Bird-dogging Joy with Our New Future Job Outlook Index (JOI) for Career Planning

Have you heard of some of the newest job classifications, like “Gateway Jobs” or “Vulnerable Jobs”? These terms have been growing in popularity and serve as a great reference point to help individuals understand the future outlook and potential risks as they are exploring job and career options for the future.

I’ve recently been exploring ways to give job seekers important information about jobs they’re interested in to help them better understand the data behind different career paths. I’ve been focused on three main types of job classifications:

  • Vulnerable Jobs
  • Gateway Jobs
  • Bright Outlook Jobs

For instance, if a person is searching for any job they can find, because they’re out of work and in need of a paycheck, they might not be as concerned if they’re getting into a job that could be eliminated due to automation in the next five to ten years. But, if they’re looking for a new career path, especially one that requires an investment in education and/or training, the long-term outlook for that job is very likely a bigger concern.

As I was looking at how we might put these concepts into practice in PAIRIN’s products, I realized that surfacing this data could be beneficial for people who are making policies or need to think about how to give advice to individuals or groups of people seeking jobs.

Vulnerable Jobs

Vulnerable Jobs are classified based on the percentage of tasks for that job that could be automated or replaced with some sort of artificial intelligence. As that percentage goes up, it can affect how that job is likely to be handled in the future, from being eliminated or reduced, to there being new tools for individuals in those jobs.

These jobs provide a better pathway from lower-paying jobs with low mobility into higher-paying, better opportunities. Many job seekers may not have academic achievements or formal education such as a Bachelor’s degree that are traditionally needed for certain jobs or careers but have alternative skills and certifications. So, for them, Gateway Jobs provide an opportunity with more upward mobility into stronger, final destinations on their career journeys.

Bright Outlook Jobs

Another job designation that people have watched pretty closely for quite a while has been what O*NET and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) call “Bright Outlook Jobs.” These jobs are based on expectations of rapid growth in the field and lots of job openings, making them particularly interesting to job seekers. Traditionally, they’ve only been presented as a dichotomous flag of “Bright Outlook” or not. A better way for job seekers and policymakers to look at these jobs would be to put them on a continuum to answer the question  “how bright is this job?”

Creating Data Indexing

If one were to generate a “Bright Outlook Index,” it would be a mathematical combination of standardized, rapid-growth and job openings data from the BLS. One challenge of the information that a Bright Outlook Index might generate is that it would not take into account the potential of a job to be automated in the future. So, it could be possible that a job could be considered a Bright Outlook Job but also be in danger of being automated or at risk of being dramatically changed. So, I generated a new index!

Introducing the PAIRIN Job Outlook Index (JOI)

This new index includes the influence of automation potential to represent the significant danger to people in those jobs being forced to search for a new job or face significant retraining. It is known as the PAIRIN Job Outlook Index or “JOI” for short, drawing a connection to PAIRIN’s value of “Bird-Dog Joy” since we’ve figured out a cool insight for you and we’re bringing it back to you like a happy bird dog! You can explore the data as a national aggregate, or I’ve also created individual state data for five states (Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Virginia) and hope to build out more over time. You can find those states as additional data sheets to the left of the report.

Additionally, you can slice and dice data on Career Clusters, Career Pathways, individual jobs levels, as well as the ability to drill down through any of those levels. The three drop-down menus at the top of the tool allow you to select what you want to see in the table below. Just above the table, there are three dots and two arrows. The three dots allow you to do a number of things like downloading the data you generate, reset everything, drill up or down and sort the data. You can also drill up and down with the arrows and sort by clicking on the headers of each column. I hope you enjoy it and get a lot of use out of it as you work with individuals exploring new career paths. I always love to hear feedback, so please reach out to share your ideas, what you learned from the tool and if you have a state that you’d like to see become a part of the tool!