Experts: It’s a great time to look for jobs in Central New York
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Hottest Sectors in CNY:
Accommodation and food services
Health care and social assistance
Transportation and warehousing
Professional and business service
Whether you plan to look for a summer job or launch your career, the Central New York job market is hot.
“Currently, it is a very strong job market for jobseekers in the Syracuse metro area,” said Karen Knapik-Scalzo, associate economist with the New York State Department of Labor Division of Research & Statistics in Syracuse. “The local economy is showing robust job growth across most of its industries and occupations.”
She noted that the Syracuse metro area added 9,500 non-farm jobs over the year ending in November 2022, which represents a 3.1% growth rate, and that the Syracuse metropolitan statistical area unemployment rate was only 2.5% as of October 2022.
“There is especially strong job growth in accommodation and food services; health care and social assistance; transportation and warehousing; and professional and business services,” Knapik-Scalzo said. “There is also a growing need for construction workers, especially within heavy and civil engineering construction as aging infrastructure is replaced. In addition, manufacturing workers are needed locally, especially within computer and electronic products manufacturing.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) occupations are also growing locally.”
Randy Wolken, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) in Syracuse,
said that these opportunities “are increasing significantly as industries are looking to hire then train. Manufacturing and high tech are growing and point to a future with apprenticeship opportunities.”
Just the tech sector alone offers about 20 different apprenticeship pathways through MACNY which Wolken said are in big demand, especially in light of Micron coming to CNY.
Wolken also said that quality control, electromechanical technicians, tool makers, maintenance mechanics, welders, and software developers are in demand—and that these jobs will continue to need workers.
“There are many opportunities in the trades in our local area with options to join unions, municipalities, small construction companies, or large corporations,” said Rachel Pierce, executive director of Workforce Development Board of Oswego County in Fulton.
A few in-demand career examples include electricians, mechanics, and similar positions.
Pierce added that new apprenticeships include the IT and healthcare fields, plus there are vocational training opportunities in healthcare, transportation, and various industry-specific certifications.
Careers in healthcare at any level continue to be in high demand as the pandemic stretched thin an already understaffed industry. From LPNs to MDs offering specialty care, anything in the medical field needs more workers and will continue to for decades to come as the baby boomers continue to both retire from the healthcare industry and in general require more medical care as they age.
Michelle Jevis, co-owner of CR Fletcher Temps and CR Fletcher Industrials, both in Syracuse, said that this shortage extends to administrative workers in healthcare as well, including “general business support, accountants, and payroll within the business side,” she said. “Accountants in any industry are always in high demand. Recent graduates tend to have good opportunities available.”
Although flexible and hybrid working arrangements grew in popularity during the pandemic, Jevis said that new applicants should remain open to in-person work.
“Companies are still trying to be flexible but more of them need people to come into the office,” Jevis said.