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Workforce Development News

How Much Does Knowledge of Labor Market Outcomes Effect a Student’s Choice of Major? A Lot.

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently published a fascinating study examining the way what a community college student knows about the labor market effects their degree choice. A significant effect? Yes, indeed.

Here’s an overview of the study, plus a few takeaways.

Intro & Background

“An important goal of community colleges is to prepare students for the labor market. But are students aware of the labor market outcomes in different majors? And how much do students weigh labor market outcomes when choosing a major?”

These are the opening questions posed by the report, which goes on to reveal that by and large, community college students don’t know which majors are more likely to lead to successful careers. They also overestimate and underestimate certain things like salaries and employment probabilities (respectively) in ways we might not expect.

The study, which interviewed nearly 400 college students at two community colleges in California’s Bay Area at the end of 2014, is the first report to examine major choices for students in community colleges.

Results & Takeaways

Stat: Less than 40% of the students correctly ranked majors according to employment outcomes. Takeaway: They don’t intuitively know which degrees are in greater demand and hence more likely to lead to successful careers.

Stat: Students believed salaries are 13% higher than they really are. Takeaway: They’re too optimistic about money.

Stat: They underestimated the probability of employment by as much as 25%. Interestingly, they far more significantly underguessed the likelihood of getting a job in STEM and business than they underguessed liberal arts. (They estimated almost the same probability for all three categories.) Takeaway: Despite the raging popularity of STEM jobs, students somehow aren’t getting the message. They anticipate a bigger battle getting hired.

So far, students’ knowledge of labor market reality is alarmingly off. But when it comes to picking a major, this “knowledge” doesn’t necessarily weigh in. Students put the most weight on factors other than labor market outcomes. Choosing a degree, they focus on these issues:

  • Whether they think they’ll like the course.
  • Whether they think they’ll be good at it (earn good grades).
  • Whether they think the connecting career pays well (the only factor related to labor market outcomes).

Now, the two leading factors aren’t necessarily bad. As the creator of Find Your Calling, we’re invested in helping students discover careers and programs they actually excel at and enjoy. We just want to see these factors balanced with more solid labor market intel. Notably absent from students’ list of factors shaping their degree choice is whether they believe they’ll have a good chance at getting hired in the corresponding occupation; in other words, whether or not the career is growing and workers are in demand.


The report says: “The preeminence of factors other than labor market outcomes in major choice is partly explained by students’ lack of information about these labor market outcomes,” and recommends that colleges increase “the salience of information about labor market outcomes” to improve students’ prospects. But naturally (and importantly), this is “a good strategy only so far as students have access to accurate information” (emphasis mine).

We see this as a call to action. Indeed, our mission the past two decades has been to put this very information in the hands of students to help them make better decisions. One of the primary ways we’ve done this is through Career Coach, a web-based portal that offers self-assessment and career exploration services. Today, Career Coach serves over 300 community colleges across the US. In 2016 alone, over a million students used Career Coach to receive exactly the kind of insight encouraged by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

If this report shows that students’ (lack of) knowledge of the labor market negatively effects their choice of major, we would love to one day see a new study detailing a turn of the tide—when students’ solid understanding of careers (and themselves) is the prevailing force shaping their education strategy.

To learn more about Emsi data and Career Coach, contact us today.

The post How Much Does Knowledge of Labor Market Outcomes Effect a Student’s Choice of Major? A Lot. appeared first on Emsi.

Early-Bird Registration Is Open for Emsi Conference 2017

Register today to get the early-bird discount for the Emsi conference! Our seventh annual conference takes place in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, September 18-20. The theme this year is “Visualizing the New Economy and Building the Future Workforce.” The keynote address and panel discussions will consider the changing trends in talent initiatives for business—and how communities and education can respond to those needs.

Over the three-day event, you will learn how your peers are using innovative, data-informed approaches to improve recruiting, workforce planning, program development, student services, and economic development policy. You will hear some of Emsi’s best users offer practical applications for your daily operations and leave the conference with great ideas and winning strategies.


Conference speakers and panelists include esteemed Emsi clients such as Gordon Freedman, president of National Laboratory for Education Transformation; Megan Buttita, associate manager of research at Allstate; and Vince Giovannini, economic development analyst for Gilbert, Arizona. See more.

  • The Six-Figure Question for Every IT Firm: Fantastic Unicorns & Where to Find Them
  • Analyzing the Relationship Between Courses, Job Postings, and Alumni Data
  • At the Intersection of Data & Vision: Influencing the Talent Strategy of the 22nd-Century Corporation
  • Academic & Economic Alignment: A Web-Based Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Demand
  • Playing to Your Strengths: Leveraging Emsi Analytics for Business Attraction
  • How Dayton Workforce & Economic Development Leaders Partnered to Help Businesses & Jobseekers

See more.


An optional preconference will provide a full day of hands-on training with Emsi experts and top power users. The conference will also conclude with free learning labs that allow more time for you to gain experience overseen by Emsi staff.

A welcome reception, dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene (always a big hit), opportunity to golf, and plenty of time for socializing with the Emsi team and other clients make the conference one of the highlights of our year. We hope to see you there!

See detailed schedule.

Early-bird registration ends June 9. Email Gwen Burrow with questions:

The post Early-Bird Registration Is Open for Emsi Conference 2017 appeared first on Emsi.

Workforce Resume and Demand Analysis

All Prototypes


  • Select an industry
  • Select a county
  • Click “Run” to view exports


This prototype shows the estimated domestic exports of an industry from the exporting region to all counties in the country. This data comes from Emsi’s multi-regional input-output model. Hover over a region to see how much is spent importing goods produced by your selected industry in your selected area (county or state).
For example, by inputting “Breweries” and “Multnomah County, OR,” and hovering over King County, WA, you would see how much money King County spent on Breweries in Multnomah County. Click to pin a purchasing county for comparisons.

Use Case

Who purchases from software publishers (5112) in Santa Clara County, CA (6085)?

The post Workforce Resume and Demand Analysis appeared first on Emsi.

Emsi Hires Yustina Saleh To Lead Workforce Analytics Research

MOSCOW, Idaho, May 16, 2017 – Emsi is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Yustina Saleh, who formerly led labor market and demographic research for the State of New Jersey, analytics at Burning Glass, and financial reporting at Rutgers University.

Saleh will serve as Emsi’s senior VP of data and analytics, joining the experienced data team and rapid prototype group where she will help develop new and improved products and assist in the integration of traditional labor market data, job posting analytics, online profiles, and program-level data.

“At Emsi we really want to push the use of and practice around data to new levels. So, as you can imagine, we are very excited to have Yustina on the team,” Emsi CEO Andrew Crapuchettes said. “We love her energy, her willingness to think differently about data, and her desire to use data to create real meaning for our clients.”

Saleh brings an array of highly complementary experience to Emsi.

  • At Rutgers University, she co-led the administrative system integration between the university and New Jersey Medical School, implementing a cloud-based solution for the way the two organizations shared financial, procurement, and human resources aspects. She also served senior management, composing critical key performance metrics that drove university-wide dashboards and change.
  • As the director of analytics at Burning Glass Technologies, Saleh led the design and development of their well-known text-mining algorithms, information-retrieval tools, and data feeds products, and enhanced the machine learning-based matching engine.
  • As the director of labor market and demographic research for the New Jersey Department of Labor, Saleh created the first nationally recognized and replicated model (called the Real Time Jobs in Demand tool) to redirect and strategize reemployment efforts in response to the Great Recession.

“I’m thrilled to continue my journey in labor market and workforce analytics, and honored to work alongside a distinguished team that is passionate about helping students, higher ed professionals, workforce and economic developers, and talent acquisition professionals,” Saleh said. “Nothing gives me greater fulfillment than working to help people get new value through tapping the gold mines of labor demand and supply we have here at Emsi.”

Added Emsi chief innovation officer Rob Sentz: “Everyone knows they should be using data in program development, student success, community development, and hiring. But very few people know how to derive actionable insight from all the data that’s available. With Yustina, Emsi is taking a big step towards turning our mountains of data into even better insight. In short, get ready for lots of cool stuff coming from Emsi land.”

Media Contact:

Rob Sentz


About Emsi

Emsi provides labor market data that helps colleges and universities measure their economic impact, align programs with regional demand, prepare students for the right careers, and determine employment outcomes. Emsi data compiles both real-time and traditional sources, including U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, and an aggregation of 6-8 million unique job postings each month. Since 2000, Emsi’s high-quality, user-friendly services have helped hundreds of institutions promote student success and strengthen workforce and economic development in the communities they serve.

