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Transportation, health care lead the way in employee recruitment growth



altLINE ranked the 10 industries with the largest increases in job openings and hires over the past decade using Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  
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The American private sector has experienced an increase in job creation since 2013, which many experts attribute to more general demand for goods and services in the economy, corporate and government re-shoring policies to bring jobs back domestically, and impacts from major geopolitical events.

Over the last 10 years, the demand for staffing among private firms has risen by approximately 75%. The onset of COVID-19 in early 2020 hit the labor market hard, leading to job losses in ways unseen since the time of the Great Depression. But in 2021, the job market substantially recovered, with around 60% of lost jobs restored, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Notable industries that drove the recovery included hospitality, business services, and leisure—sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Business services, transportation and warehousing, and the information sectors saw employment reach pre-pandemic levels, the agency reported.

In 2013, for every 10 private sector hires in a month, there were about nine job openings at the month’s end. In 2023, for every 10 private sector hires in a month, there are about 15 job openings at the end of that month. This signals that rather than progressively filling open jobs over time, the economy has more job openings than those that are being filled.

Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, altLINE ranked the top 10 industries with the most significant increases in job openings and hires over the past decade. Changes are calculated from June 2013 to June 2023.

Real estate agent with couple signing contracts.

fizkes // Shutterstock

#10. Real estate and rental and leasing

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 72,000 jobs (+55.8%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 129,000
– Hires, June 2023: 72,000

Common jobs in the real estate, rentals, and leasing industry, according to the job search website Indeed, include leasing agents, foreclosure specialists, leasing consultants, real estate brokers and sales agents, and community association managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment for real estate brokers and sales agents to increase by 5% between 2021 and 2031. However, according to the agency, many job openings in this industry result from demand caused by workers leaving the industry or retiring.

Cropped view of professionals reviewing paperwork with calculator.

Kanghophoto // Shutterstock

#9. Professional and business services

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 1,124,000 jobs (+65.9%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 1,694,000
– Hires, June 2023: 1,135,000

Jobs in business and professional services require workers to have a high degree of training and expertise. Examples of jobs in the business and professional services industry include legal services, logistics, accounting and management, project management, marketing, and creative services. Employees engaging in business and professional services enjoyed wages over the $45,760 median annual salary across all occupations in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to consulting firm Grant Thornton, notable factors driving growth and disruption in the industry are competition for securing talented professionals, technological development, and globalization requiring workers to engage with markets from all over the world. That the U.S. has a relatively highly educated population gives it a comparative advantage in the services trade.

Stage actress in costume watches performers through curtain.

Anna Jurkovska // Shutterstock

#8. Arts, entertainment, and recreation

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 149,000 jobs (+76.4%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 171,000
– Hires, June 2023: 173,000

Thanks to technological innovations that enabled digital purchases, online ticketing, streaming services, and in-game purchases, the media, arts, and entertainment industries witnessed growth in demand for their services in the years before the pandemic. During the pandemic, as people experienced lockdowns, demand for digital entertainment increased, stimulating the creation of new jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that entertainment employment is expected to increase by 13% from 2021 to 2031—a rate faster than the growth rates of other jobs. With the end of lockdowns, people are going out more, and the demand and job growth in these industries are set to grow further.

Restaurant manager talking to team.


#7. Accommodation and food services

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 854,000 jobs (+77.4%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 1,051,000
– Hires, June 2023: 906,000

Even before the pandemic, the accommodation and food industries were growing. That growth halted and huge numbers of people lost their jobs in this sector when COVID-19 hit. But since the lifting of lockdowns, the prior growth trend has resumed. Data from Switzerland’s EHL Hospitality Business School shows that hospitality is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, with 22 million new jobs in 2022—a 7.9% increase over job openings in 2021. Fine dining and restaurants are tied to the hospitality and accommodation industries, so growth in one may help feed growth in the others.

Person preparing package for shipping.

