2013 was a year of optimism for job seekers — so what does that mean for 2014?

Survey data, trends may show what the next 12 months may look like.


Over the course of 2013, Monster conducted a variety of surveys seeking to find answers to the complicated questions facing the U.S. job market, economy and workforce. Together, Monster’s data and a review of trends across several industries show what may hold for 2014.

According to employers as well as employed and unemployed job seekers, the American job market has improved from years past, but not necessarily for all professions. Individual job seeker outlook depends largely on the occupational category, and occupational categories often thought to be recession-proof continued to trend that way in 2013. But, employers and job candidates still see a skills gap in categories such as engineering and information technologies (IT).

Across the broader economy, the second half of 2013 was marked by several successes. The U.S. gross domestic product growth rate was up to 4.1 percent in the third quarter, the fastest rate in nearly two years. The economy added 203,000 jobs in November, and unemployment fell to a five-year low at 7 percent.

But, when it comes to the belief that there are too many people vying for too few jobs, well, market saturation remains a bigger issue for some categories (teaching) compared to others (engineering).

Other occupational categories may be poised to make a comeback, for instance manufacturing jobs could see a rebound in 2014.

But there’s a big question behind unemployment numbers. There are 90 million Americans not looking for work. Why this is remains a difficult question to answer though there are a handful of possibilities.

“The numbers clearly indicate that 2013 was a relatively stable year for job creation and even saw upward momentum toward year-end,” said Joanie Ruge, senior vice president of market development at Monster Worldwide. “The workforce should feel a carryover effect heading into Q1 of 2014.”

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