Expert weighs in on future of Columbus job market - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

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Expert weighs in on future of Columbus job market

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Dr. Ben Blair Dr. Ben Blair

New jobs are slowly being created as the nation comes back from recession.

Experts anticipate the slow trend will continue. Dr. Benjamin Blair is an economic professor at Columbus State. He says he anticipates 800-900 new jobs a year the next few years, which translates to a 1-3 percent rate of job growth.

Blair says some businesses are slow to hire because of the new healthcare costs.

"Until things shake out with the new healthcare costs, businesses don't like uncertainty and they shield themselves from that risk but as soon as that uncertainty goes away, they'll adjust to it and they may start hiring more," says Blair.

Locally, Blair anticipates the biggest growth to come in healthcare, education and personal care or home health-aid.

Nationally, a new CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International reports shows the top 20 fastest growing jobs.

The following table, adapted from the report, spotlights the fastest-growing occupations that are projected to see at least 8 percent growth and 30,000 jobs added from 2013 through 2017.

Occupation

% Change

New Jobs

Median Hourly Earnings

Personal Care & Home Health Aides

21%

473,965

$9.77

Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists

14%

60,889

$29.10

Medical Secretaries

14%

76,386

$15.17

Emergency Medical Technicians & Paramedics

13%

30,234

$15.28

Software Developers (Systems & Applications)

11%

110,049

$47.64

Medical Assistants

10%

60,109

$14.35

Registered Nurses

9%

256,703

$32.04

Network & Computer Systems Administrators

9%

34,825

$35.14

Pharmacy Technicians

9%

31,975

$14.29

Landscaping & Groundskeeping Workers

9%

111,444

$11.07

Social & Human Service Assistants

9%

34,411

$14.02

Computer Systems Analysts

8%

40,462

$37.98

Management Analysts

8%

60,157

$35.80

Cooks, Restaurant

8%

79,364

$10.63

Insurance Sales Agents

8%

52,565

$23.20

Nursing Assistants

8%

117,400

$12.01

Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurses

8%

63,320

$20.33

Combined Food Prep & Serving, Incl. Fast Food

8%

237,192

$8.75

Receptionists & Information Clerks

8%

85,035

$12.64

Columbus gained 500 jobs from July to August, with the city's active workforce at 120,000, according to the most recent numbers from the Georgia Department of Labor. The unemployment rate for Columbus is at 8.5%.

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