Ground Picture // Shutterstock

#6. Wholesale trade

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 188,000 jobs (+83.9%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 269,000
– Hires, June 2023: 143,000

Thanks to digitization, growing competition, greater demand, and innovation, the wholesale industry has experienced significant growth and disruption. Furthermore, the gradual increase in commodity prices following a period of historic decline has also driven growth in the sector. To remain competitive, firms in the industry have created new jobs to better adapt to innovations and digitization in the industry.

Welder working in factory.

Zahovaev K // Shutterstock

#5. Durable goods manufacturing

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 274,000 jobs (+98.6%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 356,000
– Hires, June 2023: 196,000

Durable goods manufacturing refers to the manufacturing of goods that last very long, such as automobiles, furniture, tools, and equipment. Thanks to re-shoring efforts by companies and the federal and state governments to bring back manufacturing in the country, the manufacturing sector in the U.S. has experienced a revival, with a million additional workers joining the sector between 2010 and 2021, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Notable initiatives contributing to additional jobs in the sector include the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, according to the Department of Labor.

Teacher working with two elementary students.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#4. Educational services

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 161,000 jobs (+124.8%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 192,000
– Hires, June 2023: 98,000

Educational services include training and coaching centers, schools, universities, and colleges, and professional certification programs—as well as creating books and teaching materials, administrative functions, and even building and maintaining schools. With opportunities in STEM-related fields and professional services jobs, on top of the pandemic-sparked drive of many people to learn new skills, demand for education services has risen steadily, with job creation following suit.

Workers on assembly line at cookie factory.

Dusan Petkovic // Shutterstock

#3. Nondurable goods manufacturing

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 251,000 jobs (+145.9%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 226,000
– Hires, June 2023: 197,000

Nondurable goods refer to those intended to be used in a short period, requiring regular purchases once they are consumed. These include foods, soap, disposable paper plates and cups, air fresheners, and hair conditioners. Along with durable goods manufacturing, the manufacturing industry as a whole has witnessed significant growth in the past decade, particularly in 2022, when it added 367,000 jobs, according to the Department of Labor. Government initiatives driving growth and job creation in this sector include re-shoring and employment creation policies such as the Good Jobs Initiative, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Medical professionals having discussion. – Yuri A // Shutterstock

#2. Health care and social assistance

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 1,583,000 jobs (+153.1%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 1,837,000
– Hires, June 2023: 780,000

This industry includes any economic activity giving people medical care, health services, and social assistance. According to Deloitte, notable jobs in this industry include those in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and day care centers, such as nurses, physicians, therapists, and personal care aides. COVID-19, an aging population, longer life expectancies, and a rise in the number of people with chronic illnesses have contributed to an increase in demand for labor in this sector, as evidenced by the large number of jobs created in the industry.

Workers moving packages to shelves in warehouse.

ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#1. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities

– Increase in monthly hires and job openings over past decade: 505,000 jobs (+169.5%)
– Job openings, June 2023: 493,000
– Hires, June 2023: 310,000

This industry deals with moving finished and unfinished goods from one place to another, fulfilling deliveries for online orders, and storage. According to Deloitte, notable jobs in this industry include drivers, supply chain managers, mail carriers, and taxi drivers. Growth in other sectors, re-shoring, and the post-COVID-19 supply crunches have all contributed to greater demand for labor in this industry.

Data reporting by Paxtyn Merten. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Tim Bruns.

This story originally appeared on altLINE and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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Americans' pandemic-era entrepreneurial streak is holding strong—for now




An altLINE analysis of Census Bureau data reveals Americans are still starting new businesses at higher rates than in pre-pandemic times.
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Inflation has nothing on the American entrepreneurial spirit, which, judging by the volume of new businesses formed, continues to see potential in the post-pandemic economy.

To better understand the post-COVID-19 outlook for entrepreneurship in the U.S., altLINE analyzed data and reports from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Census Bureau. The data shows that Americans are on track through July of this year to submit 54% more applications to start new businesses compared to the same period in 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.

New business applications soared initially at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as brick-and-mortar businesses were forced to close their doors in compliance with local social distancing mandates. Stores saw business plummet and many were never able to reopen their doors, even as public health restrictions eased. The seismic shift in shopping habits spurred many Americans to start new business ventures at rates not seen since before the Great Recession, when the U.S. consumer took a hit from one of the deepest recessions on record.

