The table below provides the occupation groups that were facing workforce shortages in each of the EDRs in October using the difference between weekly job postings and unemployment claims averaged for the month and ranks them by level of severity. For example, if an occupation group is ranked second in a particular EDR, that means it has the second-highest number of job openings remaining after subtracting unemployed individuals in that occupation group.

The first thing that jumps out from this list is the number of people needed in the healthcare practitioners and technical field. It’s at the top of the workforce shortage list for nearly every EDR. Occupation groups such as architecture and engineering, computer and mathematical, life, physical and social science, and others requiring significant training or education also appear in many EDRs. Occupational groups you don’t see on this list are food preparation and serving-related or sales-related jobs.


Below is a table providing the top-five specific occupations (6-digit SOC) in each of the top-five occupation groups with workforce shortages at the end of October. It’s worth noting the wide variety of occupations and occupation groups represented in each EDR. Overall, 16 different occupation groups showed up in the top-five lists for largest workforce shortages in the EDRs outside the Twin Cities (EDR 11), and each occupation group represents dozens, if not hundreds of individual occupations. Here’s a quick summary of the types of jobs available for a majority of the occupation groups.

  • Healthcare practitioners and technical (13 of 13 EDRs): Nearly all of the positions available were concentrated in two occupation sub-groups—registered nurses and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, with a significant need for workers in many occupations within these two fields.
  • Community and social services (12 of 13 EDRs): Nearly all of the positions available were in either the social and human service assistant or mental health and substance abuse counselors fields.
  • Architecture and engineering (9 of 13 EDRs): A majority of the positions needed were for industrial or mechanical engineers.
  • Life, physical, and social science (9 of 13 EDRs): Which occupations were available within this field depended on location. In northern EDRs, the occupations revolved primarily around environmental sciences and protection. Otherwise, the majority of jobs were in the medical scientist occupations.
  • Transportation and material moving (6 of 13 EDRs): Most of the positions were concentrated in heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver, light truck or delivery services, drivers or sales workers, as well as laborers and freight, stock, and material movers.
  • Computer and mathematical (5 of 13 EDRs): A majority of these occupations were classified as computer occupations or software developers.
  • Personal care and service (4 of 13 EDRs): Most of the positions were concentrated in the personal care aides occupations.
  • Building and grounds cleaning & maintenance (1 of 13 EDRs)
  • Business and financial operations (1 of 13 EDRs): The majority of occupations in this field were classified as management analysts or business operations specialists.
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair (1 of 13 EDRs): A majority of the jobs in this occupation group were classified as maintenance and repair workers or first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers.
  • Protective service (1 of 13 EDRs): A majority of the jobs in this field were security guards.