It's April, and whether you're a poet, a painter, or a Head of Business Behavior, 2019 is in full swing, your taxes are done, and maybe the Spring Thaw has you thinking about summer.
And so far this year, you're hearing "the BLS job numbers are up!" and "the BLS jobs numbers are down". Like so many conversations about work, at first glance, it can be a glass-half-empty picture.
That's why specificity in this discussion matters - and our new Q1 update of the Cognizant Jobs of the Future Index provides just that. While quarter-over-quarter, the CJoF Index plateaued, it's very important to look at the long range trendline, which shows that jobs of the future grew by 32% year-over-year.
For the future of work - and for most of the 50 jobs of the future contained in the Index - as days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years, the pattern for the last year (and beyond) shows without a doubt that the jobs of the future are coming at us fast.
Here are more highlights for the CJoF Index for Q1 2019:
Tracking demand for the 50 jobs, based on real US job openings sourced from Burning Glass by our analytical partners at ESI ThoughtLab, the latest CJoF Index reveals that job openings rose 32 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019, with the index moving from 1.12 in the first quarter of 2018 to 1.47 in the first quarter of 2019. (To read the full methodology for the CJoF Index, please click here)
Although job openings rose sharply from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, on a quarter-on-quarter basis the jobs performance showed little change. The CJoF Index posted a slight increase (2 percent) from 1.45 in Q4 2018 to 1.47 in Q1 2019. However, the CJoF Index outperformed the All Burning Glass Jobs Index, which registered a slight decrease (-2 percent) from 1.31 in Q4 2018 to 1.29 currently. The All Burning Glass Jobs Index reflects all jobs in the US.
Work Culture, Fitness and Wellness families see largest year-over-year increases
For the second consecutive quarter, the fastest growing job family compared with the prior year was Work Culture, which includes training and development specialists, career counselors, and industrial organizational psychologists. Openings in this family of jobs advanced by 69 percent, increasing from nearly 2,800 US openings in 1Q 2018 to over 4,700 in 1Q 2019. The number of postings for career counselors jumped seven-fold in the quarter, from 143 job openings in 1Q 2018 to 1,029 postings in 1Q 2019. This surge in postings reflects the growing need for work culture specialists within businesses to help their employees adapt to digital change and acquire the skills needed to succeed in the future.
Following closely, the Fitness and Wellness family of jobs grew by 54 percent over the year, from 875 job openings in 1Q 2018 to nearly 1,350 in 1Q of 2019. This job family includes behavioral therapists (+25 job openings), personal care aides (+74 job openings), home health aides (+108 jobs), as well as the fitness commitment counselor (+60 job postings). Continued growth in this category underscores the importance of tech skills for fitness professionals, personal trainers, and personal caregivers, many of whom are utilizing tech-enabled solutions, from wearables and embedded chips to online gyms and telemedicine.
Four families had job posting growth of between 30 and 50 percent over the year: Legal and Financial Services (47 percent); Customer Experience (46 percent); Environmental (36 percent); and Algorithms, Automation, and AI (30 percent). The percentage growth in postings in Algorithms, Automation, and AI is particularly significant, given its large underlying jobs base. This category—which includes jobs such as software developer and data scientist—far surpassed the other seven families in the absolute number of new postings, with 327,000 new jobs (vs 252,000 a year earlier). This sharp growth in jobs reflects the growing war for technical talent as companies rush to accelerate their digital transformation programs.
Slightly behind in jobs grow, Health Care rose 27 percent and Transport 26 percent. The Health Care family grew from roughly 7,500 digitally enabled job postings in Q1 2018 to over 9,500 such postings in Q1 2019, while the Transport family had roughly 500 additional job openings over the year, with 2,450 postings in Q1 2019 up from 1,950 in Q1 2018.
Which jobs rose the most over the year
Over the year, all jobs posted a percent increase in job openings over the first quarter of 2018, except for solar installers and solar engineers, which registered a negative change. Import tariffs on solar panels and solar cells from China, as well as new licensing requirements and changing legislation in many states, contributed to the fall in solar jobs. The fastest and slowest jobs in terms of percent change are noted below.
The fastest growing jobs in the first quarter of 2019 in the CJoF Index were:
The slowest growing jobs in the CJoF Index in the same period:
In terms of the actual number of openings compared with the first quarter of 2018, all of the 50 jobs within the CJoF index showed an increase, except for solar installers and solar engineers.
While percent change shows the momentum growth in jobs, the numeric increase in jobs is a key indicator of the overall demand for these new skill sets. On this measure, software developers/engineers registered the largest number of any of the 50 jobs in the CJoF Index, with a huge increase of 51,742 over the year. That was followed by cyber/information security engineers/analysts (+4,905 openings); cyber calamity forecasters (+4,366 openings); and UI/UX designer/developers (+4,208 openings). Coming close behind was business development/sales manager jobs (+4,131 openings), showing that digital transformation requires more than technical skills, but also the capabilities to drive a new business growth strategy.
Quarter-on-quarter performance was flat
Despite outperforming the All Burning Glass Jobs Index over the quarter, the Q1 2019 increases were lower across all eight families when compared with their increases in both Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, suggesting a slight loss of momentum in job creation compared with the same period in the prior years. This is not surprising, given the expected decline in US economic growth from 3.1% in 2018 to 2.4% in 2019, according to the recent Survey of Professional Forecasters.
The Fitness and Wellness family realized the largest job postings gain quarter on quarter (25 percent), followed by Work Culture (10 percent). Five job families realized slight growth over the quarter: Legal and Financial Services (9 percent); Healthcare (7 percent); Algorithms, Automation, and AI (2 percent); Environmental (1 percent); and Customer Experience (0.4 percent).
One job family, Transport, realized an actual quarterly contraction of 6 percent. Three out of four occupations within the Transport family saw job postings decline over the quarter: transportation supervisor (-18 percent), transportation planner (-15 percent), and avionics technician (-6 percent), while the job postings for aerospace engineers slightly increased (2 percent). However, these decreases likely reflect a strong base of comparison in 4Q 2018, when the increase in job postings was particularly robust, rather than any structural change in demand for transport related jobs. On an annual basis, job openings for transport jobs jumped 26%.
In terms of individual jobs, during the first quarter of 2019, career counselors had a substantial increase in both number of job postings (821 postings) and percent growth (395 percent) compared with the prior quarter. Software developer/engineers had the largest over-the-quarter jump in job postings (6,141 new openings).
Two occupations within the Environmental family—alternative energy manager and solar engineer—realized the largest percent decreases over the quarter, with postings declining by 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Continued uncertainty around tariffs and legislation may continue to suppress job demand for these jobs in future quarters. Cyber/information security engineer/analyst (-1,263 openings) and master of edge computing (-970 openings) saw the largest declines in total job openings over the quarter. However, these declines are off very strong job growth in the prior quarter and do not likely signal the start of a declining trend.
Please follow the progress of the CJoF Index each quarter
The Q1 2019 CJoF Index represents its third installment, and continues to allow us to test and/or prove our hypotheses about what the jobs of the future will look like, how they are evolving, and what will be required of employees and employers alike. While the Index doesn't predict the future, it is a tool that allows us to examine macro trends that will affect the future of all work. Please continue to follow its progress at the beginning of each quarter to come.
For more details, including the full list of jobs and the Index methodology, visit cognizant.com/jobs-of-the-future-index.