New York

Job Scene in 2006


Name the industry, and invariably the top spot is here, in the city. Publishing, finance, real estate, design, healthcare, fashion, and academia all have corporate headquarters and hubs in the city.

That means that career opportunities are plenty. And in New York City, it also means there are thousands who are competing for the same jobs.

It’s one of the realities of living in New York: keep your resume current and look for new opportunities, because timing is everything. Just as important in this market—contacts and referrals that are as critical as are your skills and experience.

The basic outlook for the NYC job market for 2006 is that the first quarter will be a bit soft, with hiring expected to pick up in the second quarter. From Manpower to the New York State Department of Labor, the report calls for slight slowing during January and February, particularly in the service and construction job categories.

The ’06 forecast follows a major pickup in jobs in 2005, for the first time since 2001. In 2005, the number of real jobs in the five boroughs increased by 33,500—just under 1% in a city that boasts of more than 5.4 million workers. And workers are feeling the opportunity; 30% of NYC workers say their firms are hiring, according to the Hudson Employment Index for NYC.

So where are the jobs? The highest paying jobs, and the greatest number of workers, are found in what is known as FIRE—finance, insurance and real estate. There is a new category of financial expertise on the rise. According to Jack Kelly with the Compliance Search Group, those who have compliance-related skills—audit, automation, and accounting—are a hot commodity in 2006. The opportunities are created by new compliance regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, which were developed to avoid future corporate ethics scandals such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco.

The boom, however, is in healthcare. The 2005 edition of Job Hunting in New York City (WetFeet in the City) reports that 13% of all the jobs created in the metro area between now and 2010 will be in healthcare. The jobs range from home-health aides to social services/case workers to nurses. Already the NYC Jobs Board has identified an “acute shortage” in nursing that is multiplied by a lack of capacity to train enough new nurses. To respond, the Jobs Board is directing funds to attract senior nurses into PhD programs that will prepare them to train the next generation of nurses.

Technology is another area of job growth. Before the bust, most NYC tech jobs were limited to Silicon Alley. In this new round of opportunity for software developers, web masters and project managers, tech jobs can be found in every corner of every business category.

In addition, Manpower says its December review of NYC job opportunities reported a shortage in public administration—jobs that range from senior non-appointed positions with city government to postal workers, fire and police.

While those are the categories of the most opportunity, there remain great slots for creative professionals, too. The Fashion Institute of Technology is looking for a dean of graduate studies, a top notch position that heads a list of jobs that range from creative directors to copy writers to new media developers.

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