One in five careers searches that use publicly available state-level data can mislead students who make decisions based on occupational projections. That’s the finding in a recent analysis of the widely available state-level occupation projections when compared to Emsi’s localized county-level projections.
Imagine a student thinking they were preparing for a job in an in-demand field only to discover there are no jobs where they live. For students using labor market data to make career decisions, “close enough” isn’t good enough.
The analysis spotted significant differences in occupational projections in 20% of occupations studied in New Hampshire. The number was even higher when the study was replicated in Maryland. The problem is compounded in states with dominant urban centers and with border cities heavily influenced by a neighboring state.
For example, New Hampshire jobs for software developers, systems software were projected at the state level to climb nearly 19%. That was affirmed by Emsi data in a couple of communities, but was misleading for areas whose growth in those jobs was projected at 9% or 4% or even -5%.
Similarly, state projections called for flat or negative job growth for elementary and secondary teaching occupations, but two counties showed needs of 3% and 9% in Emsi’s localized projections.
In doing the analysis, Emsi researchers took each state’s highest employed occupations by Standard Occupation Codes (190 in New Hampshire and 170 in Maryland) and compared the state-level occupation projection to the local projections in the home county of each of the states’ community colleges (seven in New Hampshire and 20 in Maryland).
Used by Fortune 1,000 companies and state agencies and frequently cited in the nation’s most respected newspapers, Emsi’s industry-recognized data is curated from dozens of data sources and is mathematically modeled to restore government suppressions. It is also used in Emsi’s labor market analytics software and its student-facing college web portal, Career Coach.
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