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The Skills Gap Report: US vs UK

the skills gap report: us vs. uk


The Skills Gap Report: US vs UK

Despite there being millions of job opportunities across various professions, countries such as the US and the UK still experience a shortage of skilled workers. 

In an attempt to combat the shortage of skilled workers – much like many other countries – both the US and the UK governments have made immigration laws easier in order to encourage more skilled workers from around the world to come and work for them. 

According to research, some of the most in-demand occupations in the United States currently include healthcare practitioners, software engineers and developers, and Physicians. With many jobs up for grabs, it begs the question – which US states offer the best job opportunities and how does this compare to the UK? 

To find out, we delved deeper into the government immigration websites for the US and the UK to reveal which employment skills are lacking the most in both these countries. We also took a closer look at which states have the most job vacancies by industry demand in order to make the job search process that little bit easier. 

Highest-Paying Skilled Worker Jobs in the US

  1. Physician Assistant

Annual salary: $104,860 

In the United States, the highest paying shortage occupation is a Physician Assistant. According to research, the job opportunities for this role are expected to increase by 31% in the next ten years, hence its increase in demand. The annual salary for this role is $104,860.  

  1. Nurse practitioner

Annual salary: $103,880

Nurse practitioners come in second place with an annual salary of $103,880. There is expected to be a massive increase of 46% in new job opportunities being added to the economy by 2031. 

  1. Mathematician

Annual salary: $103,010 

Mathematicians rank in third place with an annual salary of $103,010. Research suggests that the projected growth of employment in math-related occupations is set to be 29% between 2021-2031. This is particularly faster than the average of many other occupations.

Most Desired Jobs in the US by Industry 

  1. Education and health services

Number of vacancies (Nov. 2022): 2,090,000

The education and health services industry tops the list as the sector with the most job vacancies in the United States. As of November 2022, there were approximately over 2 million jobs available in this industry. 

  1. Professional and business services

Number of vacancies (Nov. 2022): 2,026,000

There is no denying that the US has seen strong job growth over the last few years. What’s more, the professional and business services sector has aided this growth as it is one of the largest private-sector employers among office based industries. Hence, it is no surprise that this industry follows closely behind in second place. This sector had a total of 2,026,000 job vacancies towards the end of 2022. 

  1. Health care and social assistance

Number of vacancies (Nov. 2022): 1,937,000

Health care and social assistance ranks in third place with a total of 1,937,000 job vacancies by the fourth quarter of last year. This is unsurprising as this sector has proven to be one of the most desired globally. 

The Biggest Job Opportunities in the US

  1. Real estate and rental and leasing 

November 2021: 119,000

November 2022: 170,000

% YoY Difference (Nov 2021-2022): 42.86%

There have been several jobs that have grown in job opportunities in the last year, but the real estate and rental and leasing sector takes the lead in the US. This industry has seen an increase of a whopping 42.86% from November 2021 (119,000) to November 2022 (170,000). 

  1. Mining and logging

November 2021: 35,000

November 2022: 40,000

% YoY Difference (Nov 2021-2022): 14.29%

The mining and logging industry comes in second place. One of the oldest industries in the country, this sector increased from 35,000 to 40,000 in one year which highlights a difference of 14.29%. 

  1. Information Technology

November 2021: 193,000

November 2022: 211,000

% YoY Difference (Nov 2021-2022): 9.33%

Consisting of jobs such as a software developer or a business analyst, the information industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors and one of the biggest influencers in the US global economy. 

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this industry continues to experience growth in job opportunities. As of November 2022, the information sector grew by 9.33% in comparison to the previous year.

US States with the Fastest Growing Job Opportunities 

  1. Louisiana

% YoY Difference (Nov 2021-2022): 31.39%

Louisiana ranks first place as the US state growing with the most job opportunities. Dubbed the ‘pelican state’, Louisiana saw an increase of 31.39% in its rate of job openings, going from 137,000 available jobs to 180,000 in one year. 

