3 Fields That Had A 19% Increase In Job Openings Last Month

job opening increaseBy Dawn Kawamoto, The Motley Fool

Been pounding the pavement in a job search? Try going back to nature.

Farming, fisheries, and forestry job openings increased by a whopping 19.3% between March and April, according to a report (link opens PDF file) released Tuesday by jobs board SimplyHired.com. That number is especially impressive given the 5.4% decrease in job openings nationwide over the same period.

Jobs with the most mojo
Other occupations that managed to post stellar growth in available jobs included financial specialists and accountants, which jumped 12.9%. That follows a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics noting a rise of 15,000 employees in the finance industry nationwide in March, with most workers in the trenches handling credit intermediation.

Trailing behind, but showing growth nonetheless, is the food service industry. Job openings for cooks, servers, and food workers rose 5.4% in April compared with a month earlier, according to Simply Hired. The increase in job openings makes sense, given that restaurant owners were feeling full of optimism in March: The restaurant industry posted a 4.2% increase in same-store sales in March, with owners and operators bullish for even stronger April sales, according to a Nation's Restaurant News report.

We're hiring -- not
On the other end of the spectrum, sales representatives were hit hard in April: Job openings in sales fell by a staggering 38.7% compared to March. You'd have to make a hard sell to land a job in sales.

It's easy to see why job openings in retail sales were slaughtered. Major retailers on Thursday reported April sales lower than what Wall Street had expected. Apparently driving the less-than-robust sales were colder weather and rising concerns about an economic turnaround.

Other occupations that posted a significant pullback in job postings included scientists, social scientists, and lab technicians, which dropped by 8.5%. Engineers, excluding those in the computer industry, faced a similar 8.3% decline in available job openings.

Nationwide figures down = sky falling?
Job openings were in decline in April, with three unemployed folks for every job opening. But that's not cause to hit the panic button.

"Although job openings decreased from last month, this isn't unusual for hiring during this time of year," says Gautam Godhwani, Simply Hired CEO, in a statement. "Some months during the year tend to be slower for hiring, and we continue to see healthy numbers of job listings in our database."

The Department of Labor report released Tuesday finds that job openings are at their highest level in nearly four years.

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