As the current economic situation puzzles economists who debate whether a recession may be in the future, the continuing creation of businesses could mitigate some of the pain of a slowing economy.

Studies have suggested that the growth of the smallest businesses can help an economy’s resilience. Young, tiny companies, sometimes called “microbusinesses,” reduce local unemployment rates in their communities and have been related to rising household incomes, according to GoDaddy’s July 2021 Venture Forward Report.

A line chart depicting business formation applications submitted every month from 2019-2023. The trend line spikes in 2020, comes down slightly and then continues growing slowly in 2023.


COVID-19 recession provides shot in the arm

Advancements in technology made it easier for business owners to set up and run online storefronts and services. Leading up to 2020, ecommerce platforms integrating new technology for enhanced shopper experiences provided a critical foundation for the spike in new businesses. As Americans stayed at home during the height of the pandemic, they shopped online for everything from personal care to groceries. Ecommerce sales nearly doubled in 2020, jumping by 43% to a whopping $815 billion in annual retail sales. Thousands in stimulus checks also did their part to keep Americans afloat—and spending. On top of those factors, interest rates for loans to buoy new companies and purchase real estate were at historic lows.

In the first year of the new business surge, retailers in the fashion space made up the lion’s share of new small businesses, according to the GoDaddy Venture Forward Report.

Today, those new business owners face a much more expensive economy. Costs for labor, gas, clothing, food, and other critical inputs for businesses have risen considerably since 2020.

Business owner using mobile app on smartphone checking a parcel box.

Ground Picture // Shutterstock

New business class faces considerable headwinds

The typical new business faces its most difficult time in its first years of operation. Historically, 4 in 5 new businesses make it beyond their first year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But the odds of survival dwindle in each subsequent year of operation. Based on trends, just 1 in 2 businesses created in 2020 will likely survive beyond 2025.

The entrepreneurs looking to survive now face mounting headwinds in the face of rising interest rates, which has made borrowing money more expensive for both consumers and small business owners.

For small businesses seeking venture funding, seed-stage venture capital has stagnated as the venture capitalist ranks have grown wary of investing in early-stage companies. For those seeking loans, the cost of borrowing money today is at its highest since 2001, when the tech bubble burst, throwing the U.S. into recession.

Story editing by Ashleigh Graf. Copy editing by Kristen Wegrzyn.

This story originally appeared on altLINE and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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Robots are starting to deliver takeout orders. Are they here to stay?




Task Group analyzed the state of autonomous delivery systems, both nationally and internationally, to see how far along this technology has come.  
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In a March 2023 Deloitte survey, 47% of Americans said they would order from a restaurant that delivers food with a drone or an autonomous vehicle. That’s up 3 percentage points from the company’s 2021 survey about restaurant trends.

In that first survey, researchers noted there was “massive uncertainty in the industry, and many worried that restaurant patronage might never recover” from the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that two-thirds of consumers believed they would not immediately return to their pre-pandemic restaurant habits.

In 2023, most restaurant customer behavior is back to normal—though some changes have blended into the industry’s practices. Task Group analyzed the state of autonomous delivery systems, both nationally and internationally, to measure the progress of this technology post-pandemic.

As with other industries, technology has helped maximize efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. Business owners learned new service methods, marketing strategies, and technical terminology. Food delivery skyrocketed during lockdowns, making greater strides in restaurant efficiency and, in some cases, profits. Many restaurant owners connected apps that allowed customers to order without talking to a human to state-of-the-art delivery systems that don’t require a driver.

Restaurants and transportation companies in North America and Europe are experimenting with new automated delivery techniques that can reduce their costs as long as they do not compromise customer satisfaction. And consumers are ready—but how soon will it become standard practice?

Food delivery robots on pathway.

Julija Sh // Shutterstock

What are drones and sidewalk delivery vehicles?

