2014 Workforce Trends: Part 2 – Where the Jobs Aren’t

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With a new year and new jobs data having been released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we are publishing a two-part blog series to highlight some of the latest job market trends. In part one, we discussed job sectors experiencing growth, touched on emerging industries and explored some thriving geographic regions. In part two, we’ll look at some of the industries predicted to decline in 2014 and geographical regions where job growth has slowed. 

The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in five years. Job growth in healthcare, technology, construction, and retail is booming. But the good news has yet to reach several sectors of the U.S. economy. As the digital revolution continues to change consumer behaviors and demand, many sectors are increasingly forced to cut jobs, often in staggering numbers.

Declining Industries

There are no surprises here. The industries that will experience the most dramatic decline in 2014 have been suffering for years.


After three months of sluggish growth, the manufacturing sector added 77,000 new jobs in 2013, driven primarily by food and automotive manufacturers. However, the overall outlook for U.S. manufacturing is bleak. The 77,000 new jobs are just half of the 154,000 manufacturing jobs created in 2012. Consumer goods manufacturing — from apparel to electronics — is expected to decline sharply over the coming years, shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs due to decreased demand and product obsolescence.

Federal Government

2014 looks like another bad year for Federal government jobs. The latest BLS data shows government jobs continuing to decline, as Uncle Sam sliced 79,000 jobs over the past year. Many of these jobs were cut from the struggling Postal Service, which is expected to lose a staggering 169,000 jobs by 2022.

Traditional Media

It’s no secret that traditional media outlets like newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters are struggling to compete with their digital counterparts. Traditional media shed over 8,000 jobs in 2013, up sharply from the 5,600 jobs cut in 2012. This, of course, bodes ill for 2014 and years beyond. BLS predictions show print media alone cutting over 100,000 jobs over the coming decade.

Slow Growth Locations

In stark contrast to the booming South, the Northeast continues to struggle to add jobs, falling far behind the rest of the U.S. in monthly job growth.

November 2013 release from ADP reveals that the Northeast added only 33,000 new jobs in November, improving its six-month average of 25,000. This sluggish growth is most acute in New England, where just 6,900 new jobs materialized, though this was better than the region’s six-month average of 6,100 new jobs per month.

The West and Midwest both performed slightly better, adding 41,000 jobs each in November, though the West fell behind its six-month average of 45,000. California, once the undisputed hotbed of job growth, came in a distant third with 14,350 new jobs added in November, far below its six-month average of over 20,000.

These sectors and locations will certainly continue to struggle in 2014. But as older occupations and industries falter, new opportunities are fast emerging to take their place. While the topics we explored in part two of this blog series focused on some of the negatives, the overall job growth outlook for the coming year is highly promising.

Want to learn more about how our staffing solutions can help in this job market? Contact us today! 

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