Hiring in Buffalo, NY has been competitive throughout 2018. According to John Slenker, the state Labor Department’s regional economist, “We’re running very close to full employment. There are more jobs than there are people looking for them.” (The Buffalo News, July 2018)
The Niagara frontier region added over 8,000 jobs during the first half of 2018, and from January to June, job growth rates reached at least 1.3% each month. This was the strongest stretch of increased hiring in the area since 1999. Although economists are cautious about overstating the strength of the hiring wave, they believe the local job market is strong. For WNY organizations this presents a talent shortage just like in other parts of the country.
Below is an outlook for three of the fastest growing industries in the Buffalo Niagara region.
Advanced Business Services
WNY professional and business service jobs grew by 2.5% in June of 2018. This sector includes a variety of jobs ranging from customer service representatives to administrative assistants to accountants. Existing services have competitive but reasonable wages with an average salary ranging from $35,879 to $84,565.
Although local demand has increased, the many four-year colleges within the metro area graduate more than 28,000 eager job seekers each year. In addition, a dedicated workforce has turnover rates less than half the national average.
Manufacturing is the third largest employment sector in the Buffalo Niagara economy. Basic chemical manufacturing and machinery manufacturing top the list as the two largest export industries in the region. This industry represents 7.8% of total employment in Western New York compared to a 5.8% national average.
In June of 2018, the number of manufacturing jobs in Western New York grew by 1.3%. High demand positions include team assemblers, machinists, inspectors, sorters, mechanical engineers, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers. The average salary ranges between $35,680 and $78,528.
Logistics are becoming increasingly important as the economy moves online. Amazon alone runs a carefully monitored empire of 75 fulfillment centers spread across the U.S. (Nasdaq, March 2018) Local companies will be looking to fill positions such as stock clerks, sales representatives, truck drivers and auditors. The average salary is between $38,922 and $90,112.
Predictions show an increase in the number of logistics positions in the area because Buffalo is a prime location for the distribution of goods. The city is home to the second busiest inland port in the United States, and it offers access to major highways, four Class 1 rail lines and seven international ports of entry.