What changes, trends and notable shifts did 2013 bring to the world of employment and staffing? And what predictions can we make as employers and job seekers set goals for the year ahead? Here are a few of the most noteworthy trends affecting the hiring marketplace in 2013 and 2014.

1. The recovery is underway. The economic slowdown of 2008 is behind us, and as employees rebuild and expand their enterprises in a newly energized consumer environment, the job market will follow suit. While economic gains have been slower than some business owners hoped they would be, the gains have been steady and are likely to continue into the coming year.

2. Healthcare opportunities are expected to expand, with different rates of growth in different geographic areas. Nursing and physician shortages will continue to spur hiring demand in regions with especially high and low patient populations, and a trend toward hospital system integration will cause hospitals to acquire clinics and ancillary facilities and expand their capabilities and staffing needs.

3. IT opportunities will stay strong for those who hold specific skill sets. These include mobile optimization, network management, cyber security, and app development. These skills will be especially sought after by employers in healthcare and the financial sectors, since these are fields with a growing need for security and system integration.

4. Retail and hospitality businesses were hit especially hard during the slowdown, since reduced household budgets limited shopping and travel. But these industries are gradually retuning to pre-recession hiring levels, and while they still present a challenge for job seekers, the landscape will likely improve during the year ahead.

5. Restaurants and food service employers will be looking for staff to handle everything from table service to counter work to cooking and food prep. And ideally, wages in this sector will improve somewhat during the year ahead, which will make opportunities more appealing for job seekers, increasing commitment levels and decreasing turnover. Even small wage increases will benefit both employees and hiring managers in this field.

For more information on the coming trends and changes affecting your specific area of the hiring marketplace, contact the staffing and business management experts at Accent Hiring Group.