  1. Delaware

% YoY Difference (Nov 2021-2022): 20.00%

In second place is Delaware, despite being a small Mid-Atlantic US state, Delaware has experienced a rise in growing job opportunities. The diamond state has gone from 30,000 openings to 36,000 as of November 2022. This highlights a 20% increase in job availability. 

  1. Wisconsin

% YoY Difference (Nov 2021-2022): 18.10%

Wisconsin takes third place with a growth of 18.10% from November 2021-2022. Nicknamed ‘the badger state,’ the job opportunities in Wisconsin have risen by an impressive 40,000 job openings, going from 221,000 to 261,000. 

Highest-Paying Skilled Worker Jobs in the UK

  1. Medical practitioners

Pay per hour: £21.55

Annual salary: £44,765

The UK has many in-demand shortage occupations that offer decent pay. As expected, medical practitioners top the list as part of the most desired jobs in the country with an annual salary of approximately £44,765. This equates to an estimated £21.55 per hour.  

  1. Health professionals

Pay per hour: £20.89

Annual salary: £40,736

Health professionals are also high in demand in the UK. As the number of vacancies in the healthcare sector increases, there has been a growth in job opportunities across the country. It’s therefore no surprise that it is a highly sought-after role. The annual salary rate for health professionals is around £40,736 which is £20.89 per hour. 

  1. Physiotherapists

Pay per hour: £19.49

Annual salary: £38,001

Much like many other health and social care-related roles, there is also a high demand for physiotherapists. At present, the annual salary for this shortage occupation is estimated to be around £38,001 on average which is around £19.49 per hour. 

Most Desired Jobs in the UK by Industry 

  1. Human health & social work activities

Number of vacancies (Oct-Dec 2022): 206,000

When it comes to vacancies in the UK, the human health and social work activities industry takes the top spot. This comes as no surprise as health care is one of the most in-demand jobs globally. By the fourth quarter of 2022, this sector had approximately 206,000 vacancies. 

  1. Accommodation & food service activities

Number of vacancies (Oct-Dec 2022): 149,000

In second place is accommodation and food service activities. Between October and December 2022, this sector had around 149,000 vacancies. 

  1. Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 

Number of vacancies (Oct-Dec 2022): 146,000

The wholesale & retail trade industry follows behind in third. Primarily related to the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, by the end of last year, this sector has a total of 146,000 vacancies. 

The Biggest Job Opportunities in the UK

  1. Public admin & defence; compulsory social security

October – December 2021: 32,000

October – December 2022: 41,000

% YoY Difference: 28.1%

Public admin & defence ranks in first place as the industry with the most growth opportunities in the UK. This sector has in fact increased by 28.1% when it comes to the number of jobs available, going from 32,000 in 2021 to 41,000 a year later. 

  1. Education 

October – December 2021: 66,000

October – December 2022: 76,000

% YoY Difference: 15.2%

Next up is the education industry. The number of job opportunities in this sector grew by 15.2%. Offering 10,000 new jobs in just one year, education-related jobs went from 66,000 vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 76,000 by the next year. 

  1. Motor Trades 

October – December 2021: 22,000

October – December 2022: 25,000

% YoY Difference: 13.64%

The motor trades industry ranks in third place with a year-on-year increase of 13.64%. By the end of 2022, this sector had a total of 25,000 job opportunities, 3,000 more than the year before.


To find out which occupations are most desired in the UK, US and other countries we looked at various government immigration websites including, GOV.UK, and more. 

For the healthcare-related jobs we specifically looked at national pay scales on the NHS website as well as the NHS pay rates. We also sourced some of the average annual salaries from to get the UK average for specific jobs in the healthcare industry. 

Vacancies by industry were found using sources such as ONS and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This took into account the number of vacancies in each industry. We used the latest available data sets for each country’s statistics.  

Data for the number of job openings by state can also be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Rankings were either based on the highest-paying shortage occupations or the industries with the most vacancies.

Team Lensa
Team Lensa
Team Lensa is a group of HR specialists, career counselors, and tech enthusiasts dedicated to helping job seekers navigate the employment landscape through actionable tips and insights.

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