The post Emsi Hires Yustina Saleh To Lead Workforce Analytics Research appeared first on Emsi.

The Select Few Metros Where Wages Are Really Growing

The labor market is tightening. We’re either at or very close to full employment. Employers in many sectors are finding it difficult to fill jobs with qualified workers.

These statements are all true. But this is also true: Wages aren’t growing as robustly as economists would expect given an unemployment rate of 4.4%. Not nationally, and not in most metro areas.

Emsi analyzed 2012-2016 private-sector industry earnings, adjusted to 2016 dollars, for every metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area. Here’s what we found:

  • Real wages per job grew by 3% or more on average annually the last five years in just 19 of 934 MSAs. Only four of these—San Jose; Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Grand Forks, North Dakota-Minnesota—have populations above 100,000.
  • A slightly broader group, 51 MSAs, grew real wages by 2% on average per year. Of these, San Jose and Seattle were the only major metros.
  • Only five of the 100 most populous metros experienced real wage gains of at least 2%: San Jose, Seattle, San Francisco, Raleigh, and Madison.
  • Real wages declined in 139 MSAs from 2012-2016. Bridgeport, Connecticut, was the largest metro to see real wage decline (-0.3% on average per year). Durham-Chapel, North Carolina, Peoria, Illinois, and Lafayette, Louisiana, were three mid-sized metros that also saw drops.
  • These trends aren’t isolated to the last five years. From 2001-2016, real wages increased by at least 3% annually in just 10 MSAs. Three of these are small, oil-dominated MSAs, led by Williston, North Dakota, where salaries have dipped or flatlined since 2012, coinciding with the oil and gas bust.

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Rapid growth in wages is a clear sign of a potential labor shortage. If businesses truly can’t find the workers they need to operate, they usually offer higher and better compensation. So the higher the wage growth, the more competitive the market is for workers (though other variables should be weighed).

Nationally from 2012-2016, real wages increased 0.8% per year in the private sector, according to our analysis. That’s better than 2001-2007, a period of economic expansion (except for the 2001 recession) during which real wages averaged 0.5% annual growth.

A handful of communities are doing far better than the nation in wage growth, and a larger group is doing far worse. What follows is a look at the top MSAs over the last five years and the industries influencing these trends in these regions. (Note: Strong wage growth in a metro is good news for workers. For employers, however, it could mean they can’t find talent and need to look at other markets to find workers or expand/move operations.)

Top MSAs for Wage Growth

The San Jose metro area is leaps and bounds above every major city in average real wage growth. Annually from 2012-2016, salaries in San Jose increased 3.8% in inflation-adjusted terms. That’s a jump of 19% for the five-year period, better than the 14% uptick in private-sector jobs over the same time.

In 2016, the average private-sector salary in San Jose was $118,541—the highest average salary of any MSA in the U.S. and $31,000 higher than second-best Bridgeport, Connecticut ($87,573). Real wages in Bridgeport, as mentioned above, have declined since 2012 (and since 2007).

Wages are up across every major industry sector in San Jose. Management of companies and enterprises—mostly corporate headquarters jobs in San Jose—is the fastest-growing sector for wages (up 136% adjusted to 2016 dollars). The average salary in the information sector is up 27% to nearly $310,000, and most of this growth has come in internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals (NAICS 51913).

San Jose has the highest density of tech workers in the nation, per CompTIA’s analysis of Emsi data. The innovation sector in Silicon Valley is clearly lifting compensation in the service sector. Case in point: wages grew 6% in retail trade and 9% in educational services (9%) in San Jose.

Wages are also up in other tech metros—but not in every case. For example, Seattle’s inflation-adjusted average salary rose 2.1% annually from 2012-2016, and San Francisco’s rose 1.9%. But Austin’s real wages increased right at the national average (0.8% per year) while Denver (0.6%) and Boulder (0.7%) were below the national average.

No. 2 in real wage growth behind San Jose is Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota, at 3.7%. This MSA of almost 170,000 people has seen a massive boom in construction jobs (up 99% since 2012) and wages (up 71%).

Manufacturing is the largest-employing sector in Sioux City, with more than 15,000 jobs (almost 20% of all private-sector employment). Manufacturers in Sioux City have increased average real wages 13% the last five years, three times faster than the increase in manufacturing jobs (4%).

Other fast-growing MSAs for average annual real wages are mostly small MSAs:

  • Central City, Kentucky (3.7%)
  • Americus, Georgia (3.5%)
  • Fort Madison-Keokuk, Iowa-Illinois-Missouri (3.1%)
  • Hood River, Oregon (3.1%)
  • Susanville, California (3.0%)
  • Heber, Utah (2.9%)
  • Austin, Minnesota (2.8%)
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana (2.8%)
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota-Minnesota (2.7%)
What This Means

These numbers indicate the job recovery hasn’t been coupled with a wage rally in most of the U.S., especially in the biggest cities. That said, inflation grew less than 1% in 2014 and 2015 and has hovered at or below 2% every year since the recession. This means in metros with at least solid wage growth, workers are getting ahead, if ever so slightly.

After the jobs report last week, Neil Irwin of the New York Times wrote that because of low inflation and weak productivity growth it’s not surprising to see marginal wage gains. Nonetheless, our analysis suggests that the labor market might not be as tight as the data shows—or at least not tight enough for businesses in aggregate to significantly drive up wages.

About This Analysis

We used Emsi’s Q2 2017 data release and looked at average annual salaries for wage-and-salary employees in all private-sector industries. These earnings numbers show wages and salaries for all workers in each industry, from C-suite executives to administrative staff, using QCEW-reported earnings and include commissions, overtime pay, hazard pay, bonuses, stock options, and severance pay. They do not include supplements to income like pensions and contributions to 401(k) plans.

Data for this post comes from Emsi Developer. Find out more about Emsi data here. Contact Josh Wright, the author this post, via email or Twitter.  

The post The Select Few Metros Where Wages Are Really Growing appeared first on Emsi.

Oakland Community College: Measuring & Meeting Community Need


Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Meyer, Chancellor, Michigan’s Oakland Community College (OCC) has created and tested a method to measure and meet needs in their community. Using this method—outlined in a recently published article in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice—OCC has a reliable framework and formula for program planning decisions. The structure relies heavily on Emsi’s labor market data and methodology to identify community need.

Key Takeaways:

  • In a recent article published in a peer-reviewed journal, titled “Community College Program Planning: A Method to Measure and Meet Community Need,” members of OCC’s institutional effectiveness team lay out their methodology for aligning programs with regional demand.
  • OCC employs Emsi’s methodology to identify gaps in regional supply and demand. The college also uses Analyst to instantly get the data needed for their program planning efforts.
  • Through their data-driven program planning efforts, OCC has gone from 58 zero-graduate programs in 2006 to just 8 in 2016.
A Passion for Outcomes-Oriented Programs Kelly Perez-Vergara, Associate Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness at OCC

For Kelly Perez-Vergara, Associate Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness at OCC, program planning is a passion that stems from personal experience.

“I majored in psychology and by the time I learned that I needed to complete grad school to find a quality job, it was too late to change my path. That experience, plus a six-figure student loan debt, plays a big role in my work now. Students shouldn’t have to guess whether their degree will lead to a strong career,” said Perez-Vergara.

Now, Perez-Vergara plays a key role at OCC in aligning programs with regional economic need. In a recent publication in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Perez-Vergara and two colleagues outlined the college’s methodology for measuring and meeting community need.

“The whole point of the article was to share the method and encourage others to use a similar data-informed process. We’ve seen some of our peer colleges get really excited about what we’re doing and we want to help others get excited about it too,” said Perez-Vergara.

Identifying Community Need

OCC’s approach centers around a community need profile, which focuses largely on analyzing employer demand in the local community in relation to the supply of graduates. To calculate the gaps in supply and demand, OCC turned to Emsi’s methodology used in our Program Demand Gap Analysis. The college adapted the methodology to focus on specific programs and uses the results to assign each program a score associated with a level of community need.

“The article wouldn’t have been possible without Emsi. I didn’t create that gap analysis methodology, you all did. You taught us how to interpret the data and equipped us to use those methods moving forward,” said Perez-Vergara.

Along with using Emsi’s methodology, Perez-Vergara and her team rely on Analyst to employ this strategy on an ongoing basis.

“Analyst gives us the data we need, in the format we need it. It saves us time and allows us to focus on so much more than just gathering the data,” said Perez-Vergara.