The robots most commonly used in the food delivery industry are aerial drones and wheeled autonomous delivery vehicles that travel along sidewalks to reach customers.

Drones are classified by how they generate lift—with fixed wings, rotors, or a combination—by how they’re used, such as food delivery, and what equipment they have on board, including batteries and cameras.

In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration regulates drone use. The agency requires pilots to be certified—and bans drones within five miles of airports.

For many years, the FAA stood in the way of companies seeking to use drones for deliveries, but in 2019, the agency agreed to allow uncrewed delivery flights beyond the pilot’s line-of-sight by UPS and Wing Aviation, owned and operated by Google’s mothership Alphabet. Since then, the agency has approved drone delivery operations for several companies, including Amazon and Walmart.

According to a study published by the Harvard Kennedy School in 2022, autonomous delivery vehicles are not the future. They’re already here. Self-driving machines about the size of a large cooler are already traveling down our sidewalks and crosswalks to deliver various packages.

Policymakers question how these vehicles will work and interact with people and other vehicles in already congested and chaotic urban environments. The Harvard researchers believe these vehicles “offer the promise of less congestion and greener shipments,” but also “raise concerns about safety and use of road and sidewalk infrastructure.”

While the debate continues, the manufacturers of these robots continue to advance their technology, including using machine learning to improve navigation, efficiency, and safety.

Food delivery drone in flight.


How far off are drone or sidewalk deliveries?

Estonia-based delivery startup Bolt, working with Starship Technologies, has been trialing sidewalk deliveries in Estonia, the U.K., and the U.S. and plans to formally launch robot deliveries later this year in as many as 500 cities in 45 countries.

Bolt’s main competitor, Uber, signed a deal in 2022 with autonomous vehicle startup Nuro “to test driverless food deliveries” in Mountain View, California, and Houston, Texas. Before the agreement, Uber ran a pilot program for sidewalk delivery in Los Angeles, while Nuro delivered Domino’s pizzas in specific areas of Houston for a year. 

Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Kristen Wegrzyn.

This story originally appeared on Task Group and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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AI “superusers” seek education, fun, and productivity with generative AI

A look at two separate studies by Sparktoro and Salesforce on people’s generative AI use.



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Maybe it was through your job. Or simply out of curiosity.

With the rise of generative AI, you’ve probably tried out ChatGPT or a similar tool. But how often are people using these? More interestingly, what motivates them? Both Salesforce and SparkToro sought to find out with two separate studies. 

Here are highlights from each report and how they compare:

Work automation and educational pursuits top priorities for AI users

Both Salesforce and SparkToro can agree on this. SparkToro highlighted professional use of the platform as at an “all-time high,” then ranked categories of interest across over 4,000 ChatGPT prompts with these in the top 5:

  • Programming: 29.14%
  • Education: 23.30%
  • Content: 20.79%
  • Sales and Marketing: 13.47%
  • Personal & Other: 6.73%

Salesforce found that 75% of generative AI users are motivated by streamlined work communications and task automation. The second highest topic of interest? Technically “messing around” (38%), though a close third was learning and education (34%). Both SparkToro and Salesforce posit that education doesn’t just include homework or university coursework—users also use tools like ChatGPT to develop knowledge of other desired educational topics. 

Younger generations more likely to use AI than older ones despite general decline in usage

Salesforce surveyed 4,000 people to find out how they use generative AI and what their demographics are. Turns out, most “superusers” — aka those who use the tool every day — are Millennials or Gen Zers (65%). Plus, 70% of the Gen Z participants surveyed said they use generative AI. 

Still, SparkToro notes an overall decline in generative AI use regardless of age. After studying monthly traffic data on OpenAI provided by Datos, SparkToro found overall traffic fell by nearly 30%. 

Users ask ChatGPT to write, create, and list

These were the top three common words in SparkToro’s assessment in ChatGPT prompts. However, they also share a notable prevalence of the words “game” and “SEO in prompts as well. Other words less commonly used yet enough to come up in the results included judge, SaaS pricing, curriculum, employment, and employer.

Read the SparkToro report here and the Salesforce report here

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