As we kick off the second quarter of 2023, job openings have dropped to their near-lowest level in the last two years. Job seekers should remain optimistic, though, and take encouragement from low unemployment rates and sustained growth in several smaller industries. For example, compared with the last quarter of 2022, government, real estate and educational services have all ramped up hiring.

Where are we seeing growth throughout the job market?

What’s causing some industries to push forward while others dial back on their hiring efforts? Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report helps to answer these questions.

Here are some highlights of job posting growth based on 2.5 million positions appearing on more than 1,000 independent job boards and company websites throughout the first three months of 2023, compared with Q4 of 2022.

Expanding industries in Q1 2023:

  • Government: 50%
  • Real estate rental and leasing: 18%
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation: 13%
  • Healthcare: 10%
  • Educational services: 10%

Top jobs in Q1 2023:

  • Receptionists and front desk coordinators: 22%
  • Office specialists: 19%
  • Administrative assistants: 19%
  • Human resources assistants: 17%
  • Network architects: 14%
  • Bookkeepers: 11%

In line with the reduction in remote job postings within our job posting database, we are seeing increased demand for roles supporting in-person administrative functions, such as front desk coordinators, office specialists and administrative assistants. These three occupational classes each had nearly 20% growth in Q1 and added over 140,000 new job openings. This trend was most pronounced within federal and state government agencies, where administrative assistant job postings saw a 45% increase in Q1, making up nearly 10% of their total job postings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in its analysis of the April employment situation, reported that employment in government is below its February 2020 level by 301,000 — or 1.3%. Returning to pre-pandemic levels of government staffing at the current average rate of 52,000 jobs per month would take around six months, assuming the trend holds. While other industries are experiencing fluctuations in hiring, outside uncertainty appears to have little impact on staffing for government positions.

Despite declining job posting activity in the IT sector, there were still over 100,000 new job postings for IT roles in Q1. Demand for help desk specialists and security analysts remained stable in 2023, as companies continue to need to protect and support their remote workers. It’s important not to paint an entire sector with the same brush given the large number of essential job functions within each.

Even as layoffs among prominent companies dominate the news landscape, comparable opportunities are still to be found. Job seekers shouldn’t let slower hiring within some industries allow them to take their eye off the ball. Strategically marketing their skills outside of their current industry and in sectors less vulnerable to economic uncertainty can help them remain competitive for in-demand positions.

Stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions about your career path. Visit Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report to gain valuable insights into the latest job market trends.

Job growth methodology: Our analysis is based on 4.7 million job postings within the United States, provided by TextKernel, from thousands of company websites and job boards between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023.