Data and analysis tools to support regional competitiveness in a knowledge-based economy. An EDA project.

Benefits to Practitioners

Occupation clusters help to:

  • Analyze the regional knowledge-based workforce in greater detail.

  • Determine how well occupation cluster strengths align with the region’s industry cluster strengths.

  • Understand the local workforce and educational situation within the broader regional economic development context.

  • Bridge the gap between workforce and economic development when constructing a regional economic development strategy.

  • Diagnose how well positioned the region is to participate effectively in a knowledge-based innovation economy.

Innovation Index

index graphic The Index helps you understand your region's innovation performance and potential

Cluster Analysis

Explore 15 knowledge-based occupation clusters and 17 industry clusters to uncover regional strengths

Investment Analysis

Understand the regional development process and access tools to help guide public investment decisions

Occupation Cluster Data: Why It's Useful

Occupation cluster analysis is a relatively new approach in regional development that focuses on the knowledge, skills and abilities of the individuals who work in certain jobs.

Working with occupational data can quickly become overwhelming, so to simplify analysis and aid in understanding, the tool focuses on 15 knowledge-based occupation clusters. This provides fast insights into the talent base that drives a local or regional economy. With this tool, economic development professionals can begin to structure effective collaborations with businesses managers, educators, and workforce development professionals.

Example 1: Identify the Fastest Growing Occupations in a Region

The table below looks at a region in Indiana and identifies those occupations with the strongest percentage change and the largest increase in the number of jobs from 2001 to 2007. Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes had the largest percentage change, but that occupational segment is relatively small. Photographers represent the largest growth category in absolute terms, with 99 new jobs added in that occupational category.

This type of analysis is useful in a number of different ways. By understanding the dynamics of growth within an occupation cluster, an economic development professional can communicate more effectively with educators and workforce development professionals to build a talent pipeline needed to support businesses within the region.

Fast Growing Occupations in the Arts, Entertainment, Publishing and Broadcasting Cluster in Indiana Economic Growth Region 11
Arts, Entertainment, Publishing and Broadcasting Cluster Fastest Growing Occupations 2001 Cluster Jobs 2007 Cluster Jobs Change,
Percent Change,
Total Arts and Entertainment Cluster 3,095 3,348 253 8.2%
Agents & business managers of artists, performers, and athletes 19 25 6 31.6%
Writers and authors 272 346 74 27.2%
Multi-media artists and animators 76 95 19 25.0%
Set and exhibit designers 28 35 7 25.0%
Choreographers 12 15 3 25.0%
Radio operators 4 5 1 25.0%
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators 71 88 17 23.9%
Fashion designers 28 34 6 21.4%
Interior designers 51 61 10 19.6%
Music directors and composers 137 163 26 19.0%
Art directors 84 99 15 17.9%
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers 28 33 5 17.9%
Photographers 606 705 99 16.3%
Musicians and singers 225 249 24 10.7%
Camera operators, television, video, and motion picture 10 11 1 10.0%
Interpreters and translators 95 104 9 9.5%
Camera and photographic equipment repairers 11 12 1 9.1%
Graphic designers 274 295 21 7.7%
Editors 118 127 9 7.6%
Desktop publishers 73 78 5 6.8%
Musical instrument repairers and tuners 15 16 1 6.7%

Example 2: Identifying “Clusters of Opportunity”

Occupation cluster analysis can help identify which clusters of occupations provide the best opportunities for investment and which occupation clusters show a competitive skills advantage in the region.

The table below shows employment growth by cluster, the 2007 location quotient for the cluster and the percent change in the location quotient between 2001 and 2007 in Indiana Economic Growth Region 11. Twelve occupation clusters showed an increase in employment. Only the skilled production workers cluster had a location quotient higher than 1.2, indicating a concentration of such workers within the region compared to the United States overall.

However, the health care and medical science cluster not only had the highest rate of growth in employment, but had a location quotient of 1.04—an increase of just over 6 percent since 2001. This occupation cluster merits a closer look by policymakers and economic development professionals, and should likely be compared with the regional industry clusters to discern needs for expanded training and development of the skills embedded in the clusters.

Occupation Clusters of Opportunity in EGR 11
Occupation Cluster Employment Growth, 2001-2007 2007 LQ Change in LQ
Health Care and Medical Science 14.6% 1.04 6.1%
Building, Landscape, and Construction Design 10.9% 0.72 7.5%
Arts, Entertainment, Publishing, and Broadcasting 8.2% 0.63 3.3%
Public Safety and Domestic Security 6.4% 0.69 3.0%
Postsecondary Education and Knowledge Creation 6.3% 0.64 -3.0%
Natural Sciences and Environmental Management 5.0% 0.78 1.3%
Skilled Production Workers: Technicians, Operators, Trades, Installers, and Repairers 4.6% 1.38 1.5%
Primary/Secondary and Vocational Education, Remediation, and Social Services 4.0% 0.84 0.0%
Managerial, Sales, Marketing, and HR 3.4% 0.72 -1.4%
Legal and Financial Services, and Real Estate 2.0% 0.78 -6.0%
Information Technology 1.4% 0.48 2.1%
Personal Services 0.2% 0.84 -8.7%