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Labor Market Information Office Service Summary

by Oriane Casale
February 2014

The mission of the Labor Market Information (LMI) Office of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is to collect and deliver high quality data about the state’s economy. Our work supports Minnesota’s businesses, its workforce and economic development system, and the workers of today and tomorrow. We gather, analyze, and disseminate economic data on Minnesota’s business community, workforce, and job market. We also provide key economic indicators, employment projections, and regional and statewide industry and workforce analysis along with information aimed at helping individuals make informed career decisions. We believe that access to high quality, up-to-date labor market information has been instrumental in making Minnesota one of the strongest job markets in America and that it will continue to play an important role in our economic future.

So that we may continually improve the information and services we provide, we regularly summarize related information including customer type, information requested, and satisfaction level. We share this information with you in the hopes that it may be as helpful for you to see how others are using our data or would like to use our data as it is for us in guiding how we can best supply it.

The information contained in the summary comes from several sources:

  • Records of incoming telephone and email requests
  • Web statistics from our Google Analytics web tracking tool
  • Information from our mailing and email subscription lists
  • DEED’s customer satisfaction survey

Information from our 2013 summary is included in this article as well as updates on projects we have undertaken and services we have improved during the past year.

LMI Customers and Information Delivery Methods

The LMI Office offers a number of delivery methods for the data and information we provide. These methods include, but are not limited to:

  • LMI Website : The majority of our customers access information directly from our website at mn.gov/deed/data. We keep our website as up-to-date and complete as possible, so customers know that they are getting the most current labor market information available for Minnesota. Almost all of the releasable data and information that we produce are made available on our website.  In November 2013 the DEED website was redesigned and moved to a new platform. This means that web customer traffic data are no longer available prior to December 2013. Therefore, this article reports web traffic data for December 2013 only.
  • Analyst Services : Our telephone and email Helpline service assists customers in finding and understanding LMI data and information by providing direct access to our analysts. Analysts also provide presentations and training sessions, many geared toward workforce and economic development professionals, to a wide range of audiences. Consultation services and data extraction and analysis are also available on a fee-for-service basis. The Helpline can be reached by telephone during normal business hours at 888-234-1114 or 651-259-7384 or via email at deed.lmi@state.mn.us
  • Electronic Notifications : Customers who want to know when publications and data are updated can subscribe to RSS feeds, which are available at the bottom of every page on the DEED website - mn.gov/deed. These provide notification to subscribers whenever LMI data and publications are updated.
  • Direct Mailing List : This list is for customers who want to receive one or more copies of Minnesota Economic Trends in the mail every quarter or Minnesota Employment Review each month.

Table 1 provides a snapshot of customer contacts we made over the past year. The majority of LMI customers accessed information from our website, but a significant minority received LMI services through other means.

Table 1

LMI Customers by Information Delivery Method, 2013

Type of Contact

Contacts

Number of Customers

Website – December 2013 only

20,847
page views

16,152
unique page views

Telephone, email, mail requests

2,078
Contacts

2,078
Contacts

Presentations and trainings

169
presentations/trainings

4,561
audience members

Publications subscribers

4,280
publications sent

1,070
subscribers

Source: DEED LMI Office, various sources

In addition to counting the number of contacts we have with customers throughout the year, we also keep an eye on the type of organizations the users of our data represent. This allows us to shape our information production better for our customers. In 2013 our top customer groups were WorkForce Center staff, the media, and private businesses.  Other groups included non-profits, schools, colleges and universities, Workforce Service Area staff, and council members and economic developers.

LMI Customer Satisfaction

The customer satisfaction findings in the tables are from the survey period from April 2012 to March 2013. They represent two user groups: employers who posted job orders and employers who were visited by DEED business service representatives. 

The customer satisfaction results presented in Table 2 are good overall but certainly leave room for improvement.

Table 2

Customer Satisfaction

Results from the DEED-Wide Customer Satisfaction Survey: April 2012 through
March 2013 Survey Period

Employers that
posted job orders

Employers visited by Business Services

Minnesota Customer Satisfaction Index, 0 to 100 scale

76.5

79.7

Question

Response*

Response*

Did you get this information by telephone or email, through the internet, through a publication, or by another method?

