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Growing job markets to consider

Date posted:  7/21/15 09:45:00 AM Americans looking for a strong job market should consider health care.

College students - along with adults debating going back to school - might want to take note: There are a few job sectors that stand above the rest when it comes to demand, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The most promising results indicated health care related fields. With a large portion of baby boomers set to retire and need more help at home, the BLS estimated the country will need nearly 3 million health care related jobs through 2022.

The Missoulan also reported many health care graduates of Missoula College are finding good jobs right after leaving school.

Nick Arthur, chair of the Health Professions department Missoula, which is administered by the University of Montana, said recent graduates are also making solid wages right out of school.

"A new graduate can expect to make between $45,000 and $50,000 in nursing or respiratory therapy," Arthur said. "And that's not overly optimistic. That's very realistic. And for our grads, there are multiple avenues of employment, not just hospitals. There are sleep care clinics and other lesser known types of jobs available, that sort of thing."

However, the BLS reported not all health care jobs require a degree. Jobs for personal care aides and home health aides continue to rise as baby boomers age.

Restaurants and retailers should also expand hiring in the coming years, according to the bureau. The data estimates restaurants to hire 422,000 new employees and retailers to hire 435,000 workers through 2022.

Best job markets by city
It's not just the type of job that can make or break someone's employment chances. The city a prospective worker resides in can also have a serious impact on opportunity. CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. recently ranked the top 150 labor markets by the nation's largest cities. The report is called the "Labor Market 150 Index."

"The Labor Market 150 Index offers a balanced, holistic view of the current state of U.S. labor markets," Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a release. "We know the economy is improving nationwide, but the index helps identify regions and cities driving the recovery, as well as those struggling to rebound."

The top 10 markets for job growth are spread throughout the country. Provo, Utah, ranked first overall with strong job growth, a rising technology sector and an unemployment rate of just 3 percent.

  1. Provo, Utah
  2. Houston, Texas
  3. Raleigh, North Carolina
  4. Salt Lake City, Utah
  5. Fayatville, Arkansas
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  9. Naples, Florida
  10. Lafayette, Louisiana

"Metros with low unemployment and growth in good-paying occupations are ranked high, as well as metros projected to grow through the end of the decade and currently seeing new job openings on the rise," Ferguson said.

How did other major markets fare?
Houston was the lone city with a population rank in the top 10 to make the list. The three largest cities didn't fare nearly as well. New York ranked 90th, Los Angeles was 87th and Chicago 120th.

New York, the most populated city in the country, has a job growth rate ranked ninth in the nation, but the city was hurt via lethargic employment growth in recent years. Los Angeles, the second most populous metro area, would have been higher but had an unemployment rate of 7 percent. Meanwhile, Chicago's unemployment rate is on the decline, but the Windy City was also hurt by limited job growth.