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Job opportunities in 2018 should be abundant – with demand outpacing supply for certain positions, says a new CareerCast  report  on the toughest jobs to fill. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that we will need an additional 777,600 Personal Care Aides, 255,400 more Application Software Developers and 108,400 truck drivers by 2026. CareerCast.com's 2018  report  on the 10 toughest jobs to fill focuses on some of the positions most aggressively pursuing candidates, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts, trade and professional association data, graduation rates, and CareerCast.com's database of job listings. Factors driving demand vary, as do causes behind employers having difficulty filling positions. Not enough people with the skills to do the job, a lack of new graduates in the profession, and industry growth are among the reasons certain jobs are harder to fill than others. For example, Home Health Aide has a forecasted growth of 47% in the coming eight years. Employment of Personal Care Aides is anticipated to grow 39% over the same time frame. That translates to almost half-a-million and three-quarter-million new positions in each field, in less than a decade's time. "The low pay for these professions --  $22,600  and  $21,920 average annual salary, respectively – may play a big part in why there are so many unfilled jobs," says  Kyle Kensing , Online Content Editor, CareerCast. The Baby Boom generation drives the demand for these positions, as well as that of Financial Advisors. With more Boomers approaching retirement, demand for financial planning is expected to climb significantly. Ultimately, however, one sector will have the most openings and need for applicants in 2018. The staggering growth rates forecasted for these jobs tells the story for the healthcare industry as a whole, which is expected to continue booming. In fact, five of the 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2018 are in healthcare, and appear here because of the high demand. Nurse Practitioners, with a growth outlook of 31%, and Physical Therapists at 34%, are two of the most in-demand fields tracked in the Jobs Rated report. The American Physical Therapy Association has forecast shortages in the profession, and the solution may not be as simple as adding new Physical Therapists to the workforce, as it is retaining current workers. A similar challenge befell various trade professions during the recession. While Construction Laborer and Truck Driver possess two of the lower growth outlooks of the 10 toughest jobs to fill, the professions are in very high immediate demand as a result of employment and skills gaps. According to the American Trucking Associations, more than 70 percent of goods consumed in the U.S. are delivered by truck, and the industry  needs to hire  almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be hundreds of thousands of new job openings in the construction industry by 2024. Here's the list; Profession Annual Median  Salary Growth Outlook Employment Change  Through 2026 Application Software Developer $100,080 31% +255,400 Construction Laborer $33,430 12% +150,400 Financial Advisor $90,530 15% +40,400 Home Health Aide $22,600 47% +421,200 Information Security Analyst $92,600 28% +28,500 Medical Service Manager $96,540 20% +72,100 Nurse Practitioner $107,460 31% +64,200 Personal Care Aide $21,920 39% +777,600 Physical Therapist $85,400 28% +67,100 Truck Driver $41,340 6% +108,400 To read the full report, visit  http://careercast.com/jobs-rated/toughest-jobs-to-fill-2018 . To take the job stress survey, visit  CareerCast .
Stores nationwide filling more than 53,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs; Candidates can interview and receive on-the-spot job offers from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Lowe's is looking for people with customer service experience who have a passion for helping people love where they live. With a goal of filling more than 53,000 jobs, Lowe's stores nationwide will open their doors to candidates on  Feb. 21  during the company's first National Hiring Day. Candidates interested in a full-time, part-time or seasonal role can visit any of Lowe's 1,700-plus U.S. stores to participate in open interviews and learn more about working at Lowe's. The event is an opportunity to meet hiring managers, speak with associates and enjoy behind-the-scenes tours in an open house atmosphere. "Our employees are the heart of our business and make a difference for the customers and communities we serve every day," said  Jennifer Weber , Lowe's chief human resources officer. "Lowe's is a great place to build a career, and we're excited to host our largest-ever job fair to introduce people to our culture. We're looking to hire customer-centric and service-minded people who are passionate about being a part of something bigger." Those who can't make it to the open house can tune in to a Facebook Live event on the  Lowe's Careers channel  at  2:15 p.m. EST  on  Feb. 21  to hear more from Weber about building a career at Lowe's. Recently named one of the top 10 most customer-engaged companies by Forbes, Lowe's is hiring employees to serve customers and communities during the busy spring and summer seasons. Seasonal employees typically support stores between March and September. Available roles include cashiers, lawn and garden associates, loaders, stockers and assemblers of outdoor products. Lowe's seasonal employees benefit from competitive pay, a 10 percent employee discount and flexible hours, including the opportunity to see their schedule 17 days in advance and swap shifts with others as needed. Lowe's employs nearly 250,000 people across its U.S. stores and provides career advancement opportunities at all levels. Last year, nearly 40 percent of Lowe's seasonal employees transitioned into permanent part-time and full-time positions. Nearly 200 current store managers started as seasonal employees. Jordan McGee  was 19 when she took a seasonal job as a cashier in  Gastonia, N.C.  Just four years later, she was promoted to assistant store manager of sales in  Clover, S.C. "Lowe's has supported me through my career journey by helping me develop into a stronger leader. When I started, I was only 19, with no management experience, so I've always had a mentor or someone helping me, just giving me that encouragement in my ear," McGee said. "If there's one word that describes Lowe's, I would say 'career,' just because you can come in and be whoever you want to be. You have the potential to move all the way up through the ranks, and they'll support you through that." Lowe's also will hold open interviews and make conditional job offers on the spot for part-time and full-time positions, including service and support managers, cashiers, stockers and sales specialists. Eligible part-time and full-time employees can take advantage of Lowe's health and wellness benefits, incentive programs, 401(k), a discounted stock purchase plan, tuition reimbursement and flexible work schedules. Earlier this month,  Lowe's announced plans  to enhance its benefits, including expanded maternity and parental leave as well as adoption assistance. Eligible full-time hourly and salaried U.S. employees will qualify to receive: Ten weeks of paid maternity leave and two weeks of paid parental leave. An adoption assistance benefit to cover up to  $5,000  of expenses related to agency, legal and other fees. Eligibility to enroll in health benefits sooner, as early as the first of the month following 30 days of service. To learn more about available jobs in your area, Lowe's benefits or to apply online, visit  Lowes.com/SpringHire . Applying takes just 20 minutes on average. 
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