ASA Skills Gap Index: Top Hard-to-Fill Jobs by Sector


Most Difficult-to-Fill Occupations in Each Sector

The American Staffing Association Skills Gap Index has identified the 156 hardest-to-fill occupations in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of 2017. The two most difficult-to-fill jobs in each staffing industry sector are

Engineering, information technology, and scientific

  • Computer and information research scientists
  • Information security analysts

Health care

  • Psychiatrists
  • Internists, general


  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Food service managers

Office–clerical and administrative

  • First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
  • Repair shop or parts store salespeople


  • Tax preparers
  • Sales engineers

While all 10 of these occupations were among the list of 170 hardest-to-fill jobs nationwide in the last ASA Skills Gap Index report, five of the 10—information security analysts, psychiatrists, general internists, food service managers, and tax preparers—are new to the list of top two hardest-to-fill jobs per sector.

“With the unemployment rate at the lowest level in more than 17 years, companies are struggling to fill vacancies,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Equipped with deep expertise and important tools like the ASA Skills Gap Index, staffing and recruiting companies stand ready to help businesses fill their flexible and permanent talent needs in an ever tightening labor market.”

The ASA Skills Gap Index was established by the American Staffing Association, using a hiring indicator developed by ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder. The hiring indicator measures the level of difficulty (on a scale of one to 100, with lower scores indicating harder to fill) to fill a specific occupation based on demand, supply of active candidates, and all individuals working in that occupation. The ASA Skills Gap Index concentrates on hiring indicator scores of 50 or less with a demand of more than 2,000 jobs to determine the top hard-to-fill occupations, now based on a one-month snapshot of data. The ASA Skills Gap Index is updated twice a year, after the second and fourth quarters.

For more information about the American Staffing Association Skills Gap Index, visit You can also follow ASA on Twitter.

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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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