Filling the Skills Gap

Skills Gap

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Current Skills Gap Misery Index


A reading of 100 or more means the skills gap has widened since December 2000 and a reading of under 100 means it is improving.

The Skills Gap Misery Index is refreshed monthly and calculated by adding the job openings in the JOLT report to the number of Americans in the U-6 Unemployment Rate.

The training challenges ahead are great, but if we are going to retool the U.S. workforce, it will require our finest college instructors looking for ways to make their courses more relevant than ever before.
— Dr. Bill R. Path

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology is a recognized leader in applied technology education providing graduates with the most in-demand skills.

Skills Gap Misery Index Data:

Skills Gap Misery Index Bar Graph December 2000 to March 2018 View larger version of bar graph.
Skills Gap Misery Index 5-Year Line Graph View larger version of line graph.
Date Skills Gap Misery Index
Mar-18 130.6
Feb-18 129.3
Jan-18 130.2
Dec-17 125.1
Nov-17 125.8
Oct-17 125.6
Sept-17 130.3
Aug-17 132.8
July-17 133.0
June-17 132.7
May-17 127.6
Apr-17 131.5
Mar-17 133.1
Feb-17 135.5
Jan-17 137.0
Dec-16 134.2
Nov-16 135.8
Oct-16 137.4
Sept-16 139.9
Aug-16 138.2
Jul-16 141.1
Jun-16 138.1
May-16 138.2
Apr-16 140.1
Mar-16 140.2
Feb-16 138.6
Jan-16 140.0
Dec-15 140.4
Nov-15 138.9
Oct-15 137.2
Sep-15 140.3
Aug-15 142.1
Jul-15 145.1
Jun-15 143.5
May-15 146.6
Apr-15 146.2
Mar-15 145.5
Feb-15 146.6
Jan-15 148.1
Dec-14 146.3
Nov-14 148.1
Oct-14 148.5
Sep-14 149.1
Aug-14 153.6
Jul-14 154.0
Jun-14 151.7
May-14 151.7
Apr-14 152.1
Mar-14 153.3
Feb-14 152.8
Jan-14 151.8
Dec-13 156.0
Nov-13 156.6
Oct-13 162.2
Sep-13 160.1
Aug-13 159.5
Jul-13 160.8
Jun-13 164.7
May-13 160.5
Apr-13 162.3
Mar-13 160.5
Feb-13 166.2
Jan-13 166.0
Dec-12 163.9
Nov-12 164.3
Oct-12 164.0
Sep-12 165.9
Aug-12 164.9
Jul-12 166.3
Jun-12 167.5
May-12 166.8
Apr-12 164.3
Mar-12 164.8
Feb-12 167.0
Jan-12 169.6
Dec-11 168.3
Nov-11 168.7
Oct-11 172.8
Sep-11 178.2
Aug-11 173.1
Jul-11 173.1
Jun-11 173.3
May-11 169.1
Apr-11 172.3
Mar-11 170.3
Feb-11 170.5
Jan-11 171.1
Dec-10 174.7
Nov-10 178.5
Oct-10 175.2
Sep-10 175.1
Aug-10 173.0
Jul-10 172.5
Jun-10 171.2
May-10 174.4
Apr-10 179.8
Mar-10 176.3
Feb-10 174.6
Jan-10 172.9
Dec-09 175.0
Nov-09 174.9
Oct-09 174.6
Sep-09 171.5
Aug-09 170.8
Jul-09 167.2
Jun-09 170.3
May-09 171.0
Apr-09 164.8
Mar-09 166.2
Feb-09 163.6
Jan-09 154.6
Dec-08 151.7
Nov-08 142.8
Oct-08 137.3
Sep-08 129.5
Aug-08 130.6
Jul-08 129.1
Jun-08 124.7
May-08 123.2
Apr-08 117.4
Mar-08 117.7
Feb-08 117.0
Jan-08 120.3
Dec-07 117.1
Nov-07 112.8
Oct-07 112.7
Sep-07 114.1
Aug-07 114.2
Jul-07 113.7
Jun-07 114.2
May-07 112.4
Apr-07 112.4
Mar-07 111.2
Feb-07 111.8
Jan-07 114.5
Dec-06 109.2
Nov-06 111.6
Oct-06 111.2
Sep-06 109.6
Aug-06 112.8
Jul-06 111.3
Jun-06 112.0
May-06 110.7
Apr-06 110.2
Mar-06 111.3
Feb-06 111.5
Jan-06 111.1
Dec-05 112.6
Nov-05 114.1
Oct-05 113.1
Sep-05 115.9
Aug-05 113.9
Jul-05 113.4
Jun-05 114.0
May-05 111.6
Apr-05 113.5
Mar-05 113.6
Feb-05 115.0
Jan-05 113.1
Dec-04 113.9
Nov-04 112.9
Oct-04 118.0
Sep-04 114.4
Aug-04 113.4
Jul-04 116.1
Jun-04 112.8
May-04 115.7
Apr-04 114.1
Mar-04 117.3
Feb-04 114.4
Jan-04 115.9
Dec-03 114.5
Nov-03 116.1
Oct-03 117.1
Sep-03 117.8
Aug-03 116.3
Jul-03 117.8
Jun-03 119.0
May-03 116.0
Apr-03 116.8
Mar-03 114.4
Feb-03 118.5
Jan-03 118.8
Dec-02 112.6
Nov-02 115.4
Oct-02 113.8
Sep-02 112.5
Aug-02 113.5
Jul-02 112.7
Jun-02 111.7
May-02 113.1
Apr-02 113.7
Mar-02 112.8
Feb-02 112.3
Jan-02 113.7
Dec-01 114.7
Nov-01 112.6
Oct-01 112.3
Sep-01 109.6
Aug-01 104.9
Jul-01 104.1
Jun-01 104.2
May-01 102.0
Apr-01 102.7
Mar-01 101.5
Feb-01 103.1
Jan-01 106.2
Dec-00 100.0

