March 05, 2016
Philadelphia jobseekers and entrepreneurial types may find some helpful direction with the recent publication of a study by consumer service site Thumbtack, which broke down queries from more than 15,000 professionals locally registered in its online marketplace.
To conduct its study, Thumbtack sifted through supply and demand data from across the region to determine which markets are experiencing surpluses and which are facing shortages. While certain professions seem to have a glut of talented individuals in Philadelphia – editors, graphic designers, video editors and flooring installers – several services stand out as potential landing spots for those who have the right skill set.
The context surrounding this study is a Philadelphia economy that last year recorded its lowest unemployment figure since 2008. The labor statistics, released just as former mayor Michael Nutter left office, found that Philadelphia's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in November, down from 10.4 percent at its worst in 2010-2011. In total, the Nutter administration oversaw a net gain of 40,000 jobs since 2008.
So what are Philadelphia's most in-demand jobs in 2016? According to Thumbtack, they're gigs more so than they are jobs. For background, out of a total 691,800 jobs in Philadelphia last November, the industries that employ the most people here continue to be those we've come to expect:
•Education and Health: 220,000 people employed as of November
•Government: 100,800 employees
•Trade, Transport and Utilities: 94,900 employees
•Professional and Business Services: 89,000 employees
•Leisure and Hospitality: 69,900 employees
Thumbtack's analysis concludes the following jobs are in high demand:
1. Photo technician: Those who can archive, scan and repair photographs represent one of the most underserved categories in several U.S. cities. Professionals can expect an average rate of $35 per job.
2. Party bus driver: There are more requests for party bus drivers in Philadelphia than there are people to pick up revelers. An average job comes at a rate of $1,450.
3. Bed bug exterminator: We know that Philly ranks second in the nation for bed bug infestations, so it follows that the city needs more exterminators to eliminate the invasive pests. An average extermination job fetches about $450 in Philadelphia.
4. Swimming instructor: As we head into the warmer part of the year, Philadelphia's public pools will be packed. Thumbtack saw a six-fold increase in requests for swimming instructors last year and expects that trend to continue. The average lesson costs about $30 per session.
5. Horseback riding instructor: Another leisure activity that has seen a spike in demand from the surrounding counties in the Delaware Valley. Lessons run at an average of $40.
6. Airbrusher: Requests for airbrush artists saw a twofold increase over the previous year. Nearly every conceivable surface has demonstrated a need for logo work, whether it's automobiles or clothing. The average airbrush job costs $135.
7. Piano tuner: Philadelphia's interest in sustaining a legacy of classical music was a highlight of Thumbtack's study. Tuners can make an average of $100 for each job.
8. Land surveyor: Propelled by a boom in home remodeling, the demand for surveyors has far outpaced Philadelphia's supply. Each job costs about $480.
9. Moon bounce rental provider: With seven-year-old birthday parties booming, there's a growing need for professionals who can set up a moon bounce in the back yard. The average rental is about $255.
10. Acting instructor: Thumbtack's trends indicate that more and more Philadelphians are aspiring actors, and many of them need help with their craft. An average session runs at about $188.
Whatever your job search goals may be – you might just want to make some money with your skills on the side – these are 10 specialties where you stand a solid chance of finding work in 2016.