The 10 cities with the widest skills gaps

Three are in California

There's been a lot of talk lately about the nationwide skills gaps reported by employers.

But that national-level conversation obscures the fact that the severity and type of skills gaps vary from city to city. According to a recent analysis by LinkedIn, some cities are more in need of skilled workers than others, and the particular skills in demand also change based on location. 

LinkedIn researchers decided to focus on the 50 largest U.S. cities. For each, researchers investigated the skills listed on the profiles of LinkedIn users who had started working a new job during the past year. LinkedIn classified these skills as "in-demand." Then, researchers compared those in-demand skills with the skills listed for all users in the region, looking for skills that were in demand but also relatively rare.

The report reveals some results that could be surprising. For the cities on the list with strong connections to specific industries—for example, finance in New York, technology in San Francisco, or politics in D.C.—those are not the skills that are in most demand. Instead, these cities need teachers, health care management professionals, among other skills not typically associated with those regions.

LinkedIn found that 10 cities with the most severe skills gaps are:

  1. San Francisco/ Bay Area, California
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Houston, Texas
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Los Angeles, California
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. New York City, New York
  8. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  9. Boston, Massachusetts
  10. San Diego, California

For the cities with the largest skills gaps, the most in-demand skills are:

San Francisco/Bay Area, California:

  1. Health care management
  2. Sales
  3. Education and teaching

Washington, D.C.:

  1. Health care management
  2. Sales
  3. Retail store operations

Houston, Texas:

  1. Building construction
  2. Graphic design
  3. Marketing event management

Health care management was an in-demand skill across the board. Here's how you can prepare students for these careers

(Kauflin, Forbes, 3/12; "Workforce Report,", 3/7).


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