Effectiveness of Community Need Review Process

There’s no doubt that Perez-Vergara and her team put serious effort into this work—from creating the review process to getting buy-in from stakeholders across the college.

That work is paying off.

In 2016, 47% of programs met their completion benchmark—a noticeable increase from 42% the year prior.

As of August 2016, academic deans had worked with OCC faculty to create 148 actions for existing and proposed programs—65 of which had already been completed at the time the article was written.

And while OCC didn’t put this particular method into place until 2014, the college has used labor market information to thoroughly refine their program offerings over the last decade.

In 2006, OCC had 58 programs with zero graduates. Now? That number is down to eight.

“There were programs that we felt needed to go away, but citing Emsi in our community needs profile gives the evidence needed for the evaluation team to move forward with a decision. The data really speak for themselves and helps administration decide whether our institution should continue to offer that program.”


OCC is a shining example of how a mindset shift can substantially impact an entire institution. By allowing data to be the objective mediator, administration and faculty can work together efficiently to make program decisions that benefit everyone—including students.

For more information on OCC’s approach to program planning and meeting community need, you can access the recent journal article here.

To learn more about taking a data-driven approach to program planning at your institution, contact us today.

The post Oakland Community College: Measuring & Meeting Community Need appeared first on Emsi.

The Best Jobs for Young Workers Are in the Arts, Skilled Trades, and Sciences

Young jobseekers looking for good places to launch their careers should consider three areas in particular: arts, skilled trades, and sciences. We analyzed hundreds of job categories across the country and found these three to be especially hospitable to young people.

Besides boasting remarkably solid wages and employing a high concentration of workers age 19-24, each category contains plenty of jobs that don’t require a college education—allowing more flexibility for young workers that might not have a full college education or are still finishing their degree.

Although let’s be clear: No college education doesn’t mean no talent. Cream, as they say, rises. Especially in the arts, workers must be uniquely skilled if they want to stand out in the throng of other actors, dancers, choreographers, and athletes.

In the following sections, we provide two lists for each category: the occupations that require a high school diploma, and the occupations that require at least some form of postsecondary education. (Science jobs consistently demand an associate, if not bachelor’s, degree, so they appear in only one list.)

Careers in the Arts

Three eye-catching facts here. First, art/entertainment/media jobs pay better than either of the other categories. Second, even without a college education, workers can earn nearly as much as if they did. For occupations that require a degree, the average hourly wage is $29.55; for those that don’t, only slightly lower at $27.85. And third, a greater chunk of jobs in the arts (especially those that don’t require a degree) belong to workers sub-25, in contrast with science and skilled trade jobs. For example, 32% of choreographers, 31% of dancers, 23% of costume attendants, and 22% of coaches & scouts are age 19-24.

A few more observations. Film and video editors earn the most (average $38.89/hour), followed by actors ($38.81), athletes ($34.12), and media & communication equipment workers ($33.81). Also, check out the remarkably high number of fitness trainers, the largest occupation at over 260,000 jobs.

Where’s the best opportunity for getting hired? We could consider factors such as job count and recent growth, but for now let’s just look at the cities where arts jobs are the most concentrated.

Concentration is measured by location quotient (LQ). The national average concentration of any job in any given area is 1.0, so (for example) a concentration of 2.0 means an occupation is twice as concentrated as the national average, and a concentration of 1.5 means it is one and a half times as concentrated as the national average.

Whether or not they require a degree, arts jobs are most concentrated in hubs like Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Denver. See the top five cities for degree/non-degree occupations below.

High concentration of arts jobs (degree required)

  • Washington, DC (2.43)
  • Grand Rapids, MI (1.94)
  • Los Angeles (1.83)
  • Bridgeport, CT (1.61)
  • Austin (1.57)

High concentration of arts jobs (no degree required)

  • Los Angeles (2.37)
  • Bridgeport, CT (2.08)
  • Baton Rouge (1.7)
  • Des Moines (1.58)
  • Denver (1.51)
Careers in Skilled Trades

Luckily for hard workers who enjoy hands-on tasks, none of the top jobs in skilled trades demand more than a certificate. Most simply require a high school diploma, which makes these jobs perfect for that year off before college, during summers, or while taking classes.

Skilled trade jobs pay surprisingly well: an average of $20.35/hour for jobs requiring a high school diploma, and a bit higher at $22.27/hour for those needing a certificate. Jobs as electrical/electronics installers & repairers for transportation equipment (yes, you need a certificate) pay the highest ($28.03/hour).

Automotive service technicians & mechanics have the most jobs (nearly 657,000) and added the most new jobs since 2011 (45,000), but insulation workers have grown the fastest (18%).

Skilled trade jobs are especially concentrated in Florida—thanks to intense demand for insulation/roofing/construction workers. And of course, we all know the Sunshine State’s love for motorboat and recreational vehicles, which translates to a need for those automotive technicians.

High concentration of skilled trades jobs (no degree required)

  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL (3.13)
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (2.86)
  • Baton Rouge (2.5)
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL (2.24)
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL (1.88)

High concentration of skilled trades jobs (degree required)

  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL (1.51)
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL (1.5)
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (1.47)
  • Jackson, MS (1.47)
  • Lancaster, PA (1.44)
Careers in the Sciences

As we mentioned in the beginning, all the top jobs for young people in life/physical/social sciences require at least an associate’s degree. Wages are solid at $22.81/hour, though (interestingly) still lower than the wages of jobs in the arts that don’t require a degree ($27.85). This further proves our earlier point: Young workers can’t go wrong trying out the arts!

Jobs in life/physical/social sciences are most concentrated in Albany, New York (2.28), San Francisco (2.19), and DC (2.09)—all over twice the national average.

High concentration of science jobs:

  • Albany (2.28)
  • San Francisco (2.19)
  • DC (2.09)
  • Sacramento (1.98)
  • Tucson (1.92)

To learn more about Emsi data, contact Rob SentzFollow Emsi on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The post The Best Jobs for Young Workers Are in the Arts, Skilled Trades, and Sciences appeared first on Emsi.

Emsi Reintroduces ZIP Code Demographic Data

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reintroduced ZIP code demographics in our Q2 2017 data release.

Our new ZIP code demographic data is based on the latest five-year American Community Survey (ACS) and includes historic and projected population estimates by age, gender, and race and ethnicity.

Last year we discovered issues with the previous version of our ZIP code demographic data. After a thorough review, we decided to remove the data from our research software until we could provide improved population estimates at the ZIP code level—which is what we’ve done with this new data.

Emsi strives to provide the most accurate, decision-ready labor market and economic analytics available. This includes estimates of data points that are either not available from government statistical agencies or are incomplete (e.g., suppressed employment and wage numbers). ZIP code population estimates— particularly current-year or projected population estimates—are not publicly available, and thus we researched and vetted a new approach that we are fully comfortable with.

What’s Changed?

In our previous methodology, we used 2000 Census data as a starting point and projected forward using the Census’s Population Estimates and county-level projections. We still use same approach to project demographic data, but we now rely on more up-to-date ACS as the backbone for our historic and current ZIP code demographics.

ACS releases population estimates at the census tract level. We map census tracts, more than 73,000 in all, to over 43,000 ZIP codes using a crosswalk from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Note: We also have historic and projected demographic data by census tract; this data is not yet in our research software but is available upon request.)

Ultimately, this new methodology provides more robust and reliable ZIP code demographic data. We appreciate your patience through the period that this data was unavailable and are confident this new and improved data will help many of our clients who need more granular insights on their region’s population.


  • Emsi also provides industry and occupation job counts, job multipliers, and other economic variables (industry GRP, exports/imports, sales) by ZIP code.
  • ZIP codes are assigned by the U.S. Postal Service and change frequently. Emsi accounts for these changes in our quarterly data updates.
  • ZIP code estimates allow you to parse data at a finer level than a single county or group of counties. However, city boundaries rarely match a group of ZIP codes.

For more information, email Josh Wright or call us at (208) 883-3500. Learn about our data and research software: Analyst and Developer.

The post Emsi Reintroduces ZIP Code Demographic Data appeared first on Emsi.

2017 College Grads Are Entering the Best Job Market in 10 years — But Are They Ready?

Glad news for 2017 college graduates: According to a new study by CareerBuilder, college grads are entering the best job market in 10 years.

The recent survey (in which CareerBuilder polled almost 2,400 hiring managers and HR professionals) shows that 74% of employers plan to hire college grads this year—up from 67% last year. Half of them (50%) plan to offer higher wages than they offered last year, whereas in 2016, a mere 37% of employers were planning on these higher salaries. And while last year, only 27% of grad-hiring employers offered starting salaries of $50K minimum, this year that  number has risen to 40% of employers.

