15 Industries Facing Hiring Struggles in 2024

Krystal Smith

By 2024, many industries will confront significant struggles in recruiting and hiring talented workers. Foresight into which industries are most in danger of this crisis offers insights into the larger economic landscape and where innovation, talent development, and other-directed interventions may be needed most to preserve American prosperity. Continuing shifts in demography, technology, and on-the-job values are transforming the U.S. labor force and the future demands it will be able to satisfy.

Hospitality and Tourism

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Hospitality and tourism have been two of the largest industries impacted by COVID-19 and the following issues. During the pandemic, travel restrictions caused problems for people looking to travel to different places. COVID-19 has impacted travel and how people feel comfortable going out to eat or staying in hotels and purchasing expensive airplane tickets. COVID-19 has made a significant impact on the way we live now and in the hospitality industry. People are losing their jobs because of COVID-19, and not having another job significantly affects their lives. Many people have to be furloughed due to COVID-19, and now many are having trouble getting skilled workers back when they want to.


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The retail industry continues to face challenges in hiring due to the growth in online shopping habits, talent shortages, and, in general, not finding enough qualified candidates to fill the roles of up to essential components of the business like warehouse workers, sales associates, and customer service reps and ultimately this is making it harder for current retailers to get the job done that is required while also compromising the overall customer experience.


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Another industry currently experiencing hiring difficulties is manufacturing. Aging workers, skills gaps, and a lack of interest in younger people in manufacturing careers are just a few reasons the manufacturing sector needs help finding its workforce. The industry has also been hit by automation and digitization. As more manufacturing processes become automated and more of the manufacturing process goes digital, the people that companies hire must have skills other than the ability to work a production line.


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The healthcare industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled professionals across all roles, including nurses, physicians, and allied health professionals, such as respiratory therapists, radiographers, and medical coders. An aging population, increased demand for health services, and the complexities of healthcare delivery have made it harder for employers to find and train ideal candidates, keep up with growing demand, and do it affordably. This is especially true in rural and underserved areas.


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While the tech sector thrives in many markets, organizations are experiencing significant challenges in finding qualified candidates to fill technical roles, such as software engineers, data scientists, and cyber security professionals. The competitive market, combined with unique skill sets and growing demand, well outpaces supply, leaving companies needing more support in their abilities to innovate and scale.


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The building business faces hiring troubles because of labor shortages, skilled trades gaping holes, and regulatory challenges. Construction firms are dedicated to quality craftsmanship but have encountered hiring and recruitment challenges. Younger generations show little interest in a construction career, as there is a combination of a vast amount of talent retiring with few workers to take their places.

Transportation and Logistics 

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Another industry experiencing hiring struggles is the transportation and logistics industry. The industry still seeks qualified truck drivers, warehouse workers, and logistics workers. It has been hit hard by driver shortages, regulatory changes, supply chain disruptions, demand outpacing supply, increasing labor costs, and competition for skilled workers.

Hospitality and Food Service

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The food service sector needs help to fill open positions due to COVID-19, labor shortages, and evolving consumer preferences. Many restaurants, bars, and food service establishments are being forced to streamline operations due to the inability to fill specific positions such as servers, bartenders, and cooks. Staffing and operational shortages remain significant issues in the food service industry.


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It is becoming increasingly difficult for schools and other educational institutions to attract strong applicants for their positions as teachers, administrators, and support staff. Several problems are causing job shortages. The first is low wages. Salaries are low, making it difficult for teachers to be paid enough for their work. Next, the increase in teachers’ workload is causing job shortages. A teacher’s workload has increased so much over the past few years that many have left the profession altogether. 


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Hiring issues in agriculture are caused by labor shortages, immigration, and the mechanization of many farming practices. Many farms and agricultural businesses are having a tough time finding the workers they need to get the job done in specific periods, like harvesting crops, because many people do not want to work where if they take a day off, no work will get done. Many new immigration policies affect hiring practices for businesses, causing farms and other labor-intensive jobs to have difficulty finding workers. Many farming practices have been mechanized in specific industries of agriculture, making farms have fewer hired hands and eventually leading to fewer job opportunities needed to be filled.

The Energy Industry 

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The Energy industry, which includes the Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy sectors, has hiring challenges driven by changes in energy markets, technological advancements, and stringent environmental concerns. As the demand for cleaner and more sustainable energy continues, the industry is seeing a growing need for skilled workers in renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, and battery storage. Employers in these emerging fields face the challenge of attracting and retaining talent, competing with traditional energy sectors for the best applicants, and needing specialized skills.

Entertainment and Media

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The entertainment and media industries are undergoing sweeping digital transformation as advances in technology and infrastructure continue to reshape how, where, and when content and information are consumed. While content creation and demand are at an all-time high, the sector is grappling with several challenges related to the almost daily requirement of creating new and compelling content, including hiring and retaining content creators, editors, and digital producers. 

Finance and Banking

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Finance and banking can experience difficulty hiring this particular year because they are subject to the same regulatory pressures as the accounting industry. The new regulatory environment has affected hiring, but improved technological innovation makes it more challenging to access qualified candidates. It’s worth noting that, like the accounting industry, continued innovation allows fintech start-ups and digital disruptors to poach some of the finance industry’s most skilled talent. 

Nonprofit and Social Services

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Nonprofit organizations and social service agencies need help in the hiring process. Jobs at these agencies can be unfolded, and more pay should be offered for those interested in social work, community development work, or counseling. Qualified, well-trained professionals who work at nonprofits earn less than their counterparts in for-profit agencies or the government. However, they usually work with a much larger client population and often have fewer resources than those at for-profits and in the government. As a result, employees at nonprofit agencies frequently feel “burned out.” The unaffordability of jobs in this industry and the COVID-19 epidemic create further financial constraints.


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The legal industry is seeing hiring challenges as law firms and legal departments grapple with providing skill sets for their clients to handle and adopt developing client demands, technology, and remote work trends. There is a demand for legal professionals in particular skill areas such as cybersecurity, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance. To recruit and retain top talent, these firms offer compensation packages that include these offerings, apartment-friendly work arrangements, and promotion possibilities. Law schools are going through similar difficulties in getting and keeping faculty and students, all of which affect the pipeline to future legal professionals.

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