Re-envisioning the Workforce Development Sector and Labor Market Updates (March 2021)

Please note this data applies to the Greater New York City Metropolitan area and the United States only.

For many workforce development agencies, there are many factors that prevent job seekers from pursuing their dream jobs/careers.

One of the top factors would be the lack of specialized training/certifications in the field that they are looking for. Workforce practitioners have also mentioned that there are young people who need to work and cannot afford the classes, the program hours are increased, they have language barriers, not work ready or do not meet specific qualifications of the training programs.
What can the workforce development agencies do to remove this barrier for job seekers? Part of it comes to strengthening partnerships with other workforce agencies and employers versus building new training programs that are relevant for job seekers. For example to be specific, organizations may want to look into building long-term and patient partnerships (ideally in retail or hospitality) if that is what their demographics are looking for.

The second top factor would be the lack of job specific work experience – and this applies to both what job seekers can offer to the employer, and what employers are looking for in the ideal candidate. Some candidates that workforce agencies work with, may have narrow goals and expectations but not having a plan B. On the other hand, employers want what they want and are not so interested/engaged in what the referral has to say about the candidate. This means the agencies need to have those conversations with the employers up front more, especially when initiating a relationship. It is not a product that workforce agencies are pushing — but more so a relationship and partnership that they want to build. Not all employers see it that way, they see it more as a product. The transactional product versus quality partnership experience problems definitely supplement and overlap.
Also, because of changes caused by this pandemic, we can see retail and hospitality declining (as data is indicated in the later part of the labor market review). For those from the world of NO, it is important to educate employers on what is reality – the unemployment rate.

The third top factor would be educational requirements. This is often the case as certain employers are looking for — let’s say someone in their Accounting department to do some bookkeeping, processing invoices, etc. If your organization offers a training/certification program that caters to job seekers that are looking to land an Accountant/Bookkeeper job right out of completion, chances are 50/50. There are employers that do not consider graduates who do not hold a degree in Accounting, so it can prevent job seekers from obtaining employment with just the certification.

The fourth top factor would be life circumstances — which all of us go through in our lifetime. We are humans. Health concerns (with COVID still around), lack of consistent support system (energy, engagement, inspiration, motivation, stability) and childcare concerns (child remote learning, and taking care of child while parent is working from home) all play a role in this factor.

What changes should be considered when re-envisioning the workforce development sector?

(Suggested from workforce development professionals)

  • More workforce agencies working collaboratively when approaching employers for sustainable business partnerships.
  • Sector-specific training and upskilling programs in deep partnership with businesses.
  • Improve funder relationships and expectations, inaccurate or unrealistic requirements and metrics based on the populations served/sectoral needs.
  • Increase the focus in career exploration with job seekers; training program development and re-programming to meet the future of workforce.
  • Deeper, structural partnerships and consistency between businesses, government, social service and educational institutions.
  • Build house account with employers on a daily basis to better track interviews/screenings while using that tool to evaluate candidates (Deliverables make it difficult to build what we really need for participants).
  • Quantifying the need for bridge programs for jobs that are in high-growth fields.
  • Improve business trust in workforce development providers’ participants.
  • Adjust business expectations for labor market.
  • Reduce organizational competition.

Labor Market Updates/Review

As of March 2021 — the overall NYC Labor Market indicates that in 2019, there were about 4.5 million jobs and by 2025, there will be an uptick to about 4.6 million jobs; which will result in about a 125,000+ gain.


NYC projected growth sectors by occupation, Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)

  • Community and Social Service Occupations
    • Overall 94,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 106,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 12,000+ jobs gain
    • Social and Human Service Assistants: 19,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 21,000+ jobs by 2025
    • Child, Family and School Social Workers: 15,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 13,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in > 1,000+ jobs gain
    • Educational, Guidance and Career Counselors: 11,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 12,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in > 1,000+ jobs gain
    • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselors, Community Health Workers, etc.
  • Construction (growth sector by business classification)
    • Overall: 138,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 133,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 5,000+ jobs decline
  • Healthcare Support
    • Overall: 446,000+ to 363,000+ jobs
    • Home Health and Personal Care: 287,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 363,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 124,000+ jobs gain
  • Computer and Mathematical Occupations, including technology
    • Overall: 146,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 170,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 24,000+ jobs gain
    • Software Developers, Analysts and Testers: About 45,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 56,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 11,000+ jobs gain

NYC projected loss sectors by occupation, SOC

  • Food Services
    • Overall: 243,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 300,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 43,000+ jobs decline
    • Fast Food and Counter Workers: 85,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 82,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 3,000+ jobs decline
    • Waiters: 77,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 61,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 16,000+ jobs decline
    • Cooks: 43,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 39,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 4,000+ jobs decline
    • Food Prep Workers: 28,000+ jobs as of 2019 to about 25,000+ jobs; resulting in 3,000+ jobs decline
    • Attendants and Helpers: 21,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 17,000+ jobs; resulting in 4,000+ jobs decline
    • Dishwashers: 15,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 12,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 3,000+ jobs decline
  • Office and Administrative Support (SOC 43)
    • Overall: 638,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 629,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 9,000+ jobs decline
    • Administrative Assistants and Secretaries: 134,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 125,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 9,000+ jobs decline
    • Others: Clerks, Human Resources Administrators, Payroll Assistants, Processors, Typists, etc.
  • Retail
    • Cashiers: 75,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 68,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 6,000+ jobs decline
    • Salespersons: 117,000+ jobs as of 2019 to 103,000+ jobs by 2025; resulting in 14,000+ jobs decline