  • Business – 30%
  • Engineering – 26%
  • Computer and Information Sciences – 23%
  • Engineering Technologies – 16%
  • Communications Technologies – 13%
  • Math and Statistics – 11%
  • Construction Trades – 11%
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences – 10%
  • Science Technologies – 9%
  • Architecture and Planning – 8%
  • Communication and Journalism – 7%
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies – 7%
  • Social Sciences – 6%
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities – 6%
  • Law and Legal Studies – 5%
  • Education – 5%

A few caveats, however. CareerBuilder’s survey confirmed yet again a long-held opinion among many employers: New college grads are not entirely ready for the workforce. In 2016, 24% of employers thought graduates lacked key skills, and although that number has shrunk to only 17% of employers in 2017, the fact remains: Numerous businesses see a mismatch between the skills they need and graduates’ actual abilities.

What skills in particular? Here’s the rundown. As other studies have also proved, technical skills tend to be well covered—it’s the soft skills that need significant work.

  • People skills: 50%
  • Problem-solving: 45%
  • Teamwork: 39%
  • Oral communication: 39%
  • Leadership: 38%
  • Written communication: 35%
  • Creative thinking: 34%
  • Project management: 26%
  • Research and analysis: 17%
  • Computer and technical: 17%
  • Math: 14%

Colleges and currently enrolled students alike can draw action items based on these survey results. Students should check their majors and skills against these lists to gauge the ease with which they might land a job post graduation or even earlier, since the majority (60%) of employers who intend to hire graduates are planning to extend job offers before students have completed their studies.

As for colleges, they—as many have already done—should continue to focus on demonstrating program outcomes. If their students pursue business or engineering, for example, they should know they are earning a top-flight degree, as determined by employer demand.

And both students and colleges should take this opportunity to remember that balancing their tech studies with a dose of the soft skills (such as problem-solving and oral communication) will help them become the well-rounded, multi-purpose employee that organizations so desperately need. Engineering is great. But don’t leave your people skills behind.

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Career Outcomes for Non-Technical Degrees

Nursing graduates usually become nurses. Mechanical engineering graduates, mechanical engineers. But what about programs with less obvious career outcomes?

It isn’t an easy question to answer. But it’s a relevant one.

The workforce is competitive. College debt is at an all-time high. Students—and colleges—should be preparing accordingly.

To shed more light on the issue, we created a prototype search tool that taps into a database of over 182 million job postings to reveal how often employers mention your degree in their jobs ads. It also shows the following:

1. Companies hiring for specific majors
2. Occupations related to those majors
3. Major skills mentioned in the job postings
4. Cities that show the highest demand, based on job posting activity

Try the Prototype: Our Experiment

We ran three majors with a bad reputation for non-employability: liberal arts proper, history, and English, through the prototype.

Here’s what we discovered: The career options available to graduates of general liberal arts degrees are far more diverse and attractive than we usually assume. Of course, liberal arts grads need to develop additional skills (either on the job or through separate courses, such as a writer who learns some coding to be a more effective blogger), but the truth remains: Employers in every sort of industry are interested in people with these majors.


“The career options available to graduates of general liberal arts degrees are far more diverse and attractive than we usually assume.”


Why? Employees hailing from a liberal arts background have honed valuable skills that might be left underdeveloped in other majors. Businesses value these graduates’ critical thinking skills, communication abilities, and creativity. The breadth of focus gives the students knowledge that can help them thrive in a wide variety of fields. In fact, to many employers, the name of your degree doesn’t really matter as much as you might think. English? Communications? History? Job postings call for one and all in the same breath.

Let’s consider the real-life career opportunities for the three degrees.

Liberal Arts

Numerous companies want these graduates. At the top of the list is Leidos (spelled incorrectly as “Leids” in the prototype): a large defense, intelligence, and homeland security contractor. Other companies include American Express and The Hartford Financial Services Group.

The jobs with highest demand for liberal arts majors are surprisingly diverse: intelligence analyst, client service specialist, signals intelligence (SIGINT) analyst, business development manager, and project manager—compelling, high-demand careers.

The top skills sought after are management, communications, research, and operations. Some of the top cities for these jobs are Columbia, Maryland, and McClean and Reston, Virginia (think about all the defense contracting).


What can you do with a degree in history? A lot more than teach! (Though there’s certainly an ample number of professorial positions.) Not surprisingly, the National Park Service and institutions such as the University of Maryland-University College are seeking history majors, but so are Aecom, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Deloitte.

Career options for history majors include intelligence analyst, management consultant, research analyst, and patient services rep. The top desired skills are management, research, teaching, communications, project management, and writing. Among the top cities for history majors are Washington, D.C., New York, Bethesda, Columbus, and Denver.


As with history, a degree in English doesn’t restrict you to dull-wage teaching jobs. The top positions for English majors include writer/editor, communication specialist, marketing coordinator, and sales manager. Companies seeking English majors are all over the map, ranging from health care to technology to logistics: United Health Care, Oracle, Amazon, and others.

Surprisingly, the most sought-after skill (after writing) is management. Other skills vary widely—everything from marketing to recruitment to operations. The top cities hiring for English majors are New York, Seattle, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco.


Data shows that as long as graduates are equipped with relevant skills, non-technical programs can lead to quality career outcomes.

This is a meaningful distinction. Students ought to pursue degrees that align with their passions—even if those passions don’t fall under STEM. And colleges ought to create programs that set those students up for career success by taking a close look at the skills employers are asking for.

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How Montgomery County, Ohio, Won a $2.3M Sector Partnership Grant and Opened a Burgeoning Business Solutions Center

Summary: In 2015 Montgomery County, Ohio, won a $2.3 million Department of Labor grant, aimed at helping laid-off workers via industry sector partnerships. Montgomery County used the grant to accelerate a sector strategies approach to meeting employers’ workforce needs, and late last year it opened a Business Solutions Center that served more than 300 businesses in its first six months.

This case study outlines how workforce and economic development leaders in the Dayton area partnered to assist the region’s business community and dislocated workers, and how data helped them get there.

Key Takeaways:

  • Montgomery County landed the largest Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant grant award in Ohio after showing the strong need for new and replacement workers in the Dayton region and the economic impact of two major economic development projects using Emsi’s input-output model.
  • Around the same time it won the grant, Montgomery County merged its workforce and economic development offices and now houses both of them in a new Business Solutions Center.
  • County officials have developed a talent recruitment strategy to attract the type of workers in manufacturing, IT, health care, and other sectors that employers are clamoring for.
Getting the Department of Labor Grant David Snipes, Manager, Montgomery County Business Solutions Center

David Snipes first heard about the Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant opportunity late on a Thursday afternoon in early 2015. By noon of the following Monday, he and his team in Montgomery County, Ohio, had submitted their grant application.

This particular Department of Labor grant was directed at reemploying dislocated workers through job-training programs borne out of sector partnerships. Snipes, a longtime workforce development and HR professional in Montgomery County, knew it would be ideal for the Dayton area.

For one, Montgomery County was already starting down the path of sector strategies. These partnerships bring together business and community leaders to help address the labor needs of an industry sector that’s important to a local economy. “We thought this grant then would enhance our ability to do these sector partnerships,” Snipes says.

In the grant application, Montgomery County focused on manufacturing and logistics to support two companies that had been at the center of recent economic development wins. Later, it expanded to include IT and health care, two additional sectors that had substantial workforce needs—both new hires and replacement workers that would be ideal for the unemployed population that the DOL wanted to target with the grant.

With little time to put together the grant application, Snipes used Emsi’s data software to quickly pull occupation projections for the county. He also generated job multipliers for recently announced projects from Fuyao Glass America Inc. and a Procter & Gamble distribution center with Emsi’s input-output (I-O) model. The impact scenarios showed the hundreds of spin-off jobs that would be created by the new business investment—estimates that in Fuyao’s case have proven conservative because the direct jobs at its automotive glass plant have exceeded expectations.

In July 2015, Montgomery County found out it had been awarded a $2.3 million grant, the largest in Ohio.

“Emsi’s I-O data was indispensable for our grant application and subsequent award of $2.3 million,” Snipes said.

Where the Grant Has Helped

“Emsi has been a very powerful and helpful tool for informing decisions. It has allowed us to determine where dollars will have their highest economic and workforce impacts.”

