Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Customer Service Jobs Offer A Portal Into the Economy

Mark Knold, Supervising Economist

In a state with diverse job sectors—like Utah—each industry plays an important role supporting the broader economy. One trend we’re seeing right now is the significant growth and demand in the customer service field. Here’s why this is important.

Customer service jobs are estimated to have nearly 10,000 openings each year in Utah. They make up about 14% of our economy and can be found in a variety of company types all over the state. Customer service covers a broad range of occupations, but often includes cashiers, retail clerks, sales representatives, telemarketing and call center representatives, loan servicing, and other activities that may be either face-to-face customer service or telephone/internet-based interaction. While these entry-level jobs are often low-wage, they offer a gateway to future career opportunities.

Employers prefer to hire workers with job experience. New applicants are usually unknown to an employer, but showing an employment track record removes some of that unknown. So for those new to the labor force—like recent high school graduates—customer service positions are valuable openings through which inexperienced labor can make a breakthrough into the working world.

These jobs are common and plentiful across the entire United States, as sales transactions constitute a huge part of the everyday commerce in America. The skill set necessary for success is not particularly deep and easily obtainable. And people who desire flexible working hours or a means to gain work experience find these positions valuable for their current situation and for laying a foundation for future employment.

To help Utah’s plentiful supply of young workers make their breakthrough into the working world, the Department of Workforce Services is hosting a customer service career fair on April 28 at Weber High School.

Attendees will have the chance to meet employers in the customer service industry and learn about a variety of jobs—from entry level positions to management.

For more information about the event and the customer service industry in general, head to our website: jobs.utah.gov.

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