Occupational Projections Definitions

Employment 2016:

The base year of the forecast cycle. Base-year employment estimates are required to develop the employment projections and the base-year employment matrix.

Employment 2026:

The target, or ending, year of the forecast cycle. In order to produce target-year occupational projections, a change factor is developed and applied to each occupation. An occupational staffing pattern is then applied to the projected industry total of each occupation to give a target-year occupational projection.


The difference between the employment in the forecast year and the base year.

Percent Change:

Numeric change divided by the base year employment. This number can be deceptive. A large percentage change does not necessarily mean a large number of jobs. For instance, if the base year for an occupation is 20 and the forecast year shows an increase of 10, it is a 50 percent increase. In reality, it is only 10 jobs.

Labor force exits:

A labor force exit occurs when a worker leaves an occupation, creating a vacancy for another worker to fill.

Occupational transfers:

An occupational transfer occurs when an employee takes a job with a new employer but remains in the same occupation.

Occupational openings, annual average:

The occupational openings are the sum of the growth, exits, and transfers. The annual average is that total divided by the number of years.

Mean Wage:

The estimated total wages for an occupation divided by its weighted survey employment. It is sometimes referred to as the “weighted average.”

Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC):

Alaska’s Occupational Database (ODB) uses the SOC occupational classification system. The SOC system categorizes over 800 occupations into 23 major occupational groups.