The grant award has paid big dividends. Montgomery County has helped dislocated workers and small businesses with paid internships and job-training programs that wouldn’t have been possible without the additional funds. These businesses include small manufacturing suppliers that Snipes and his team knew would struggle to keep and find talent with the expansion of Fuyao and Procter & Gamble.

The grant also came at the perfect time. The county had recently merged its economic and workforce development divisions when it applied for the grant. It also had just started drawing up plans for the Business Solutions Center.

A One-Stop for Businesses

Montgomery County, like other county or state governments across the U.S., has had One-Stop workforce centers for years to assist jobseekers. These centers often have programs for businesses, but Snipes envisioned something much bigger in Dayton—a focused one-stop center for employers to show that the county (both workforce and economic development) was serious in coming along as partner.

That’s exactly what the Montgomery County Business Solution Center has achieved.

The 10,000-square-foot center opened in October 2016. By April 2017, it had helped more than 300 companies with workforce planning and training, technical assistance on government requirements, incentives and financial assistance, and business courses. The center, centrally located right off I-75 in Dayton, also hosts networking events and meetings.

“Often businesses see One-Stop [workforce] centers as sometimes social service centers, and they might not see that as a resource for them,” says Snipes, the manager of the Business Solutions Center. “And they are, regardless of where they sit. But it was the perception. Once we opened the Business Solutions Center, it was like, ‘Wow, we didn’t know you did all of these things.’”

A Best Practice in Economic and Workforce Development Alignment

The center is also a testament to how well Montgomery County has aligned its economic and workforce development services. In some regions, Snipes notes, workforce development leaders are brought into a business development projects as an afterthought late in the process. Not so in Montgomery County.

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and Dayton Development Coalition, the regional EDO, have been key partners with Montgomery County since the center’s inception. DDC, Sinclair College, Wright State University, and Miami Valley Career Technology Center have dedicated staff or office space at the center. Several of these partners have developed a talent recruitment strategy so they can market the region to cities and universities that they know the area already draws from.

“We’re in those meetings up front with our economic development partners,” Snipes says. “… It’s more coordinated here than I’ve seen in other regions. And I think the building of the Business Solutions Center pulled all that together.”

As with the grant, Emsi data helped inform the development of the Business Solutions Center and helps workforce and EDO leaders partner more easily. “Emsi has been a very powerful and helpful tool for informing decisions,” Snipes says. “It has allowed us to determine where dollars will have their highest economic and workforce impacts. The ability to unpack aggregate labor market data has made it extremely useful for developing new initiatives (such as the Business Solutions Center), grant applications, program review, and regional planning.”

About Emsi

Emsi provides labor market data software, consulting, and career exploration tools that help workforce boards serve businesses and jobseekers more efficiently and quickly. For more information, email us at, call 866-999-EMSI (3674), or visit

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Measuring Innovation and Economic Impacts in the Tech Industry

In his 2012 book The New Geography of Jobs, Enrico Moretti outlines the importance of the innovation sector to the U.S. economy. He called it “America’s new engine of prosperity,” partly because most innovation jobs are part of the traded sector (i.e., they produce exportable goods and services) and partly because these jobs have a large multiplier effect.

The innovation sector can be a bit squishy to define, but everyone agrees the tech industry—however you define it—is an integral part of the innovation engine.

This is well illustrated by CompTIA in its new Cyberstates 2017 report.

In the report’s subtitle, CompTIA—a tech industry association that has issued more than two million IT certifications—calls Cyberstates the “definitive national, state, and city analysis of the U.S. tech industry and tech workforce.” And indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive look at the tech economy and labor force. The study delves into tech industry and occupation employment, wages, projections, job postings, business establishments, gender ratios, and self-employment estimates.

Cyberstates also examines a few key economic impact and innovation indicators by state and metro, which is what we’ll explore in this post. (For a broader look at the tech economy, the Cyberstates website and full report are very much worth exploring.)

Ranking the Economic Impact of Tech by State

There are several ways to determine an industry or sector’s impact on a local, state, or national economy. One method is to take a strict workforce perspective and calculate the share of jobs that industry or sector makes up of the total labor force.

Cyberstates does this by isolating a group of tech occupations and industries and ranking each state on their percentage of total and private-sector workers in tech. Massachusetts is No. 1 among all states on both counts, with 8.7% of its total workforce and 9.9% of its private-sector workforce in tech categories. The rest of the top five is as follows:

  • Colorado (7.8% of total workforce in tech)
  • Virginia (7.7%)
  • California (7.2%)
  • Washington (7.1%)

Nationally, just 4.4% of the workforce is employed in tech, per CompTIA’s analysis.

Another method is to analyze an industry or sector’s multiplier effect, which takes into account downstream, indirect benefits in addition to direct jobs, earnings, or sales. Moretti’s researched revealed that the high-tech sector has a jobs multiplier of 6.0—meaning every new jobs creates five jobs outside of high tech. Cyberstates, which briefly touches on multipliers, reports that the IT services and custom software services category has a jobs multiplier of 4.8.

A third economic impact method teases out the economic contribution of an industry or sector by looking at its share of gross regional product. Cyberstates does this by using Emsi and the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ gross state product (GSP) numbers.

Looking at the percentage of GSP in the tech industry, Oregon (18%), Washington (13.2%), and Massachusetts (12.7%) constitute the top three states. California—the undisputed champion in many tech industry metrics—is fourth, at 12.6%.

We were surprised to see Massachusetts so high in both the share of GSP and the workforce in the tech sector. What’s happening there? In one word, innovation—lots of it.

Tech Innovation in Massachusetts and Other States

CompTIA ranked Massachusetts No. 2 in innovation per capita, a measure that combines 2015 patents data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with data on startups and new business establishments. The only state ahead of it: California.

As Cyberstates notes, the number of tech patents granted declined in almost every state from 2014-2015—including Massachusetts (-14%). But from 2010 to 2014, tech patents granted soared in Massachusetts to over 2,600 from slightly more than 2,000—an increase that seems to be driving tech employment growth. Tech jobs in Massachusetts grew 3.2% from 2014-2015 and 14% from 2010-2015.

What are the other top states for tech innovation?

California is the overwhelming leader in tech patents granted. Even with a 9% dip from 2014-2015, it had over 20,000 patents in 2015, more than the next nine top states combined.

In CompTIA’s innovation per capita, Washington, Colorado, and New Jersey sit just behind California and Massachusetts.

Metro Focus

Don’t discount the effect of metropolitan areas on these state rankings. Nearly 90% of tech workers in Massachusetts live in the Boston MSA (263,500 out of 300,000 jobs, per Cyberstates). San Jose and San Francisco are first and third among MSAs in tech employment concentration, while Los Angeles is third in total tech establishments. In innovation-focused Washington and Colorado, Seattle, Denver, and Boulder are dominant players.

And how about this stat? The top five metro areas (New York, San Jose, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Boston) employ nearly 1 in 4 tech industry workers.

It’s not just direct tech employment that makes these innovation hubs so successful. The multiplier effect of tech industries leads to more and better-paying service jobs for barbers, fitness workers, waiters and waitresses, etc. But the impact of tech goes beyond multipliers, too.

Moretti in The New Geography of Jobs writes, “The rise of the innovation sector is associated with an increase in the value of talent, for a simple reason: economic value depends on talent as never before.” In the tech economy, skilled workers and businesses tend to cluster in the same places more than in other industries. This is good for the cities with powerful innovation sectors, and not so good for cities where tech and innovation are lagging.

Much of the tech data in Cyberstates 2017 comes from Emsi’s online labor market and economic research software. To learn about Emsi data, click here or email Josh Wright.

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Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers: A Snapshot of the American Workforce

We’re as guilty as anyone else. In recent months, we’ve researched and written about about the jobs that millennials—and millennials vs. baby boomers—hold in the U.S. What we’ve haven’t focused on is generation X, America’s “neglected middle child,” according to the Pew Research Center.

But that changes with this post.

We created a Tableau data visualization that shows the size and share of workers by occupation for three generations in one. Click on the millennial, generation X, and baby boomer headers to see bubbles for 785 standard occupation codes; the size of the bubble is based on 2016 jobs and the color is based on 2015 percentile hourly earnings.

