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Jobs in Demand for 2014

Survey suggests employment outlook is brightest in 6 years

Hairdresser trimming customer's hair, Jobs in Demand for 2014

Job hunting in the new year? Learn which jobs are in high-demand and the industries hiring. — Helen King/Corbis

En español | While it might not quite be time to pop the bubbly, there's reason to believe that hiring in several key industries will be on the upswing in the first few months of the new year.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey indicates growing optimism among U.S. employers. Of more than 18,000 surveyed, 17 percent anticipated raising staff levels in their first-quarter hiring — the best outlook in six years.

This adds to other upbeat numbers. Last month, the U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. The unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since 2008, to 7 percent.

Overall, things were brighter for workers of all ages in November than in quite some time, says Sara Rix, senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Looking at older workers, the November unemployment rate for those age 55 and older fell to 4.9 percent, down sharply from October's 5.4 percent. The rate fell both for older women and older men.

"Fewer workers were unemployed, employed part time for economic reasons or discouraged about their job prospects," Rix says.

While these numbers may be encouraging, workers who remain without jobs continued to struggle, as the average duration of unemployment rose once again. The November survey found that jobless people age 55 and over had been that way for an average of 50.7 weeks, up slightly from 49.7 weeks in October.

That said, don't give up. If you're job hunting, some industries are reporting rising numbers of vacancies. Below are five sectors where you can expect to find openings in the next few months.

Pay will vary depending on the employer, your experience and where you live. The jobs may have flexible hours and be full or part time. Some may require you to go back to school for specific training. But in others, you may be able to repurpose skills you already have.

If you're ready to jump-start your search, be sure to review my list of job hunting mistakes to avoid and ways to improve your LinkedIn profile.

Next page: Start your job search within these high-demand industries. »

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