Great Job Outlook for OT's, PT's
By CHANA R. SCHOENBERGER
Wall Street Journal
Sept 12, 2011
Today's unemployment data is enough to make even the most dedicated job-seeker wonder: Where are all the good jobs?
But good jobs are out there, you just need to know where to look.
According to new figures from job listings site SimplyHired.com, occupational, physical and speech therapists are in particularly high demand but are in especially short supply, making those jobs some of the least competitive. And healthcare companies are at the top of the nation's hiring list, according to the site's monthly jobs outlook report, released Thursday.
There are 64 open jobs in occupational therapy for every 100 working in the field, the site's data show. Yet online job listings for these positions get 50 times fewer clicks than the hardest-to-place industry -- the legal field. Meanwhile, unemployed lawyers now find themselves in the country's most cutthroat race for a job, with less than one opening for every 100 working attorneys.
The growth in therapy-related jobs tracks both longer life expectancies and the better prognosis for premature babies, said the Mountain View, Calif. site's chief operating officer, Dion Lim.
Computer software engineering is another growing field, with 29 job listings for every 100 programmers currently working.
Software companies like Apple, Facebook, and Salesforce.com have created a tech-jobs boomlet, explains SimplyHired's chief executive, Gautam Godhwani. Facebook currently has some 2000 employees, with more than 350 open positions, but that's not counting jobs available at companies that make Facebook-related products and software, or social-media jobs that help companies use Facebook.
In total, SimplyHired lists 36,000 jobs currently open with the keyword "Facebook," and 263,000 jobs were listed with the same keyword over the past year, Mr. Godhwani said.
The Apple effect is similar: Although the site lists 2,000 open jobs at the iPad maker, there are 41,600 Apple-related jobs listed at the moment, with half a million posted on the site over the past year.
These bright spots don't mean the economy is in better shape than it looks. According to government data released Friday, the economy did not add any non-farm jobs in August, a blow to economists' hopes that the unemployment rate would drop below the current 9.1%.
"We are in for a very long recovery," said Mr. Godhwani, Thursday.
This is particularly true in areas where the mismatch between the number of available jobs and job hunters is most acute. According to the site's data, the toughest metro area to find a job in the U.S. is Miami and Fort Lauderdale where there are nine searchers for every opening. Odds are only slightly better in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Detroit.
Meanwhile, the Federal government is a growth industry, making Washington, D.C., one of the best places to look for work, with an equal number of open jobs and job seekers. Runners-up include the San Francisco Bay area, West Palm Beach, Oklahoma City, and Boston, all of which have just two job hunters for every opening, the site's statistics show.
Write to Chana R. Schoenberger at Chana.Schoenberger@dowjones.com