There are lots of opportunities to work in government — and they don’t require a relocation to Capitol Hill.
Open positions in the government sector grew by 25.2% in September 2019 compared to September 2018, according to Glassdoor’s latest job market report, which compares job growth and wage data year over year in September. It was by far the sector that saw the biggest job listings bump; the second-fastest growing sector was legal and accounting, which had 18.7% more job listings this September compared to last.
The growth in government job opportunities goes beyond the federal level. Of the 128,540 total openings in September, according to Glassdoor, over 17,000 were with employers that had 500 staffers or fewer. Some major cities hiring for government workers outside of D.C. include Atlanta, Austin, Las Vegas and New York.
“I was surprised to see that most of the hiring is very spread out for government,” Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao told CNBC Make It. “It’s not just the federal government hiring in D.C. — it’s a lot of state and local governments around the country hiring workers.”
Civilian jobs supporting the military also expanded in the past year and have contributed to growth within the government sector, as well as within aerospace and defense.
That wasn’t the only sector seeing significant growth.
Construction saw a 13.7% boost in job openings in September, thanks in part to a recent surge in new-home construction. The number of homes beginning construction hit a 12-year record high in August. Zhao indicated now may be a good time for construction workers, regardless of month-to-month fluctuations in the real estate market.
“One thing that has been fairly consistent is that businesses have reported it’s hard to find qualified and experienced workers in construction,” Zhao said. This corresponds with Glassdoor data that found median base pay for construction laborers grew by 6.2% in the last year to $42,519
“That’s a large increase for workers and really speaks to how even though the top line indicators for the industry are kind of volatile, it does seem like the shortage of workers is boosting the labor market for the industry,” Zhao noted.
On the flip side, industries where job growth is slowing tend to fall into the consumer goods and services market. Industries like consumer electronics, financial services, travel, entertainment and utilities all saw a decrease in job openings in September compared to last year.
Zhao said this isn’t reason to worry, especially headed into the holiday retail season.
“When you consider the consumer industry as a whole: retail, restaurants and bars, consumer electronics, beauty and fitness, it does still look like the picture is positive for consumer spending as we head into the holiday season,” Zhao said. Despite cautious consumer sentiment and anticipation of what the latest round of tariffs will mean for American pocketbooks, retail employers are still moving forward with rapid hiring.
Here are the top five industries where job growth expanded the most.
Year-over-year growth: 25.2%
Job openings: 128,540
Major employers: AmeriCorp, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
2. Accounting and legal
Year-over-year growth: 18.7%
Job openings: 49,382
Major employers: PwC, Deloitte, EY
3. Restaurants and bars
Year-over-year growth: 15.5%
Job openings: 608,905
Major employers: Starbucks, Chipotle, Compass Group USA
Year-over-year growth: 13.7%
Job openings: 68,770
Major employers: D.R. Horton, HD Supply, Aecon
5. Aerospace and defense
Year-over-year growth: 12.5%
Job openings: 101,710
Major employers: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, U.S. Department of Defense