stand out isn’t always technical or “hard” skills. Instead it’s what are known as “soft” skills. 

Here are the top 10 soft skills that were most frequently mentioned in listings on Monster in 2017.

  1. Oral and written communication
  2. Detail oriented
  3. Customer service oriented
  4. Self-starting/Self-motivated
  5. Integrity
  6. Problem solving
  7. Work independently
  8. Organizational skills
  9. Team-oriented, teamwork
  10. Troubleshooting

"Expect similar keywords to remain top of mind in 2018, as well,” says Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert. “Employers are savvy and realize that to hire great employees, they have to find self-starters with a can-do attitude and who, simply stated, people like being around. These keywords are golden to recruiting their next best hire—you!"

For more advice, check out our guide to the most important soft skills everyone should have.

Best time to find a job

The new year is often a time for career resolutions and change, and job seekers kick off their search with gusto at this time of year. In fact, January 4, was the busiest day for job searches on Monster in 2017, and five more days in January clocked in the 10 busiest job search days on Monster last year. We also saw major job-posting spikes in February, March, April, May, July, August, and November.

Always be looking

OK, so we lied. Kinda. There is no “perfect” time of year to find a job—the time is always now. Employers are looking for candidates throughout the year, which means you need to keep your sensors on alert for awesome opportunities. Could you use some help with that? Join Monster today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox so you can spend less time combing through ads and more time applying. Fact is, people get hired every day. You could be one of them.