Mapping job opportunities

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Like politics, all employment opportunity trends in the veterinary field are local. So suggests a mapping exercise that plots the job applicants for each veterinarian job listing posted on the AVMA’s Veterinary Career Center in 2016. The resulting map provides a look at the localized character of veterinary labor markets.

Veterinary Career Center applicants per Veterinarian job listing, 2016 Number of job applicants. Source: Based on a map in the 2017 AVMA Report on the Market for Veterinarians (Click to enlarge)

The bigger the circle in the accompanying map, the more applicants there were for each job listing, explains Charlotte Hansen, a statistical analyst in the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division. "This map shows tightness of the labor market," she observes, noting that there was an increase in VCC job listings and a drop in the number of applicants per listing over the year analyzed.

In looking at the data, Hansen cautions that "employers who post from one location for positions that are available in other places in the country have not been weeded out of the analysis." In some instances, job locations might reflect the locale of the job poster, rather than the actual job, she says. Nonetheless, Hansen suggests that veterinarians seeking work remain mindful of variations in opportunities among job markets across the nation. "There are a lot of jobs out there compared to job seekers," she says. "If I was a job seeker, I’d look for work in the states where there aren’t as many applicants for jobs available."

Barbara Dutton is a senior content writer for the AVMA Marketing and Communications Division.