10 Hardest-to-Fill Jobs in the United States

The American Staffing Association’s (ASA’s) Skills Gap Index has identified the hardest-to-fill occupations in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2016. Here are the top 10 most difficult jobs to fill according to the Gap Index.

  1. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  2. General internists
  3. Podiatrists
  4. Psychiatrists
  5. Physician assistants
  6. Merchandise displayers and window trimmers
  7. Obstetricians and gynecologists
  8. Surgeons
  9. Occupational therapists
  10. Nurse practitioners

Physician assistants, obstetricians, and gynecologists, and nurse practitioners moved into the top 10 list of hardest-to-fill positions. Health care continues to dominate the list with eight of the 10 most difficult-to-fill occupations falling within that sector.

Occupational therapist assistants, physical therapists, and family and general practitioners slipped below the top 10 because of methodology changes. The rankings are based on CareerBuilder supply and demand data.

“More than fifteen million people in the U.S. are unemployed, including those marginally attached to the labor force, or are working part time for economic reasons, yet there are still nearly six million job openings going unfilled,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer, in a release of the findings. “Staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions companies are helping businesses strategically recruit and retain talent by using the ASA Skills Gap Index to ensure they are paying wages that are competitive based on regional variations and current skills shortages.”

The ASA Skills Gap Index was established by the ASA, 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 2,000 jobs or more to determine the top hard to fill occupations, now based on a 1-month snapshot of data. The ASA Skills Gap Index is updated quarterly.


In September 2016, CareerBuilder implemented new guidelines for its supply and demand data methodology and salary data inputs, significantly changing hiring indicator scores and the number of hard to fill occupations.

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