Labor Market Information Office Service Summary

by Nick Dobbins
March 2013

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 labor market information. 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 helpful for you in using our information as it is for us in guiding how we can best supply it.

The information contained in the summary comes from several sources, including:

• 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 2012 summary is included in this article along with 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.

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, primarily 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 : We have two active email lists, both of which can be found at mn.gov/deed/data/talk-to-experts/. Subscribers to the LMI Data and Publications list receive a brief monthly newsletter with Web links to newly available data and information. Subscribers to the LMI Releases for News Media list receive a message when we release a noteworthy piece of data. The agency also recently introduced RSS feeds, which provide notification to subscribers whenever LMI data and publications are updated. You can sign up for the feeds at: mn.gov/deed/newscenter/rss/

Direct Mailing List : This list is for customers who want to receive publications and brochures that are available in print.

Table 1 provides a snapshot of customer contacts we made over the past year. Overall, the LMI Office had more than 371,000 customers and made about 550,000 contacts with these customers in 2012. The majority of these were Web customers, but a significant minority received LMI services through other means.

Table 1

LMI Customers by Information Delivery Method, 2012

Type of Contact

Contacts in 2012

Number of Customers

Website

505,126
pageviews

358,979
unique pageviews

Telephone, email, mail requests*

1,825
Contacts

1,825
Contacts

Presentations and trainings*

139
presentations/trainings

6,270
audience members

LMI Data and Publications email list

32,944
newsletters sent

2,059
subscribers

LMI Releases for News Media email list

1,140
press notices sent

114
subscribers

Publications subscribers

8,504
publications sent

2,096
subscribers

* Partially estimated because of incomplete records
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 understand the needs of our customers better so that we can better shape our information production efforts in the future. In 2012, as in previous years, a strong plurality of our information requests and contacts came from private businesses in the state. Other top customer groups included Minnesota state government employees, Workforce Service Area staff and council members, schools, local and county governments, and economic development agencies.

Online Labor Market Information

The LMI Office produces a range of data and informational products on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. These products include industry and occupational employment and wage data, unemployment data, job openings data, long-term employment projections, short-term employment forecasts, and articles and analysis on a wide range of labor market topics. The most common way for customers to access the products we provide is through our website. This section addresses the types of informational products our customers accessed there in 2012.

The top LMI web pages in 2012, based on number of pageviews, were our Current Economic Highlights page and our publications, Minnesota Employment Review and Minnesota Economic Trends. Those three products had a combined total of 122,526 pageviews. Our most popular tools last year were the Job Skills Transfer Assessment Tool (JobSTAT), which allows users to match their skills with existing job openings, and Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), also known as The Salary Survey, which provides statewide and regional wage data for specific occupations. Those tools combined for a total of 20,622 pageviews. Table 2 summarizes this information.

Table 2

Top 10 LMI Web Publications and Data Tools, 2012

LMI Product

Pageviews

Current Economic Highlights

55,225

Review

36,624

Trends

30,677

Green Jobs Page

20,372

MN Workforce Facts

13,020

Occupational Employment Statistics

11,012

Job Skills Transfer Assessment Tool (JobSTAT)

9,610

Occupations In Demand

8,470

Employment Outlook

3,016

Job Vacancy Survey

2,779

Source: Google Analytics data

In recent years we have moved away from print publications and toward providing our range of products on the Internet. The main driver for this approach is cost savings, but it also improves timeliness by allowing data and analysis to be made available almost instantly on our website. However, because we know that many of our customers want to be able to manipulate the data or print out articles to read at their leisure, we also try to make all material available for download either in Excel tables if it is purely data or in PDF format if it involves large amounts of text.

LMI Customer Satisfaction

Each year we look closely at the results from DEED’s Customer Satisfaction Survey. In past years a separate survey was given to two separate groups of customers — job seekers and employers. However, this year the questions related to LMI services were only asked of employers. Table 3 summarizes the questions and responses from employers who sought labor market information such as salary or wage statistics, industry statistics, or unemployment statistics from DEED.

Table 3

LMI and Career Information Customer Satisfaction Survey Results from Employers

Question

Employers’ Response

How satisfied are you that the information was presented in a clear and understandable manner?

52% Very Satisfied
48% Satisfied

0% Dissatisfied
0% Very Dissatisfied

How well did the information meet your needs?

44% Very Well
54% Well

2% Not Very Well
0% Not at all

How easy was it to find the labor market information
you needed?

38% Very Easy
43% Somewhat Easy

15% Somewhat Difficult
4% Very Difficult

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

9% Phone
14% E-mail
54% Internet
13% Publication

10% Other
0% Don’t Know

How satisfied are you with the time it took to respond to
your telephone call or email?

85% Very Satisfied
15% Satisfied

0% Dissatisfied
0% Very Dissatisfied

Note: Survey covers time period from April 2011 through March 2012.
Source: DEED Customer Satisfaction Survey

Accomplishments and Changes in 2012

We have several noteworthy advances to report in 2012.

Online Updates : In 2010 the DEED website went through a complete overhaul. Access to older issues of Economic Trends and Employment Review were temporarily missing from the new site in 2011, but they have been restored and are currently available on our site. A searchable archive of publications has also recently been made available, and a link to that archive can be found at: mn.gov/deed/newscenter/publications/

Workforce Assessments : 2012 also saw DEED taking part in a Workforce Assessment initiative in partnership with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The assessments were based on a series of listening sessions with Minnesota businesses in a variety of industries, including Agriculture, Energy, Health Care, and Transportation, about their workforce needs. The goal of the assessments is to help MnSCU better align program offerings with the stated needs of employers in order to assure that our schools are producing the right number of graduates in the right fields, armed with necessary skills to succeed in the labor market. Information on the assessments can be found at: www.mnscu.edu/business/workforceassessment/index.html

Skills Gap Survey : In 2012 we conducted the first round 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 hiring difficulties that are present, and what kind of problems they might pose for our labor market. Occupations included in the initial round include registered nurses, industrial engineers, and machinists. The study, Hiring Difficulties in Minnesota, can be found at: www.PositivelyMinnesota.com/Data_Publications/Publications/Hiring_Difficulties_in_Minnesota/index.aspx

A second round of interviews on computer occupations is currently under way.

We always welcome comments and feedback on our products and services. Go to mn.gov/deed/about/contact-us/ to find your preferred method of contacting us.