HR Management & Compliance

Do Your Employees Feel Stuck?

Workers who feel like they have nowhere to go in their companies are at risk of leaving. Today we’ll look at the breadth of the problem.

Recent trends toward poor wage growth are negative for the economy not only because workers are dissatisfied but also because fewer people have money in their pockets to spend. Businesses are increasingly aware of the persistence of this wage crisis, with the country’s largest bank, JPMorgan, recently raising wages in part to retain and attract talent.

To address this disconnect in the labor market, Indeed’s research team took a look at which roles in the United States have shown strong wage growth and competitive salaries from the most recent data. What Indeed® found is that only 15% of people held “opportunity” jobs in 2015, about 16% in 2014, and that these positions are centralized in increasingly specific and high-skilled fields.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that these roles are in high demand by employers, making up 35% of all job postings on Indeed. If jobseekers, employers, and policymakers can connect the dots, there is a huge potential for more people to be in these high-growth, sustainable careers.

“Right now, the slice of pie is relatively thin in terms of opportunity jobs in the U.S.,” said Indeed Chief Economist Tara Sinclair in a press release. “But there’s potential for the pie itself to get bigger as demand is only growing for positions in fields such as technology, healthcare, and engineering.”

Jobs that topped the list for high growth in the past 10 years include roles such as registered nurse, software developer, and sales manager. Meanwhile, the five industries that house a whopping 92% of these jobs are health care, management, technology, business and finance, and engineering. These are areas where Indeed sees high employer demand versus supply, little chance of automation, and dynamic fields that will expand, not shrink, as technology changes the workforce.

Education is also a key differentiator for these roles, with 75% of opportunity jobs needing a college degree, and the other 25% often needing a skill or certification. But while much of the onus is on workers, there is also an increasing need for employers and policymakers to offer training and incentives.

“Employer investment in training has been declining for decades, but it’s time to try and reverse the trend,” said Indeed Senior Vice President Paul D’Arcy. “Rather than wait for perfect candidates to arrive, employers and policymakers need to find innovative ways to cultivate talent, whether through courses, on the job training, or flexible work arrangements.”

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some of BLR’s research into how employers attempt to attract and retain high-potential employees.