Unemployment by Occupation Can Vary Significantly by Region

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Chmura Staff

Finding data on the number of unemployed by various occupations and skill levels for most municipalities has been very difficult or even impossible—until now. Even unemployment rates for detailed occupations at the national level are rare to find in published materials. Nothing has been readily and consistently available to analyze unemployment by occupation at the state, MSA, or county level. With this in mind, Chmura’s economists have developed a new model to impute the number of unemployed at the county, MSA, or state level, which can dramatically increase one’s awareness of the occupations and specific types of training programs on which regions need to focus. It also gives economic development professionals and chamber of commerce officials added insight as to where they have sufficient excess labor to meet the demands for industry expansion or contraction.

The results of this analysis speak for themselves. Different occupations exhibit wide variation in their unemployment rates by geographic location. In different areas, the same occupation can either be in high demand or in low demand—shifting the balance of power in wage negotiations and employee retention significantly. The maps below depict the unemployment rate at the county level for three occupations—middle school teachers (25-2022), registered nurses (29-1111) and carpenters (47-2031). Each of these positions requires specialized skills, but each are in very different industries and their employment prospects vary considerably by region. Geography, industry mix, and regional economic outlook all come in to play when examining regional unemployment by occupation.

Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical EducationRegistered NursesCarpentersComputer Support SpecialistsAccountants and Auditors


This blog reflects Chmura staff assessments and opinions with the information available at the time the blog was written.