Every two years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases new national employment projections for over 800 different occupations. Using this information, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) develops occupational employment projections for Virginia and its regions. To make these numbers more useful to Career and Technical Education (CTE) planners and administrators, who frequently require labor market and employment data to plan programs and to guide students in their career choices, Trailblazers aligns the VEC projection data with the CTE Career Clusters framework.

Data for Virginia and its Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs)


This link will take you to a map to find your Virginia’s Local Workforce Investment Areas.

Files are also available for download in excel format here (including statewide totals and a sortable format for analysis purposes).

Learn more about how Trailblazers matched occupations to CTE Career Clusters.

Each page contains three separate worksheets as follows:

  1. SOC Summary: This worksheet displays the projections by Summary Occupational Group using the BLS Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Data for associated individual occupations are aggregated into ‘minor’ occupational groups, which are then aggregated into ‘major’ occupational groups. Occupations are not assigned to more than one group.
  2. Non-Duplicated (use for labor market projections): This worksheet assigns each occupation to only one CTE career pathway and cluster and should be the only data used for official labor market projection figures. Because employment numbers can be summed across pathways and clusters, the “non-duplicated” worksheet provides a more realistic assessment of overall employment levels within each geographic region. It does not provide a fully rounded picture of the occupational composition of each pathway or cluster because many occupations could reasonably be classified in more than one.
  3. Duplicated (use for career planning): This worksheet assigns some occupations to more than one CTE career pathway and/or cluster and was intended to serve as a career planning tool for students and educators who are interested in seeing all of the occupations that might be open to students who complete programs in a cluster. Because the same occupation may appear more than once throughout the worksheet, employment figures for individual occupations should not be summed within or across pathways or clusters.

Commonwealth of Virginia (Interactive Page)

Not needed for new CTE Course Application

Local Workforce Investment Areas (Interactive Pages)

Understanding Employment Projections Data

An understanding of how employment is projected to change enables educators to anticipate the skills that their students may need when they enter the workforce and to develop programs that meet the demands of the future instead of the demands of the past. The occupational employment projections include five important pieces of information about current and future employment levels:

  • Estimated 2016 Employment: The estimated number of jobs or positions in each occupation in 2016. This is a count of positions, not workers; many people have more than one job.
  • Projected 2026 Employment: The projected number of jobs or positions in each occupation in 2026. Again, this is a count of positions, not workers.
  • Numeric Change 2016-2026: The projected numeric increase or decrease in the number of jobs or positions in each occupation over the decade.
  • Percent Change 2016-2026: The projected percent increase or decrease in the number of jobs or positions in each occupation over the decade. This information helps us compare the rate of employment change across occupations of different sizes.
  • Annual Job Openings: Job opportunities arise in two ways: when employers create new jobs and when workers retire or leave an occupation and need to be replaced by new hires. The VEC projects how many people will be retiring from each occupation over the decade and combines this with the number of new jobs created to predict how many “job openings” will be available each year. Even shrinking occupations often have job openings because employers need to replace with new workers some of the people who leave or retire from a job.

Regional Labor Market Data by Local Workforce Investment Area

2016 Labor Market Data Chart