Last month, the U.S. economy produced a disappointing 21,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That capped a three-year period in which over 2 million jobs have been lost. But there are pockets of opportunity, both in a handful of industries and in some fast-growing regions, such as Loudoun County in Virginia, that have benefited from the recent growth in defense spending.
Help wantedEven in this job market, certain sectors, like health care and finance, are hiring heavily.
If all else fails, consider moving: Rapidly growing regions like Clark County, Nev., have never stopped generating jobs.
Ever worked for a dot-com? eBay, Yahoo and Amazon all are hiring -- again.
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But there was hiring in some surprising quarters as well. Management and technical consulting added almost 24,000 new workers in that time. The securities industry grew by more than 8,000 jobs. And there remains a pressing need for teachers.
Nationwide, education-related jobs grew by 56,500. These sectors are all expected to continue hiring new employees in the next year.
Here's a look at where the jobs are now:
Yahoo plans to continue its steady work-force expansion. In the past year, the company hired about 800 workers in fields ranging from product management to software engineering.
This year, said Libby Sartain, Yahoo's senior vice president of human resources, it could add more. And thanks in part to the return of Internet advertising and the growth of online commerce, other large employers -- Seattle's Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. in Mountain View, Calif. -- also are hiring.
eBay has added about 250 employees in the past 10 weeks and estimates it will hire 1,000 more by the end of 2004.
Much of the gains are because of investment banks "playing catch-up" after laying off workers and consolidating their businesses when the Internet bubble burst in 2000, said Gary Goldstein, president of Whitney Group LLC, a financial-services headhunting firm in New York.
On average, his clients in the securities industry are looking to increase head count by about 20 percent.
Health-care facilities -- like Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., for instance -- keep expanding. The private hospital added 52 staff positions three years ago, half of them nurses.
Vice President Bill Powanda said about 15 of those nursing positions were vacant. He's also seeking to fill jobs from ultrasound technician to physical therapist.
"There has been an exceptional boom for real estate and for jobs, too," Cook said.
According to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Economy.com, architectural and engineering services grew by 6,900 jobs, while real-estate employment -- including brokers and agents -- grew by 24,000 jobs. One reason for the jump in the latter category is the huge numbers of laid-off workers in other job areas who turned to jobs in real estate as a second career.