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ASA Skills Gap Index Identifies 172 Hard-to-Fill Jobs

Top 10 List of Occupations Difficult to Fill

The American Staffing Association’s Skills Gap Index identified 172 hard-to-fill occupations in the U.S. for the 12 months ended June 2015, with the 10 most difficult being

  1. Occupational therapists
  2. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  3. Speech-language pathologists
  4. Photographic process workers and processing machine operators
  5. Physical therapists
  6. Occupational therapy assistants
  7. Family and general practitioners
  8. Microbiologists
  9. Surgeons
  10. Nurse practitioners

During the past quarter, microbiologists and surgeons moved into the top 10 list of hardest-to-fill positions, displacing merchandise displayers and window trimmers, and physician assistants.

“Demand for staffing and recruiting services continues to grow as labor markets tighten and companies place a higher strategic focus on talent as a key business differentiator,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Partnering with staffing and recruiting firms to develop and implement new and more effective workforce solutions helps companies more successfully source qualified talent and narrow their skills gaps.”

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.

Methodology Update
The algorithms used in calculating the hiring indicator values have been adjusted throughout this year.

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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

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