Skip Navigation


How we determine demand for occupations

Introduction: Determining "in demand," "not in demand" or "balanced"
The 2016 methodology is based on industry and occupational projections. Specific levels of job growth and total job openings are used to designate an occupation as “in demand,” “not in demand” or “balanced.”

Occupations included
Unsuppressed occupations with employment in base year 2014, consisting of 50 or more jobs, for the state and workforce development areas (WDAs), are included in this analysis.

Projection time frames

  • Five-year projections for 2014-2019, using average annual growth rates and total job opening.

  • Ten-year projections for 2014-2024, using average annual growth rates and total job openings.

  • A combination of two-year (second quarter 2015 through second quarter 2017)) and ten-year (2014 through 2024) projections, using average annual growth rates and total job openings.
The methodology

 Step one: Identifying initial “in demand” and “not in demand” categories for each time frame
  • Occupations with average annual growth rates of at least 90 percent of their respective geographic areas (statewide or WDA) total average annual growth rates and a share of total openings of at least .08 percent are “in demand."

  • Occupations with average annual growth rates less than 70 percent of their respective geographic areas total growth rates and a share of total openings of less than 1 percent are “not in demand."
Step two: Identifying provisional occupational categories
  • If within any of the three projection time frames (five-year, 10- year and two/10-years combined), an occupation is categorized as being “in demand,” it receives a first provisional identification of “in demand."

  • If within any of the three projection time frames, an occupation is categorized as “not in demand,” it receives a second provisional identification of “not in demand." 
Step three: Create final projections definitions
  • If an occupation has only one provisional definition, it equals the final definition.

  • If an occupation has two provisional definitions of “in demand” and “not in demand,” it gets identified as “balanced."

  • All other occupations, without provisional definitions (i.e. not meeting the thresholds from stage one), are identified as “balanced.”

All occupations, at this stage of the process, have definitions of “in demand,” “not in demand” or “balanced.”

Step four: Create final adjustment definitions

The projections definitions are now put through an adjustment process, using current labor market supply/demand data which compares online job postings to information on unemployment claimants and WorkSource job seekers. An adjustment is applied when current supply/demand data significantly contradicts the model-based projections definitions. Only data for occupations with new annual job announcements of at least 100 are used in further calculations.

The adjustment methodology
  • If the projections definition is “in demand” or “balanced” but the ratio of supply to demand  is more than 2, then the adjusted definition is “not in demand”;

  • If the projections definition is “in demand” and the ratio of supply to demand is not larger than 2, but more than 1.5, then the adjusted definition is “balanced”;

  • If the projections definition is “not in demand” or “balanced,” but the ratio of supply to demand is less than 0.5, then the adjusted definition is “in demand”;

  • If the projections definition is “not in demand” and the ratio is at least 0.5, but less than 0.75, then the adjusted definition is “balanced”;

  • If the number of new job announcements for a current month is at least 10 and supply data are not available, the adjusted definition is “in demand.”
The final list: Local adjustments

The Employment Security’s Labor Market and Performance Analysis division uses the methodology outlined above to prepare the initial lists for the state as a whole and by WDA.  Those lists are then given to local workforce development councils to review, adjust and approve on the basis of their local, on-the-ground experience.