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  • We defined millennials as workers aged 22 to 34, generation Xers as 35- to 54-year-olds, and baby boomers as 55 and above. These are the tidiest generational definitions that fit with the age cohorts in our workforce demographic data.
  • We used 25th percentile earnings for millennials, median (50th percentile) earnings for gen Xers, and 75th percentile earnings for baby boomers, assuming that workers’ pay advances up the wage curve as they age. If a millennial earns a wage at the 25th percentile, that means 75% of workers in the occupation make more. (For a full definition of percentile earnings and what Emsi’s occupational earnings include, see here.)
  • All data is for the nation and includes wage-and-salary workers and self-employed workers. It comes from Emsi’s Q1 2017 dataset.
  • We collect workforce demographic data using the BLS’s Occupational Employment Statistics program, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and our detailed county-level industry and staffing pattern data.

What does this data show?

First, the occupations with the largest number of jobs for millennials, gen Xers, and baby boomers are mostly low-paying administrative or service fields. However, it’s interesting how this dynamic—and the pay—changes over time.

For millennials, retail salespersons, combined food preparation and serving workers, and waiters and waitresses are three of the most-employed occupations. For generation X, the largest occupations are registered nurses, retail salespersons, and office clerks. And for baby boomers, easily the most-employed occupations are retail salespersons, secretaries and administrative assistants, and office clerks.

Retail sales workers are one of the consistent threads across generations. There are 4.75 million retail sales workers in the U.S., making it hands down the largest occupation. (No. 2 is cashiers, at 3.5 million jobs.)

Retail sales jobs are pretty evenly spread out: 32% of workers are millennials, 29% are gen Xers, and 22% are baby boomers, leaving about 17% for 14- to 21-year-olds. Pay ranges from $9.40 per hour at the 25th percentile to $13.99 per hour at the 75th percentile.

Among generation X workers, registered nurses slightly surpass retail salespersons for the most jobs—1.43 million to 1.38 million. Half of all RNs are aged 35 to 54, and at the median level, they make more than $5 more per hour than at the 25th percentile ($33.83 to $28.46).

Other prominent gen X jobs:

  • General and operations managers (58% of jobs in this occupation, or 1.3 million, are filled by gen Xers).
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (53% are gen Xers)
  • First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers (53%)
  • Financial managers (55%)
  • Software developers, applications (54%)

The bottom line: Gen Xers show up prominently in middle and senior management positions, and not just in retail or office positions. Their presence in tech, finance, and construction indicate that they hold important roles across sectors.

It’s not a stretch to say that gen Xers, most of whom are in their peak-earning years, serve as the lifeblood for many organizations.

Data for this post comes from Emsi Developer. For more on this analysis or data, email Josh Wright (

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At GREATER MSP, Data Research Helps Drive New Business Investment


In greater Minneapolis-St. Paul, as in so many regions, companies’ site selection decisions often hinge on access to available talent. But as the Twin Cities region flourishes and its labor market tightens, skilled workers become harder to find. This is a key reason why GREATER MSP, the region’s economic development organization, has made workforce and economic research the foundation for its business attraction and retention strategies.

Key takeaways:

  • GREATER MSP and its regional partners helped convince Post Holdings to consolidate its cereal headquarters in a Twin Cities suburb—a decision influenced by a key data factoid on food scientists unearthed by GREATER MSP researchers using Emsi.
  • The economic development organization’s enterprising research helps market Minneapolis-St. Paul on a global scale and build lasting relationships with site selectors and consultants working on behalf of businesses.
  • GREATER MSP uses Emsi supply chain data to target businesses that could fit well in the region’s industry mix.
  • Emsi’s place-of-work vs. place-of-residence jobs data helps the EDO show prospective companies that want to settle in suburbs that they can find workers.
Background David Griggs

The Minneapolis-St. Paul economy is a global powerhouse. The 16-county region that GREATER MSP serves has more than 3.5 million people and a gross metro product of $228 billion, the 48th largest in the world. It’s home to major corporate headquarters and internationally competitive food and medical devices clusters. It boasts excellent quality of life, and in key economic indicators like unemployment and labor force participation rate—which GREATER MSP is well known for tracking—the Twin Cities sits atop peer regions.

GREATER MSP’s challenge, then, is a big one: to accelerate job growth, capital investment, and wealth in a region that’s already prospering. For these things to happen, companies need the right workforce. This is much more difficult in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area today than it was when the organization was formed in 2011.

“In 2011, we had more people than jobs,” David Griggs, VP of Business Investment and Research at GREATER MSP, said in a presentation at the 2016 Emsi Conference. “Today we find ourselves in a completely different situation, where we have more jobs than people.”

GREATER MSP started to feel this dynamic change three years ago, when it launched a talent attraction initiative. It immediately received pushback when it began to speak about a talent shortage. Just a few years removed from a deep recession, people were skeptical. Which is why the regional EDO did what it always does: turn to hard data to make its case.

The Post Holdings Success Story

In 2015, Post Holdings purchased the maker of Malt-O-Meal cereals, which is based in Minnesota. Post had its cereal headquarters in New Jersey but was looking consolidate its operations.

“We have a very large concentration of food scientists, more than any other metro we could find, and that was something we were really not aware of until we were looking at Emsi data.”

When GREATER MSP and its regional partners heard that Post Holdings was considering a Twin Cities suburb as the base for its cereal operations, the EDO provided research showing the region’s comparative strength in the number of food scientists it employs. “We have a very large concentration of food scientists, more than any other metro we could find, and that was something we were really not aware of until we were looking at Emsi data,” said Val Vannett, Director of Research and Analysis at GREATER MSP.

Post Holdings ended up combining corporate offices of its New Jersey and Minnesota operations in Lakeville, about 20 miles south of downtown Minneapolis. And the company later noted that the statistic on food scientists “was one they had not seen and was influential in their decision to focus on the Minneapolis-St. Paul region for the cereal headquarters,” Vannett said.

In this case, a key insight that GREATER MSP discovered with labor market data helped attract and retain 400 jobs.

The Value of Research Val Vannett

The Post Holdings win is part of a larger, focused push by GREATER MSP to understand and develop industry sectors—like food and agribusiness—that Minneapolis-St. Paul excels in. The EDO has winnowed down its regional strategy to focus on five sectors of regional strength. With each, Vannett and her team have done extensive research with Emsi, and they continue to do new research to isolate new trends on sub-sectors with high regional specialization or growth opportunities.

GREATER MSP’s research team also works in lockstep with the EDO’s business investment team, which communicates directly with existing or prospective businesses, to ensure the organization (and the region) fully understands each sector.

“A lot of our business investment people are very experienced, and they’re familiar with the industries that we touch a lot,” Vannett said. “But we know that we need to go back and do the research and make sure there is nothing we’re missing, that the data is substantiating what we’re experiencing.”

GREATER MSP has valued data research from its inception six years ago. Research has helped set the course for the organization. Indeed, it undergirds everything the business investment team works on—from business attraction and retention, to foreign direct investment and export development. The EDO’s leadership not only supports this research, “they get out and talk about it,” Vannett said.

“Because we’ve got the research to back things up, we can bring facts to people so it’s not just a qualitative statement when we talk about issues in our metro,” she said. “We can substantiate that there is an issue there, too.”

Marketing the Region

The depth of information that GREATER MSP collects and reports on its region—in both its regional indicators dashboard and reports—helps market the region. This research has helped the EDO develop a reputation with influential site selectors and consultants who are always looking for large amounts of data to report to businesses. “When they know they can get the info they need for a company, they are more willing to consider an Minneapolis-St. Paul location, due to ease of contact,” Vannett said. “Consultants and site selectors are ‘repeat customers’ because they know Greater MSP can provide prompt info.” (One example: A boutique site selector working for a large prominent national company once told GREATER MSP, “Wow, you gave me a lot to work with.”)

“They need to know they can get workers and this data shows them the possibilities.”

Emsi is a critical part of this research equation. Often facing tight time constraints, GREATER MSP’s research team can turn to Emsi’s data platform to pull quick statistics for RFIs (requests for information) or more comprehensive information to use as the backbone for large-scale research projects.

“Just having all that data aggregated into one tool is fantastic,” Vannett said. “Even for that food scientist info, that just kind of popped out at us. Being able to pull up a bunch of other cities to compare those occupations is huge. That can be really hard to do if you have to go out and just get the government data yourself. With Emsi, we can do it very quickly.”

Supporting Business Attraction and Retention/Expansion

This data is crucial in both GREATER MSP’s business attraction and business retention/expansion efforts.

On the business retention front, the economic development organization uses Emsi’s supply chain data—looking at the percent of industry demand met inside and outside the region—before it visits local companies. This information has proven useful when working with the region’s large and prominent med tech sector. Most of the local med tech companies are in the northwest corner of the metro, but “by highlighting the extensive supply chain companies, we are able to help local government interact with the firms elsewhere in the metro who impact the industry,” Vannett said. “In other words, the whole metro plays a role in the industry—even if the med tech firm itself isn’t in your neighborhood.”

