Demand Remains Strong for Middle Skills

National Skills Coalition’s newly updated middle-skill facts sheets demonstrate that demand for middle-skill jobs continues to remain strong in the fifty states. Middle-skill jobs, which require education or training beyond high school but not a bachelor’s degree, make up the largest share of the labor market in the United States overall, and in every state.

NSC’s state-by-state fact sheets show the current and projected demand for middle-skill jobs, as well as the gap between the number of middle-skill jobs and the number of workers trained for these jobs.

Employers looking to fill these middle-skill positions often voice concerns about their ability to find sufficiently trained workers. At the same time, limited access to skills training keeps too many people from filling good paying jobs that they can use to support their families. In 2015, middle-skill jobs accounted for 53 percent of the U.S. labor market, but only 43 percent of the country’s workers were trained to the middle-skill level.

This middle-skill gap keeps employers from hiring and workers from finding family sustaining jobs, stifling economic growth.

States can respond to these issues by adopting a set of policies that expand equitable access to middle-skill training, credentials, and careers – particularly for those who have faced barriers to economic opportunity. These “skills equity” policies are intended to remove barriers that, if addressed, will make it easier for low-income people to access and complete middle-skill training that leads to an in-demand credential, career pathway, and family-supporting job.

Find out more and download your state’s middle-skill fact sheet here.