Examining Industry Mobility for Occupations

Industry mobility indicates the potential ease of switching industries based on an occupation’s employment share across industries. A mobile occupation is one in which workers can move from one industry to another with relative ease. This is important in designing training programs with skills needed across multiple industries as well as in the event of industry decline or a dislocation event. For example, almost 80% of electricians are employed in the construction sector. A downturn in construction is therefore likely to be a challenge for electricians because they may not be able to find a new job in another industry since such a large majority of employment opportunities for electricians are concentrated in the construction sector.

According to a 2015 Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report, almost one-half (46%) of recent college graduates were underemployed in 2014. The so-called underemployed workers are employed in an occupation below their level of qualification. For example, a graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in economics who is waiting tables or working at a retail store is considered underemployed.