On the business attraction front, GREATER MSP has found Emsi’s commuting data—where workers live vs. where they work—to be influential for firms that want to locate in the Twin Cities suburbs. “They need to know they can get workers and this data shows them the possibilities,” Vannett said.

About Greater MSP

In 2011, The Itasca Group and other key stakeholders decided to make a significant contribution to growing the local economy by creating a regional approach to economic development, leading to the creation of GREATER MSP.

GREATER MSP (Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership) is a private, non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated to providing public and private sector leadership, coordination and engagement to grow the economy of the 16-county MSP region. For more, visit

About Emsi

Emsi provides economic development organizations with labor market insights on their communities and regions to help them grow existing businesses, attract new businesses, and provide meaningful opportunities to their residents. For more information, email us at, call 866-999-EMSI (3674), or visit

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Top Jobs for Organizers are in Management, Analytics, and Admin

Organizers are pros at helping the world run. They’re either in charge or right behind the ones who are so that they can use their multitasking skills and efficiency to plan, schedule, and keep track of details for the team. So naturally, the top careers for organizers cluster in management, analytics, and administration.

CareerBuilder and Emsi published a list of the top 10 organizers jobs the labor market needs, based on their current number of jobs (at least 100,000), remarkable growth from 2011 to 2017 (9% or higher), and high annual salaries (25th percentile at least $53K).

“If you automatically sort and analyze things, if you were that kid who liked to tidy their room, or you’re the friend who arranges all the get-togethers—you’re probably an organizer,” said Rob Sentz, chief innovation officer at Emsi. “And that’s good news, because the labor market needs you in a number of high-wage, fast-growing jobs.”

The analysis uses CareerBuilder and Emsi’s extensive labor market database, which pulls from a variety of national and state employment resources as well as online job postings. The following are 10 organizer occupations where workers will find a larger number of opportunities, ranked according to job growth since 2011.

NOTE: Each of these careers typically requires a bachelor’s degree. Wage spans are 25th-75th percentile.

1. Operations Managers

A lot of responsibility comes with being an operations manager. You’re in charge of formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources within a business. With 2.25 million jobs, operations managers make up the 11th largest occupation group in the entire US. They’ve added 249,000 jobs since 2011 (12% growth) and also earn great wages at $68K- $151K a year.

2. Accountants and Auditors

You get to use your eye for detail as an accountant or auditor! These folks ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly—and on time. There are currently 1.3 million accountants/auditors in the US and they’ve added 165K new jobs since 2011 (14% growth). They make about $54K-$89K a year.

3. Computer Systems Analysts

These analysts are vital to any organization. They understand both business and IT, creating information systems that helps companies work more efficiently and effectively. There are almost 600K jobs in the US. With 111K new jobs and 23% growth since 2011, they are [one of the] fastest-growing jobs for organizers. They earn $68-$109K a year.

4. Management Analysts

Also called management consultants, these analysts propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency and boost its profits: reduced costs, increased revenues! There are 658K in the US, with 77K of those being new jobs since 2011 (13% growth). They typically make $63K-$109K a year.

5. IT Managers

Planning, coordinating, and directing computer-related activities in an organization—that’s the job for IT managers. There are 366K in the US, including 56K new jobs since 2011 (18% growth). They earn more than any other organizer on our list at $106K-$167K a year.

6. Medical and Health Services Managers

These managers are in charge of planning, directing, and coordinating medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. There are 332,000 of these managers and they’ve grown by 31,000 new jobs (10% growth) since 2011. Typical annual salaries are $76K-$123K.

7. Financial Analysts

Sharpen your judgement! Financial analysts analyze the performance of stocks and bonds (and other kinds of investments) to help businesses and individuals make wise investment decisions. There are 285K financial analysts in the US, with 28K new ones added since 2011 (11% growth). They usually make about $64-$113K a year.

8. Administrative Services Managers

These managers need to work well with people since they’re the hub of an entire business and will meet coworkers’ needs and answer questions all day long. They run the admin: buying supplies, monitoring records, budgeting for equipment, making sure the facility stays secure and well maintained, etc. There are 290,000 of these managers in the US, with 28,000 new jobs (11% growth) since 2011. They make $66K-$114K a year.

9. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

Exactly how it sounds: These managers are in charge of planning and directing transportation, storage, or distribution activities for a business. This career will scratch the itch for anybody who loves coordinating a myriad of details and ensuring everything is going (and arriving) where it should. There are 118,000 of these managers in the US, with 13K new jobs since 2011 (13% growth). Typical annual salary is $67K-$113K.

10. Logisticians

Not the largest occupation on our list, but definitely growing in importance as US businesses continue to grow. Logisticians analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain—the system that moves a product from supplier to consumer. The entire life cycle of a product (from acquiring to delivery!) is in their hands. The US has 144K logisticians right now. They’ve added 12K new jobs since 2011 (9% growth) and typically earn $60K-$93K a year.

Do any of these careers fit you? Get the answer at Find Your Calling, a free national website that equips students with information to make smarter decisions about their education and careers. Contact Rob Sentz with questions:

The post Top Jobs for Organizers are in Management, Analytics, and Admin appeared first on Emsi.

The Share of Veterans in Every County

On Veterans Day last year, we told the stories of four former service members who transitioned to the professional world and hold jobs at our company. They successfully made the leap from military to civilian careers, a move that proves challenging for many vets and the education and workforce development professionals who assist them.

This is an especially acute issue in areas of the U.S. with a strong concentration of veterans.

In 2015 the U.S. was home to about 20 million veterans, per the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the heaviest density of these former service members lived in the South, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic. Many of the densest pockets of veterans are close to or in the same counties as major military bases like Fort Hood and Fort Bragg.

For this analysis, we put every county into two buckets—large counties (at least 100,000 people in 2015) and small counties (under 100,000 people)*—and compared the 2015 veteran population to the 2015 total population from Emsi to come up with the share of veterans in each county.

*This is admittedly crude considering some counties barely made or missed the 100K-population cutoff.

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Large Counties 

Seven of the top 20 large counties with the highest share of veterans are in Florida, led by Sumter County (east of Orlando) and Okaloosa County (west of Pensacola and home to Eglin Air Force Base). In both, vets make up 16% of the population.

Cochise County, Arizona, is third, with a veteran share of 14.6%. It has several Army and Air Force, including Fort Huachuca. Close behind are Citrus County, Florida (14.2%) and Hampton city, Virginia (14%).

The most-populated counties to make the top 10 for veterans are Virginia Beach city, Virginia (total population is over 450,000, with 13.3% being veterans) and Bell County, Texas (around 335,000 people, 13.8% of whom are vets). Bell County is home to Fort Hood.

Among the 100 most populous counties in the U.S., only two have a veteran share above 10%: Pierce County, Washington (10.5%) and El Paso County, Colorado (12.6%). Pierce County is where Tacoma, McChord Air Force Base, and Fort Lewis are located. El Paso County is home to Colorado Springs and a large Air Force presence, including the Air Force Academy.

Los Angeles County and Maricopa County (Phoenix) have the largest number of veterans. While vets make up just 3% of the population in LA County, Maricopa County’s share of vets is 6.4%—similar to San Diego County (7.1%), which has the third-most former military members of any county. Bexar County (San Antonio) ranks sixth for veterans and 8.1% of its population are former military members.

Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia have the most counties with high-density veteran populations.

Small Counties

Tiny Elmore County, Idaho (pop. 25,875), where the Mountain Home Air Force Base is located, has the highest share of veterans in its population of any county in the U.S., at 18%. Even smaller are the rest of the top five among counties with fewer than 100,000 people:

  • Sierra County, New Mexico (11,282; 16.4% veterans)
  • Custer County, Colorado (4,445; 16.3%)
  • Keweenaw County, Michigan (2,168; 16.1%)
  • Mineral County, Nevada (4,478; 16.1%)

For small counties, Nevada, Idaho, and Michigan are prominent states with large shares of veterans. The Census Bureau estimates that a quarter of veterans live in rural regions. Vets in rural areas have lower employment rates than vets in urban areas, and the percentage of vets holding jobs is even lower in extremely rural counties.

About the Data

This data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, specifically the five-year version of the ACS (2011-2015), and Emsi. In the interactive map, the margin of error for the 2015 veteran population is included for every county.