3% Phone
3% Email
81% Internet
5% Publication
8% Other

0% Phone
16% Email
68% Internet
2% Publication
14% Other

How satisfied are you with the time it took us to respond to your telephone call or email? Are you:  very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

100% Very Satisfied
0% Satisfied

86% Very Satisfied
14% Satisfied
0% Dissatisfied
0% Very Dissatisfied

How easy was it to find the labor market information you needed? Was it: very easy, somewhat easy, somewhat difficult, or very difficult?

38% Very Easy
41% Somewhat Easy
16% Somewhat Difficult
5% Very Difficult

44% Very Easy
50% Somewhat Easy
6% Somewhat Difficult
0% Very Difficult

How satisfied are you that the information was presented in a clear and understandable manner? Are you: very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

42% Very Satisfied
53% Satisfied
3% Dissatisfied
3% Very Dissatisfied

43% Very Satisfied
55% Satisfied
3% Dissatisfied
0% Very Dissatisfied

How well did the information meet your needs? Very well, well, not very well, or not at all?

37%Very Well
58% Well
5% Not Very Well
0% Not At All

33% Very Well
60% Well
8% Not Very Well
0% Not at all

*The most frequent response (mode) is in italic.


Based on these findings and our overall impressions from talking with customers, the biggest area of concern is website navigation: Of the group that was most likely to use the internet to access LMI, employers who were surveyed because they placed a job order in the MinnesotaWorks.net  job bank, 22 percent had difficulty finding what they were looking for. This group was by far most likely to attempt to access LMI on the internet. There are two things to know about this: first these findings reflect only on the old DEED website, which was replaced in November 2013. Second, as discussed in the next section, improving our section of the new DEED website is at the top of our list for 2014.

There is also room to improve the way we present our information in terms of understandability and clarity. This is an ongoing effort, and we will add usability testing to our toolkit in 2014. We hope that this will further improve the overall understandability and clarity of our presentation. 

As we know from previous years, wages and salaries are the most heavily demanded information that we produce (Table 3). The greatest share of employer customers uses our information for wage and salary decision and business planning (Table 4).


Table 3

Types of labor market information received

Category

Employers -
Business Services

Employers -
Job Orders*

Wages, Salary, Earnings, Pay

49%

77%

Employee Benefits

7%

0%

Unemployment Rate Information

14%

21%

Occupational Staffing Patterns

4%

0%

Affirmative Action

4%

3%

Job Vacancy Statistics/Market Conditions

9%

0%

Employment Projections/Future Outlook

7%

0%

Other

6%

0%



Table 4

How do customers use the information?

Category

Employers -
Business Services

Employers -
 Job Orders

Worker Availability

13%

7%

Wage and Salary Decisions

42%

48%

Business Planning

17%

19%

Research/Report Preparation

16%

17%

Other

13%

9%


Accomplishments in 2013

  • Skills Gap Survey : In 2013 we conducted the second and third rounds of our Skills Gap survey, which gathers information on current vacancies within occupations that have been identified as potentially facing a shortage of skilled workers. The study aims to discover how common hiring difficulties are in the state, the reasons for these hiring difficulties, and what problems they might pose for our labor market. The second and third rounds focused on information technology and skilled production occupations. The multi-industry report can be found at mn.gov/deed/images/SecondRoundReportSkillsGap.pdf
  • Minimum Wage : The Minnesota legislature debated a minimum wage increase in 2012 and will again take up the issue during the 2013 legislative session. We have published two articles, one each in Trends and Minnesota Employment Review, provided presentations, and filled numerous requests on this topic to help inform the discussion in Minnesota. 
  • Website : As you have probably noticed, DEED’s website was overhauled and moved to a new platform in November 2013. We are still catching up with the resulting workload but plan to spend a good deal of effort in 2014 redesigning and improving the LMI portion of the website in terms of organization, navigation, usability, and functionality. 

We always welcome comments and feedback on our products and services. You can contact us at DEED.lmi@state.mn.us or telephone us at our helpline:
651-259-7384.

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