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The best jobs in America are shifting toward tech: Glassdoor senior economist

Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the demand for STEM workers, which values employees prioritize such as flexibility, labor shifts towards tech, and the January jobs report revisions.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Employment site Glassdoor is out with their annual list of best jobs in America. Enterprise architect, fullstack engineer, and data scientists are at the top of the list with base salaries ranging from $120,000 to $145,000. Let's bring in Daniel Zhao. He's Glassdoor senior economist. Daniel, these are always really interesting to look at because it does speak to where the demand is right now. I mean, I'm thinking about software engineers even pre-pandemic. There was a lot of competition in that space as well. What kind of changes did you see this year?

DANIEL ZHAO: Well, we see that tech jobs are dominating the list even more than what we've seen in the past. And that really is a reflection of the fact that, yes, there is significant demand for workers with STEM backgrounds. And on top of that, during the pandemic, it has become even more important for companies to hire people to help build their technology and data infrastructure. On top of that, tech roles also tend to be more flexible. There are more work from home options, which is something we've heard from workers as really important, especially during the pandemic.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Hey, Daniel, Brian Cheung here. It's really great to have you on the show. I mean, we are showing the average base salary for each of these top jobs. But obviously, work-life balance and the things that aren't reflected just in the pay in terms of worker treatment, benefits, like you said, the ability to work remote also factor into that. Is there anything that you're seeing in that trend for employers wanting to kind of beef up the incentivization to take on those jobs?

DANIEL ZHAO: What we've seen is in our research is that the most important drivers for job satisfaction are culture and values, a good senior leadership, and career opportunities. And surprisingly, those haven't actually changed over the course of the pandemic. They were the same before the pandemic as they are now. What we have heard that is different is that flexibility is key. And nowadays, more employees are reporting that flexibility is important, especially in the context of the pandemic, where burnout has been a very important issue that a lot of workers have been facing.

AKIKO FUJITA: Daniel, we've been talking a lot about the Great Resignation, with so many Americans, you know, quitting their jobs, but also, in many cases, pursuing new careers. And if we're talking about tech demand, I mean, I wonder how much of that migration you've seen move towards this sector. If you talk about some of the jobs, the top five jobs, let's say, have we seen the number of applicants jump significantly?

DANIEL ZHAO: Well, I would say that generally, we have seen more of a shift towards these tech jobs. I mean, if you just think about how many boot camps have sprung up and that sort of thing, it really speaks to the demand from the workers' side, where people recognize that tech jobs are lucrative, that they have good job satisfaction, and that the demand is there. And so that's really what we've seen, is that from the worker perspective, more people are interested nowadays in getting into these roles. And they're trying to develop the skills that will help unlock these occupations.

BRIAN CHEUNG: And Daniel, lastly here, I want to shift gears to the jobs report that we got this morning. Always love seeing your tweets breaking down things at 8:30 on the first Friday of a month. A lot of attention to the revisions because they were so substantial over the course of 2021. They covered all the months of last year. Some months were down, but a lot of months were also up, like in December and November last year. Any thoughts on the revisions and whether or not we should take this month's report with a grain of salt as well because of the tendency to visit those numbers again after the fact?

DANIEL ZHAO: Well, we should always be careful until the numbers are final. So I think that's always a great reminder. But ultimately, the revisions we saw over the course of 2021 in today's report actually signal to me that the jobs market recovery is significantly more resilient than we had realized. Not just because January saw a significant payroll growth in the face of Omicron, but also because over 2021, we saw these revisions smooth out job gains, so we didn't see quite as many peaks and valleys that coincided with the peaks and valleys of the pandemic.

So really, I think the lesson to be learned is, hey, the job market is actually doing pretty well. We're seeing strong growth. The fundamentals are there. And perhaps, we are actually more resilient to the pandemic than we originally realized.

BRIAN CHEUNG: All right, Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist, thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great weekend.