For more information on this post or Emsi data, contact Josh Wright. Follow Emsi on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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CareerBuilder & Emsi Release the Top 10 Careers for Persuaders

Persuaders are the movers and shakers of the world. Confident, outgoing, comfortable with (and even attracted by) risky situations, they are usually found in business-oriented careers such as management or sales.

CareerBuilder and Emsi compiled a list of the top 10 careers for persuaders based on significant number of jobs (over 200,000), remarkable growth from 2011 to 2017 (9% growth or higher), and solid annual salaries (an average of at least $88K).

“If you’re competitive, if you love the thrill of the hunt, if you were the kid who could convince your parents to get a dog—you probably have some strong persuasive genes,” said Rob Sentz, chief innovation officer of Emsi. “Fortunately, there are many jobs where this ability is key.”

The analysis uses CareerBuilder and Emsi’s extensive labor market database, which pulls from a variety of national and state employment resources as well as online job postings. The following are 10 persuader occupations where workers will find a larger number of opportunities, ranked according to job growth since 2011.

NOTE: Each of these creative careers typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

1. Operations Managers

A lot of responsibility comes with being an operations manager. You’re in charge of formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources within a business. With 2.25 million jobs, operations managers make up the 11th largest occupation group in the entire US. They’ve added 249,000 jobs since 2011 (12% growth) and also earn great wages at $68K- $151K a year.

2. IT Managers

These folks plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities within a business. They help determine a company’s IT goals and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals. There are currently 366K IT managers in the US, with 56,000 new jobs (18% growth) since 2011.  They earn earn fantastic wages at $106-$167K a year.

3. Financial Managers

These managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their company. There are 565,000 financial managers and they’ve added 43,000 new jobs (9% growth)  since 2011. Yearly salaries are around $89K-$163K.

4. Sales Managers

These managers oversee the sales reps within a business: assigning sales territories, setting sales goals, and establishing training programs. They frequently have to travel. There are 381,000 sales managers in the US and they’ve grown by 38,000 jobs (11%) since 2011. They typically earn $80K-163K a year.

5. Personal Financial Advisors

If you’re a Persuader with a strong Helper/Thinker streak, you might like a career as a personal financial advisor. You need analytical skills to sort through various money matters and you get to use your persuasive skills to help people with things like investments, mortgages, and taxes. There are 215,000 personal financial advisors in the US, with 36,000 new jobs (20% growth) since 2011. They make around $61K-$152K a year.

6. Construction Managers

Do you like building stuff but also planning, coordinating, budgeting, and overseeing large projects? You could make a good construction supervisor. There are 254,000 of these managers in the US, with 35,000 new jobs (16% growth) since 2011. Yearly salaries are roughly $69K-$116K.

7. Sales Reps (Wholesale & Manufacturing): Technical and Scientific Products

Good thing sales reps thrive under high pressure—their income and job security depend on the amount they sell.  As sellers of technical and scientific products (like software or pharmaceutical goods), these particular sales reps earn more than reps who sell non-technical and non-scientific (like clothing or office supplies). There are 350,000 of these sales reps, with 32,000 new jobs (10% growth) since 2011. They earn about $55K-$109K a year.

8. Medical and Health Services Managers

These managers are in charge of planning, directing, and coordinating medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. There are 332,000 of these managers and they’ve grown by 31,000 new jobs (10% growth) since 2011. Typical annual salaries are $76K-$123K.

9. Administrative Services Managers

These managers need to be Organizers too, not just Persuaders, since they run the admin within a business: buying supplies, monitoring records, budgeting for equipment, making sure the facility stays secure and well maintained, etc. There are 290,000 of these managers in the US, with 28,000 new jobs (11% growth) since 2011. They make $66K-$114K a year.

10. Marketing Managers

If you’re somewhat attracted to sales (but not quite), you might like its cousin: marketing. Marketing managers don’t close deals, but they estimate demand for an organization’s products, identify potential markets, and then generate interest in those products. They also develop strategies to maximize profit. There are 207,000 marketing managers in the US, including 27,000 new jobs (15% growth) since 2011. Typical salaries are definitely on the higher end at $97K-$174K a year.

Do any of these careers fit you and your passions and strengths? Get the answer at Find Your Calling, a free national website that equips students with information to make smarter decisions about their education and careers. Contact Rob Sentz with questions:

The post CareerBuilder & Emsi Release the Top 10 Careers for Persuaders appeared first on Emsi.

Workforce Supply and Demand in the Automotive Industry

This article is adapted from Emsi’s presentation at Area Development’s Consultants Forum Automotive Workshop.

The automotive industry today is all about technology. Think the gadgets you find inside your car, the apps you use to find a last-minute ride, and the production lines that churn out automobiles.

More technology and automation means auto makers require fewer workers (with relatively low labor costs), but their workforce needs are increasingly tech-focused—a trend that’s going to accelerate with the rise of driverless cars and trucks.

The blurring of automotive and technology stands out in the real-time job postings data and the online worker profiles that Emsi parses every day. Auto makers are looking for design engineers and software developers with skills like design failure mode and effects analysis, Simulink, and computer-aided 3D interactive applications (CATIA). There are workers with these skills based on our professional profile database that normalizes publicly available data from LinkedIn, GitHub, and others.

But are there enough of them in the right places considering the changing geography of the auto industry?

We looked at the most common skills and job titles asked for in job postings from 11 major auto makers from January 2016 to January 2017. (Job ads don’t give the full picture of potential hiring, especially in production-intensive industries, but they still indicate the skills and job titles that auto makers are requesting in their online postings.) We then matched the job postings data with our profile database as a proxy for gauging current workforce supply and demand.

Auto Makers’ Job Posting Patterns

In the last year, Chrysler has posted the most raw job ads of any automotive manufacturer. But when we de-duplicate these postings, GM and Tesla stand above Chrysler and every other auto maker. And after the top three, there’s a big drop-off in unique job postings from Chrysler to Ford and Honda … and an even bigger drop-off from Honda to Volkswagen and Toyota.

The Detroit area (Auburn Hills, Dearborn, Warren) make up the largest percentage (over 30% of where these ads are posted. But Bay Area cities like Fremont and Palo Alto, as well as Oxnard in southern California and Austin and Dallas, also show up prominently in postings of auto makers. This indicates, as does standard labor market data, that the concentration of auto jobs is flattening—first from the Rust Belt to the South, and now to the West Coast and Texas.

The 11 auto makers shown in the chart above posted more than 100,000 de-duplicated postings from January 2016 to January 2017. And of those unique job ads, nearly 10% were for three job titles: design engineers, software engineers, and systems engineers.

Other common job titles in auto makers’ postings: project managers, quality assurance engineers, research specialists, and control engineers. (As hinted at above, job postings tend to be biased toward high-skill positions.)

The most unique or relevant hard skill these auto makers asked for in postings was powertrain, followed by design failure mode and effects analysis, and engineering. After CATIA and manufacturing, stamping—or metalworking, a more traditional auto manufacturing skill—appears on the list.

The Supply Side

How do these job posting trends match the supply of the workforce? We found 134,500 workers who mentioned five of these specific skills (powertrain, design failure mode and effects analysis, CATIA, stamping, and Simulink) and have updated their online profiles since 2015. These workers can be found at Ford, GM, Boeing, Chrysler, Cummins, and thousands of other companies. And most of them have the same job titles that the auto makers are putting in their job ads—design engineer, mechanical engineer, and systems engineer are three most common based on the percentile distribution of profiles.

And what about the geographic distribution of these profiles? The epicenter is Detroit, with 14% of the 134,500 profiles. Los Angeles, Chicago and tech hotspots Seattle and San Francisco also have around 2% each of these workers.


So, back to the question we posed at the start: Are there enough engineers, software developers, and other highly skilled workers to meet auto makers’ needs? It’d be helpful to extend this analysis to investigate more skills and more job titles, but at quick glance, it’s no surprise that auto companies have a hard time locating talent. For example, we show 144,000 online profiles for design engineers nationwide, but fewer than 13,000 of these profiles include the five core skills we mentioned that auto makers have solicited in their job ads.

In response to these types of talent needs, economic developers and their community workforce partners should have a firm grasp on their key industry clusters and supply chains. We find that there’s often high skills transferability between suppliers and manufacturers. And these suppliers, many of them small- to mid-sized businesses, can make great partners for local training providers that are addressing the auto industry’s increasingly tech-focused workforce challenges.

Data for this post comes from Emsi Developer. For more on Emsi’s online worker profile database, see here. Email Josh Wright for more.

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