by Oriane Casale
The mission of the Labor Market Information (LMI) Office of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is to collect, compile, and deliver high quality data and analysis 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.
To improve our information and services, 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 as it is for us in guiding how we can best supply the data.
The information contained in the summary comes from several sources:
Information from our 2015 customer summary is included in this article as well as updates on projects we have undertaken and services we have improved during the past year.
The LMI Office offers a number of delivery methods for the data and information we provide. These methods include, but are not limited to:
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, 2015|
|Type of Contact||Contacts||Number of Customers|
|Website||613,000 page views||362,000 unique page views|
|Telephone, email, mail requests||2,412 contacts||2,412 contacts|
|Presentations and trainings||272 presentations/trainings||11,000 audience members|
|E-Mail notification list||114,468+ notifications sent by e-mail||9,538 subscribers|
|Trends print magazine||3,340 magazines sent by USPS mail||835 subscribers|
|Source: DEED LMI Office, various sources|
During 2015 we continued to make enhancements, guided by the needs of our users, to content and navigation on the LMI pages of the DEED website.
We added a regional labor markets landing page to our "data" tab on the DEED website. This landing page has links to information and data on each region include the new Regional Profiles for both Planning regions and Economic Development regions. The Regional Blog, also available on these pages, keeps readers apprised of hot labor market topics in their region.
We have also been working to enhance the Career Profile tool with a complete list of training and education programs and WIOA certification. In collaboration with the Workforce Development Division, we developed a system to keep these data updated. They are now displayed in an Excel spreadsheet available on the selection page of Career Profile. Over the next six months pages will be added to the Career Profile tool to display these data seamlessly within the tool.
We helped design and have linked to CareerOneStop's new Business Finder tool built off Infogroup's employer database. This tool gives customers access to individual employer data by zip code and industry.
Finally, we devoted a whole, extra-long issue of Trends to the topic of racial disparities in Minnesota's labor market. This issue was planned after news that the 2014 American Community Survey data showed a sharp decline in income of black households in Minnesota. Governor Dayton asked us to provide information on the issue and in response we delved into the available data and pulled together a set of analysis covering employment and wages by industry, small business ownership, graduate outcomes, and demographic trends in Minnesota's workforce. We had three guest writers from the academic and workforce development communities to help provide context and policy recommendations.
Bucking the conventional wisdom that 'people are afraid of data', our data tools are our most popular resource. Of 361,626 unique pageviews on the LMI website, our data tools accounted for 73 percent of the total (see Table 2).
|Table 2: LMI Web Traffic, 2015|
|LMI Web Property||Pageviews*||Unique Pageviews*|
|Current Economic Highlights||38,705||30,195|
|LMI Jobseeker Portal||20,288||15,868|
|NEW Regional LMI and Local Look Blog**||15,808||10,505|
*A 'pageview' is counted every time a page is viewed or loaded. So if a user refreshes the page during a session, a second pageview is counted. A 'unique pageview' is counted once regardless of how many times the user loads the page during a session or visit on the website.
**Partial year results.
|Source: Google Analytics|
Our on-line publications Current Economic Highlights, Minnesota Economic Trends, and Minnesota Employment Review had a combined 18 percent of the unique pageviews to the LMI portion of the DEED website. Current Economic Highlights offers summary analysis of key data including wages, employment, unemployment, and unemployment insurance claims. Trends and Review are LMI's periodical publications available online and in print.
Last year we added an LMI Jobseeker Portal in the "For Jobseekers" portion of the DEED website in order to guide job seekers to LMI tools that we have built with them in mind. This is the fourth most popular way that customers have accessed LMI on the DEED website, accounting for 15,868 of the unique pageviews or 4.4 percent of the total.
Our most popular data tool is the Occupational Employment Statistics or OES tool which shows employment and wages by occupation and region in Minnesota. This information can help employers benchmark wages and can help job seekers and students explore careers. Table 3 provides the ranked list of data tools.
|Table 3: Top LMI Data Tools Usage|
|LMI Data Tool||Pageviews||Unique Pageviews|
|Occupational Employment Statistics||88,751||44,736|
|Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages||56,110||24,756|
|Occupations in Demand||50,418||29,889|
|Local Area Unemployment Statistics||48,705||24,194|
|Career and Education Explorer||47,738||25,143|
|Employment Outlook (Projections)||26,544||14,772|
|Graduate Employment Outcomes||26,002||14,533|
|Current Employment Statistics||24,404||14,341|
|Match Jobs to Experience||22,952||12,812|
|Job Vacancy Survey||20,015||8,366|
|Cost of Living in Minnesota||12,632||10,171|
Each year we examine information on LMI customer satisfaction from the DEED-wide Customer Satisfaction Survey and the Regional Analyst customer feedback and satisfaction survey that was developed during PY2013. The results are for the period from October 2014 to September 2015.
These results are for the overall LMI Office and represent two user groups: employers who posted job orders and employers who were visited by DEED business service representatives. Results show a high level of satisfaction: 97 percent were satisfied that the information was presented in a clear and understandable manner, 99 percent were satisfied with the time it took to respond, and 97 percent used the information to make a decision.
On the lower end, only about 83 percent thought it was easy to find the labor market information that they were looking for. This is up from 78 percent last year, implying that the changes we've made to website navigation have improved customers' ability to find the information they were looking for. We will continue to work on this.
Over this period contacts were extremely satisfied with the consultations that the LMI regional analysts provided, with almost all the key survey questions showing high levels of satisfaction. Overall, 90 percent of respondents would definitely recommend a LMI regional analyst to a colleague who needed specific information about labor market data or statistics and another 8 percent would probably recommend them. Moreover 65 percent of the survey respondents used the information they received from a Regional Analyst to help them make a decision.
Overall, these results show that while LMI customers are able to obtain much of the information they need from our website, contact with our Regional Analysts improves their experience. That is likely because the RAs are able to help them find and understand geo-specific information most useful to them and do it one on one.
We always welcome comments and feedback on our products and services. You can email us at DEED.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us at our helpline: 651-259-7384.