Payscale Data Reveals Top In-Demand Jobs and Most-Quit Roles in 2023’s Maddening Labor Market

  • This year’s top 10 hot jobs by wage growth includes a mix of self-employed professions and skilled trade occupations (with white-collar positions glaringly absent from the list); employees in these jobs are earning up to 24% more pay than last year.
  • The top 15 jobs workers are thinking about quitting include primarily technology and healthcare positions as a precarious economy, return-to-office mandates, and stressful work environments take their toll, and pay transparency exposes better-paying opportunities.

SEATTLE, Dec. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Payscale Inc., the leading provider of compensation data, software and services, released its 2023 End-of-Year Report. The report examines the state of the labor market heading into 2024 and ranks the jobs with the highest wage growth over the past year as well as the positions with the highest quit rates, based on Payscale’s employee-reported data from more than 770,000 U.S. workers.

“Today’s job market can be summed up in one word: maddening. While the job market has cooled, the spirit of the Great Resignation is still very much alive. Job openings are receiving a flood of applications, but in an uncertain economy, hiring managers are not willing to take risks, which is slowing down hiring processes and creating anxiety in job seekers,” said Lexi Clarke, Chief People Officer at Payscale. “Job coaches made our list of hot jobs for the first time this year, proving just how prevalent the frustration is as workers consult experts to navigate career transition challenges.”

Wages for the top 10 jobs on Payscale’s hottest jobs list grew by double digits — between 18%-24% — despite a sluggish economy. These highly sought-after jobs include professions that are well-suited for self-employment or freelance work, as well as positions in the skilled trades. Noticeably missing from the list are corporate “knowledge worker” roles, which is where competition has become most overwhelming for job seekers.

The top 10 most in-demand jobs by fastest growing wages include:

  1. Assistant Manager, Customer Service (24% wage growth): Managing teams that resolve customer issues in a fast-paced environment is not for the faint of heart; employers are forced to raise wages to attract new applicants to this stressful role with high turnover.
  2. Hairstylist (22% wage growth): Hairstylists also made Payscale’s hot jobs list in 2021 due to labor shortages following social distancing, which continues to affect salons in addition to ongoing supply chain challenges related to the pandemic.
  3. Master Plumber (21% wage growth): Home improvement and maintenance spending has also been on the rise in recent years and fewer homeowners are capable of doing their own plumbing, requiring the assistance of experienced plumbers.
  4. Automotive Body Repairer (21% wage growth): In response to high interest rates and soaring price tags on new cars, used cars have become especially popular and many people are keeping their vehicles for longer, resulting in increased demand for automotive technicians who are in short supply.
  5. Job Coach (21% wage growth): Job coaches have gained traction recently due to the challenges of seeking fulfilling employment in today’s labor market. They help clients create a job search strategy, negotiate a better salary, or make a career pivot.
  6. Audio/Visual Technician (20% wage growth): Social distancing during the height of the pandemic eradicated jobs in the event business, but live events have officially bounced back, leaving AV companies desperately short of talent.
  7. Animator (19% wage growth): The expansion of television programming to support the streaming wars includes a myriad of animated content, and new video game titles are released every week. The demand for skilled animators, many of whom work on a freelance basis, has skyrocketed partially in response to the WGA strikes suspending animated TV programs that are now back in full swing.
  8. Fitness Coach (19% wage growth): Fitness coaches conduct workout sessions and have grown in popularity since the pandemic as people invest more in wellness.
  9. Roofer (19% wage growth): Climate change is creating higher demand for roof repairs due to excess wind, snow, and other types of inclement weather. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a massive labor shortage in this industry as supply chains were disrupted and housing projects had to be put on hold. Roofers are also subject to high turnover due to a lack of loyalty programs and the attraction of higher hourly pay elsewhere.
  10. General Manager (18% wage growth): The shift from generalist skills training to specialization in specific functional areas has put general managers on short supply for decades. But the stresses and incentives of the Great Resignation mean that retail associates and assistant managers aren’t sticking around as long to become GMs, creating a gap in qualified applicants and an increase in salary potential.

The 2023 End-of-Year Report also analyzes the top 15 jobs workers are preparing to quit. Senior product managers top the list this year, as well as several other technology occupations, including cyber security analysts, IT program managers, software development engineers, and senior data analysts. Healthcare workers also dominated the list of jobs people are thinking about quitting the most. Phlebotomists, patient care technicians, ER and critical care nurses, patient service representatives, and patient care coordinators all make the top 15 jobs people are most looking to quit in 2023.

“Employers need to pay attention to fast moving jobs so they can make recommendations for pay increases based on market adjustments,” added Clarke. “Although you may be aware of high turnover, if you aren’t doing a market analysis, you may not realize that compensation is a contributing factor. Remember, employees have insight into salary data too, and pay transparency is only going to increase that. Workers are unwilling to make concessions on fair pay and wellbeing, and I think we’ll see workers push even further for work-life fit in 2024.”

HR leaders and compensation professionals planning for next year can access forward-looking recommendations from Payscale’s lineup of experts across people leadership, compensation management, employment legislation, and artificial intelligence by downloading Payscale’s top predictions for 2024.

Job seekers interested in evaluating the market rate for their current job or a new job offer should take Payscale’s free online salary survey.

To view the full 2023 End-of-Year Report, visit

About Payscale
As the industry leader in compensation management, Payscale is on a mission to help job seekers, employees, and businesses get pay right and to make sustainable fair pay a reality. Empowering more than 50% of the Fortune 500 in 198 countries, Payscale provides a combination of diverse and dynamic data sources, experienced compensation services, and scalable software to enable organizations such as Angel City Football Club, Target, Gainsight, and eBay to make fair and appropriate pay decisions.

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