The most recent SGMI calculation is based on preliminary numbers provided by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This calculation is subject to change once the final numbers have been posted.

Note from BLS website: With the release of January 2016 data on March 17, job openings, hires, and separations data have been revised from December 2000 forward to incorporate annual updates to the Current Employment Statistics employment estimates and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) seasonal adjustment factors. In addition, all data series are now available on a seasonally adjusted basis. Tables showing the revisions from 2000 through 2015 can be found using this link:

In January 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised data from December 2000 forward to incorporate annual updates to the Current Employment Statistics employment estimates and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) seasonal adjustment factors. The numbers reflected in the SGMI calculations reflect the numbers prior to this update.

Filling the Skills Gap One Graduate at a Time

In its “Bridging the Skills Gap” series, the Tulsa World examines the state’s workforce challenges along with some of the innovative solutions provided by both industry and higher education.

Tulsa World Media Company

The series is a joint effort between the news and editorial sections and includes a column by Associate Editor Mike Jones “OSUIT: The University of Jobs” as well as an op-ed by Dr. Path that frames OSUIT’s critical role in developing the workforce.

OSUIT: The University of Jobs

It’s not Okmulgee Tech, that little school just south of here that teaches auto mechanics, any longer. It hasn’t been for some time.

It’s Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, and it’s one of the best opportunities for young people to obtain skills in an impressive variety of fields...

Read More

Published on Sunday, June 29, 2014 in Tulsa World
By Mike Jones, Assoc. Editor of Tulsa World

How can you get a high-paying, high-skilled job in Oklahoma?

The newest building on the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology campus looks more like a series of repair shops than classrooms.

In each room are lines of tractors, compressors and engines. Instead of the names of past educators on the walls, the rooms are named after industrial giants such as Devon Energy, Koch Industries and Williams...

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Published on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 in Tulsa World
By Kyle Arnold, Business Writer of Tulsa World

Want a better job? Some companies are willing to pay your tuition

Managers at Pryor manufacturer American Castings are thrilled to pay the tuition bills for the 30 employees who took after-hours classes last year.

Human resources manager Lori Nichols said it’s one of the best ways to find the future leaders at the plant and to replace the skilled workers who are retiring...

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Published on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in Tulsa World
By Kyle Arnold, Business Writer of Tulsa World


OSUIT meeting the needs of employers

You may have heard the term “skills gap” used to describe the disparity between those unemployed looking for a job and companies with jobs looking for employees.

According to a 2014 study by CareerBuilder, more than half of the country’s employers have open positions, but cannot find qualified candidates.

At the same time, 39 percent of people under 25 years old are unemployed or underemployed, and 8 percent of people under 25 who have a four-year degree cannot find a job at all...

Read More

Published on Monday, June 30, 2014 in Tulsa World
By Dr. Bill R. Path, OSUIT President