by Teri Fritsma
My title may be a little misleading, because let’s face it: almost no job is completely safe these days. But there are some fields that still have job openings. Some openings are in relatively shock-proof industries, like health care. Other openings exist because they’re in occupations where there’s always some turnover.
So while they may not be completely recession-proof, here’s a list of occupations with the most statewide vacancies. (Note: This list comes from the 4th quarter, 2008 Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey, conducted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. This is great data to take a look at because it was collected after the recession began.)
1. Retail Salespersons. This occupation had 1,649 vacancies statewide last quarter, about 90 percent of them part-time. The median hourly wage offer for these openings was about $7.50.
2. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers. There were over 1,500 job vacancies statewide. The median salary offer was about $7.00 per hour and about 72 percent of these openings were part-time.
3. Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants. There were 1,442 vacancies, with a median wage offer of $10.29 per hour. About 67% of these were part-time. Keep in mind that most people working in this field need to have a certification or license.
4. Registered Nurses. The demand for RNs continues. There were 1,220 vacancies last quarter, with a median wage offer of $24.52. About half of these openings were part-time.
5. Home Health Aides had 1,202 vacancies last quarter — about 80% for part-time work — with a median wage offer of about $10.50. More than half these vacancies were open for at least 60 days, which suggests that employers were having a somewhat harder time filling these slots.
6. Cashiers. There were 872 cashier vacancies statewide, about 88 percent of them for part-time workers, with a median wage offer of $7.50.
7. Customer Service Representatives comes in seventh, with 814 vacancies statewide (42% of them part-time). The median wage offer for Customer Service Reps was $11.63.
8. Amusement and Recreation Attendants. There were 705 vacancies statewide; with a median wage offer of $6.75. An estimated 61% of these vacancies were part-time.
9. Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses. Keep in mind that LPNs require licenses (about 95% of these openings required either an occupational license or certification). There were 630 vacancies, with a median wage offer of $15.10. About 65% of these openings were for part-time workers.
10. Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers (Hand). There were 498 openings, with a median wage offer of $11.71. Nearly three-quarters — 71% — of these openings were part-time.