Job outlook brightest for nurses on the North Shore

LYNN ? Students pursuing a career in nursing are nearly assured of getting a job after graduation, based on a study by the North Shore Workforce Investment Board (WIB).An estimated 16,860 jobs for registered nurses will likely be generated between 2004 and 2014. Nursing tops the list of occupations that will generate more than half of all new jobs.Second only to the registered nurses was the projected demand for about 10,390 retail salespersons during the same timeframe.Among the occupations expected to generate the most jobs in the coming six years, in addition to nurses and sales help, are computer software engineers for both the applications and analyst sectors, post-secondary teachers, customer service representatives, nursing aides and orderlies, waiters and waitresses, home health aides, combing food preparation and service workers, management analysts, accountants and auditors, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, data communication analysts, pre-school teachers with the exception of special education, and sales representatives in the wholesale and manufacturing sectors.The fastest-growing occupations were network systems and data communication analysts, with a projected growth of 43 percent between 2004 and 2014.The demand for computer software engineers, home health aides, biomedical engineers, biochemists, biophysicists, medical scientists except epidemiologists, medical assistants, database administrators, hazardous waste removal specialists, veterinary technicians, atmospheric and space scientists, and personal and homecare aides was expected to grow by at least 30 percent.According to WIB’s Labor Market Blueprint, four industries stood out as critical drivers of labor market demand, as providers of employment paying sustainable wages, and offering career ladder opportunities on the North Shore. They were: construction, financial services, health care, and durable goods manufacturing.”There is a consistent demand for replacement jobs in each of these four industries,” states the report’s executive summary.Specifically, the researchers found that health care employment has been growing steadily on the North Shore and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Further, while construction employment varies seasonally, over the past five years its annual employment has been consistent.Manufacturing employment has declined from its peaks, but still accounts for “very significant portion” of the private sector workforce on the North Shore, according to the study. Employment in the financial services industry also has rebounded in the region over the past two years, after a period of decline.Interestingly, the construction industry on the North Shore is facing an aging workforce with too few younger workers interested in finding such jobs. The skills and education requirements of the construction industry are also increasing, requiring new entrants to have stronger levels of math skills than ever before.”The greatest human resources challenge in construction is lack of workers who want to be in the industry over the long term on the North Shore,” the researchers stated.In terms of emerging industries, biotechnology leads the way on the North Shore. Emerging industries are those with small bases of current employment that are poised to grow rapidly in the future and that offer strong wages and career options.”Massachusetts is the number two state in the country in terms of biotechnology employment,” the researchers stated, noting that the North Shore has several pockets of biotechnology such as the Cummings Center in Beverly.Most of these jobs n biological, chemical and pharmaceutical researchers n require a master’s degree and, in many cases, a PhD.The so-called creative economy was also included in the study. It has been the subject of much discussion in economic development circles over the past five years.The Labor Market Blueprint quoted a study by the Eagle Tribune Publishing Co. that found the creative ec

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