Monster's 2018 year in jobs report
We scoured Monster data to figure out the top industries, jobs, and cities hiring in 2018. Check this out as you plan your job search strategy for the new year.
There’s something about the end of the year that brings out the list-maker in all of us. It’s a time to look back, take stock—and in our case, take a deep dive into 12 months of revealing, seasonally appropriate employment data.
With 2018 fading into the rearview, we’re looking back at a year’s worth of Monster data covering everything from the top job titles to the most popular times of day to conduct a search (hint: your boss won’t be thrilled). In other words, we’re making a list—several lists, in fact—checking them twice, and pulling back the curtain on the state of the U.S. job market.
Curious? Read on. And keep these takeaways in mind as you set to work making 2019 a career banner year.
As of the most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2018’s hiring charge was made in several sectors including health care (323,000 jobs over the last 12 months) and professional and business services (561,000 jobs over the year).
Looking at the Monster data proves that out but also provides an even more nuanced picture, with the top industries covering surprisingly vast terrain across the job market. Take a look:
Top industries hiring and the number one job for each category
The data checks out. Going back to BLS, transportation and warehousing jobs (like stock clerks and drivers) accounted for 25,000 jobs in November alone, suggesting the rise of Amazon and its ilk hasn’t dampened the need for boots-on-the-ground sales, logistics, and shipping teams.
Top categories by state
Okay, so you’ve got a pretty good idea of the top job titles on the market. But what about where to find them? Good news: We broke out all 50 states by the top hiring industry in each one. Curious about what’s going on the Midwest, for instance? Don’t call it the Rust Belt—call it the Construction, Trades, Production, and Warehousing Belt.
All joking aside, trade-oriented industries had an impressive year, accounting for the lion’s share of hiring in a whopping 28 states. Sales and Marketing were also strong, standing as the top hiring area in another 10 states, while Computer, Information Technology, and Mathematics jobs won out in nine more and Washington, D.C. Our main takeaway? Maybe tech and manufacturing jobs can exist side-by-side after all.
Alabama Sales and Marketing
Alaska Architecture and Engineering
Colorado Sales and Marketing
Florida Sales and Marketing
Hawaii Sales and Marketing
Maine Sales and Marketing
Michigan Sales and Marketing
New Mexico Sales and Marketing
Utah Sales and Marketing
Washington Sales and Marketing
Wyoming Sales and Marketing
Top cities hiring
Remember what we said about Amazon? We’ve got a sneaking suspicion it’s got something to do with the fact that three—three!—Washington cities broke our top 10. But if you’re not up for a move to the Pacific Northwest, the rest of the country is well represented, with a diverse spread of cities from the northeast to the southwest.
“If your search has hit a slump in your local area and you’re open to relocation, consider expanding your search to focus on cities that have the most opportunities,” says Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert.
Top location searches
As a contrast to the top cities hiring, we also dug into the year’s top location-based searches and rooted out the 10 cities with the most job searches per capita. Take a look:
- Orlando, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Richmond, VA
- Buffalo, NY
- Saint Louis
One intriguing takeaway: Atlanta appears on both lists, suggesting it’s one city where a large pool of candidates is matched by an equally healthy job market. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s top spot could be proof positive of the city’s growing status as a tech hub capable of drawing job seekers from far and wide. Putting French fries on sandwiches can’t hurt either.
Top keyword searches
Keywords are a huge part of the job search on both sides of the interview table. After all, they’re what you punch into the search bar when you’re trying to find a listing that speaks to you. And for recruiters and hiring managers, they’re the terms being pulled from your resume to quickly determine if you’re a good fit. Here’s what folks were searching for this year:
- Administrative assistant
- Customer service
- Human resources
This list pairs like a fine wine with our earlier breakdown of the year’s top jobs. Note the prominence of sales and logistics-related roles (like warehousing) in both lists, along with heavy searches for part-time roles in this one.
“When you consider the continued prominence of part-time job searches alongside these keywords, it’s clear that the side-hustle economy is alive and well,” says Salemi.
As Salemi notes, it’s a sign that people are eager for the flexibility part-time work offers—as well as the huge number of employers hiring for part-time positions.
However, many of these keywords likely also correlate to full-time, meat-and-potatoes kinds of jobs. For example, the BLS expects employment of human resource managers to grow by 9% by 2026, with particular gains in the health care and professional services industries. Receptionists are expected to get a similar boost, and keep an eye on the ambulatory care space, where hiring could grow by as much as 85% in the years ahead.
Top times for job searches
Okay, so we now know a little bit about what kinds of jobs people are searching for, along with where they’re searching for them. But what about when?
People kick off the new year full of pep (and maybe a career-oriented resolution or two), front-loading their search in January and February. In fact, eight of the top 10 busiest days for job searches were in January (23, 9, 22, 3, 18, 25, 8, 24), with the remaining two days in February (7, 6).
“It’s no surprise that the most job searches occur in January and decrease as the year progresses,” says Salemi. “But the key to keeping your job search in priority mode involves capturing that momentum and optimism you possess on January 1 throughout the year.”
Salemi reminds job seekers, “Hiring is a year-round endeavor, and your job search should be too. As you’re looking for a new job, avoid dated hiring myths such as the holidays or late summer are slow times. Employers want to interview and hire strong candidates regardless of the time of year.”
But as the year goes on, do you struggle to stay motivated? Here’s a tip: Salemi suggests jotting down the top three reasons why you want to leave your job, along with the top three things you’re looking for in a new one. Maybe you want to replace that toxic boss with one who advocates for you in your new role, or maybe you just want to find a job where the only thing better than upward mobility would be a functioning coffee machine. Whatever the case, don’t forget to keep the hustle alive.
And we saw that you get your groove back around midweek when Wednesdays peak in job searches, following a gradual rise from Monday to Tuesday. Perhaps it’s a reaction to the back-to-work blues that can set in at the beginning of the week—that sinking sense of, “Ugh, here again?”—which has a way of inspiring a burst of job search energy.
“Job searching happens all the time. It’s a 24/7 scenario—especially around midday," says Salemi. In fact, the majority of you posted your resume on Monster right around 11 o’clock—keeping your profile front and center for the recruiters and hiring managers who check Monster throughout the day.
While most job seekers may submit their resume during the workday, don’t be afraid to put those off-hours to use. “Whether it’s 5:00 a.m. and you have insomnia or it’s 11:00 p.m. and you’re motivated to get a job where you can actually have a life outside the office, this is a powerful reminder that you can, and definitely should, post your resume around the clock,” Salemi says. “There’s no right or wrong time to post—recruiters want and need to see your resume ASAP.”
And to streamline efficiency, Salemi adds, let the jobs find you. Need some help? Join Monster for free 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. That way, you’ll be the first in line when someone posts that coveted, rarely seen opening for a sea-turtle-rescue intern.
That wraps it up for 2018’s Monster Year in Jobs. Until next year, good night, good luck, and happy searching!