ASA Skills Gap Index Identifies 181 Hard-to-Fill Jobs


Top 10 List of Occupations Difficult to Fill

The American Staffing Association’s Skills Gap Index identified 181 hard-to-fill occupations in the U.S. for the 12 months ended March 2015, with the 10 most difficult being

  1. Occupational therapists
  2. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  3. Physical therapists
  4. Photographic process workers and processing machine operators
  5. Occupational therapy assistants
  6. Speech-language pathologists
  7. Family and general practitioners (physicians)
  8. Merchandise displayers and window trimmers
  9. Nurse practitioners
  10. Physician assistants

During the past quarter, nurse practitioners; family and general practitioners; and physician assistants replaced psychiatrists; forest and conservation technicians; and general internists among the top 10 hardest-to-fill positions.

“With more than five million job openings going unfilled, businesses are concerned that their growth will be impeded because they cannot fill their talent pipelines,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “The ASA Skills Gap Index assists businesses and their staffing firm partners in developing strategies to source qualified talent in occupations and in regions where demand significantly exceeds supply.”

The skills gap index was established by ASA, using a hiring indicator developed by ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder. It measures the level of difficulty (on a scale of one to 100, with lower scores indicating harder to fill) to recruit for a specific occupation based on demand, supply of active candidates, and total population working in it. The ASA Skills Gap Index concentrates on hiring indicator scores of 50 or less for hard-to-fill occupations, with a demand of 2,000 jobs or more. The ASA Skills Gap Index is updated quarterly.

# # #

About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

Related Articles

ASA Workforce MonitorMore than three-quarters of employed U.S. adults (79%) are satisfied with their employers’ pandemic-related return-to-work plans. Download the infographic »

Stay Up-to-Date

Get the latest Covid-19 info & resources for staffing companies.

Follow ASA on the web