These Are the Hardest Jobs to Fill Right Now

toughest positions to fill now talent labor shortage

Labor Shortage Alert!

Run a quick job search on Indeed for job openings, and you will be shocked. As of September 2021 the Houston vacancies on this site alone are a whopping 92,000!  In data published by, the authors determined that there are roughly 9.8 million job openings in the U.S. Just last month, the labor market added 943,000 which marks a record since August 2020.

Employers are moving into Q3 of 2021 with a growth forecast for the coming year to continue to incline in talent demand. A key part of any organization’s strategy is its staffing. For certain industries and in specific fields, opportunities this year are abundant – with demand outpacing labor supply.

Why is this happening? Could you blame the lucrative Unemployement benefits, the Baby Boomers retiring, the Gig economy or the lack of trained workers? The short answer is YES! Factors driving demand vary, as do causes behind employers having difficulty filling positions. Not enough people with the skills to do the job and industry shifts and backlogs are among the reasons certain jobs are harder to fill than others.  The pandemic has changed how we demand goods, products, and services. This has shifted up the hiring needs and pay rates for many roles.

If you happen to be someone who is out of work or looking for a fresh start, these high-demand industries might be right for you.  These industries offer stable, desirable and well-paying roles.  Let’s explore the top industries with the toughest positions to fill in 2021.

Supply Chain, Transportation and Logistics

Don’t you love having your latest Amazon purchases arrive the next day on your front porch?  How about your online order of HEB groceries packaged and loaded into your car?  The evolution of the movement of goods, and logistics in 2020 is a welcomed change for many consumers.  The demand of the inward and outward transportation of goods from the manufacturer to the consumer has been experiencing massive growth throughout 2021. Demand coupled with international transportation issues has added fuel to the fire.

A career in logistics increased by roughly 120% since the start of the year, and transportation was listed among the 10 fastest-growing industries.  Just try a quick Google search on CDL openings! Spikes in pay, sign-on bonus and stellar benefits are just a few ways recruiters are enticing candidates. The annual earnings can exceed degree Accountants with much less tuition debt. Now that’s good math!

One of the prime reasons for this is the relatively high average age of the existing workforce. The average driver age is 49. Additionally, the industry has historically struggled to attract women, as just 6 percent of truck drivers in 2016 were women.

Supply chain leadership roles are also in high demand. Did you know that Logistic Managers can make anywhere between 110k-170k a year. Jobs in transportation can offer innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement. The projectory for this industry is limitless.

 Tech Jobs

SHRM predicted that software developers will be the hardest position to fill, with more than a quarter of a million vacancies projected by 2026. Roles from entry-level to high-level expertise are booming. The pay is not too shabby either!  Many roles can also be remote which is highly appealing.  Some of the more savvy and high-paying positions recruiters are looking to fill include Big Data EngineersData ArchitectsMobile Applications Developers and Information Systems Security Managers. What’s fabulous about these Tech roles is the range of pay goes right below the $100K mark all the way to $225K. Cha-Ching!


Demand for goods is skyrocketing as the US economy reopens from the pandemic and adjusts to changing consumer demands. But here’s the big problem: Manufacturing companies can’t find enough people to do the work. US manufacturing activity surged to a 37-year high in March, the industry has more than half a million job openings. Companies are struggling to find skilled workers for specialized roles such as welders and CNC machinists. Manufacturers are even having trouble hiring entry-level positions that do not require expertise.

As many as 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will be unfilled through 2030, according to a study published Tuesday by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

Financial Management

According to NASDAQ the need for Financial Managers is on the rise in 2021. This is due to them being a necessary asset for companies to control the rising cost of goods and wages. It’s their job to keep the business on a day-to-day plan related to this all while getting things together so that their future is much more profitable. The aging Baby Boomer generation is also driving up demand for financial planning as more Boomers approach retirement.


This one probably comes as no surprise! Pre-2020 the demand was already great with the aging Baby Boomers. The need for registered nurses and nurse practitioners grew exponentially due to COVID-19 in 2020. These are jobs that pay close to if not more than $100K a year meaning you’ll be financially satisfied while being our everyday heroes who are fighting the good fight on the frontlines of this pandemic.  Many Colleges are creating easier pathways to entice students and get them on the fast track.

Other high pay and high demand positions listed like Clinical Pharmacists ($200 to $250K a year), Health Services Manager ($150K-$200K a year) and Biomedical Engineering Managers ($150 to $200K a year) are just some that are waiting for you.


Not even the high price of lumber has been able to slow the construction needs this year.  According to analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) construction companies will need to hire 430,000 more workers this year than they employed in 2020.  The Commercial Construction Index reported that 60 percent of contractors had a greater need for skilled laborers than applicants to fill those jobs.

Jobs in construction can offer anywhere between 60k and 120k annually. Pay is mostly dependent on region, overtime, and expertise. Many people can obtain gig and side jobs in the construction industry to help pay the bills.

These are just some of the challenges facing employers for high-demand jobs in 2021. Need help finding Talent?  That is what we do!  The expert Recruiters at Agency 8 specialize in finding talent in Engineering, Accounting, Technology, Manufacturing, Operations and more. Follow us on Social Media for our latest job postings and news.

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