Americans looking for work as blackjack dealers, fitness instructors, hairdressers or concierges had success in the last four years. The labor market was even kinder to those in finance, management, computer networking and nursing.
Since the depths of the last recession, employment in personal care and services increased 15 percent to lead all 22 of the Labor Department’s major occupational categories. While wage growth in the field, at 1.1 percent, was almost at the bottom, four of the top five groups were showing more promise.
Employment jumped almost 12 percent in computer sciences, making it the second-biggest gainer from May 2009 to May 2013, according to data from the Labor Department’s Occupational Employment Statistics survey. Median hourly wages for the group that includes networking and software engineering climbed 6.8 percent over the period, the third-largest increase. The median wage for all 22 groups rose 5.8 percent.
Business and financial operations such as analysts, personal financial advisers and human resource specialists saw the third-biggest increase in employment, with payrolls climbing 9.8 percent. Their paychecks did as well, advancing 8.3 percent, second only to architects and engineers, which rose 8.4 percent. The latter, though, showed a drop in employment since May 2009.
The group that includes health-care practitioners — nurses, doctors, veterinarians, anesthesiologists and the like — was fourth in job creation, up 7.7 percent. Their wages rose 5.9 percent.
Rounding out the top five gains in employment were managers –from chief executive officers and government leaders to purchasers and farm supervisors — where employment increased 7 percent. A similar pickup in their pay was the third-largest among occupations.
Oh, about those CEOs. There were 860 fewer company chiefs in May 2013 than four years earlier. But don’t feel too bad, their average annual salary works out to $102.20 an hour, a 7.8 percent increase.