With job growth so weak, a common question among people without jobs and even some who are currently employed is, “Where will the jobs be tomorrow?”
One way to answer that question is to examine which industries are the most profitable, as money-making fields are likely to be attractive to entrepreneurs.
In addition, profitable businesses are more likely to be able to afford to add employees to help them grow.
Sageworks, a financial information company, analysed financial statements from thousands of privately held companies to find out which industries have been the most profitable in the last 12 months.
Private companies are important to study because they account for up to 70% of gross domestic product and about 80% of new jobs.
On a pre-tax basis, the most profitable industries were primarily services-based businesses. And if you’re looking for a career, you might do well to heed Benjamin Franklin’s observation that the only sure things in life are death and taxes: both funeral home services and accountants make the list of the 20 most profitable industries in the last 12 months.
NAICS code 5239, Other Financial Investment Activities, tops the list with a 16.26% pre-tax net profit margin, according to the Sageworks data.
This category excludes securities dealers and commodity contracts dealers, but includes other sellers of financial contracts and could include portfolio managers and those who provide trust, fiduciary and custody services.
Other top industries include offices of dentists, accounting/book keeping and payroll services, legal services, office administrative services, technical and trade schools and other health practitioners, which can include chiropractors, physical therapists and podiatrists.
Indeed, health services industries are frequently found on the top 20 list. In addition to dentists and therapists, other industries ranking near the top of the profitability list include outpatient care centres and death care services, or funeral homes.
Sageworks CEO Brian Hamilton said he believes health care, technology companies and information companies will continue to grow, based on macro trends affecting the U.S. economy. And despite the current 9.1% unemployment rate, Hamilton sees business owners adding workers as demand improves.
“I think that over the long run, as you grow revenue, you’re going to hire people,” he said “I don’t believe that we will be permanently stuck at an unemployment rate that we all find unacceptable.”
For additional information on promising careers, you can also look to the Bureau of labour Statistics, which is updating its employment projections for various industries and is expected to publish a new outlook this spring. But the bureau’s latest projections, last revised in 2009, show the following industries should have the largest wage and salary employment growth between 2008 and 2018:
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