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Featuring the JVS

by Mohamed Mourssi-Alfash
January 2015

The Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey (JVS) is a semi-annual survey that is conducted by the Labor Market Information Office (LMI) of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in the spring and fall of each year. The JVS was launched for the first time in 2001 with the aim of providing a snapshot of timely and consistent information on labor demand. While we based our survey loosely on a federal program called Job Openings and Labor Turnover, the federal survey does not provide state level data. The JVS provides only Minnesota data since currently we are the only state with an economy-wide job vacancy survey.

Specifically the survey provides a snapshot of:

  • The number and types of open positions in Minnesota
  • The educational and training requirements for those positions
  • The wages and benefits offered to applicants for the positions
  • Hiring trends over the next six months

The population from which the survey sample is selected includes all employers in Minnesota who employ at least one employee. The survey is sent to private employers and agencies of the federal government, state government, and local government. The sample, about 10,000 units or firms, is randomly selected from Minnesota's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) which is the universe of firms that are doing business in Minnesota. Firms are selected based on a sampling procedure that stratifies by Economic Development Region, four firm sizes (one to nine employees, 10 to 49 employees, 50 to 249 employees, and 250 employees or more), and by the 20 major industrial sectors. To estimate the number of job vacancies for the total population all responses to the survey are weighted and scaled to produce statistically valid results that represent the population of employers in Minnesota.

Firms participating in the survey are allowed to respond using several methods that include mail, fax, email, directing us to the firm's website, or telephone.

So that we may analyze turning points in the demand for workers across the state, the employers are asked if they intend to:

  • Increase employment levels
  • Decrease employment levels
  • Maintain current employment levels over the next six months

Among the results produced from job vacancy survey are: job vacancy rate, which is the number of job openings per 100 jobs, and the unemployment to job vacancy ratio, which indicates the number of unemployed people per 100 jobs. The latest job vacancy survey results showed that Minnesota has the highest job vacancy rate, as well as the lowest unemployment to job vacancy ratio in 13 years.

Employers can use the data to evaluate if the job or jobs they have posted are offering competitive wages for their region and industry. Job seekers can check to see if jobs are available in their field, if they need to tweak their job search, or if they need to consider moving to a region of the state with more openings in their field.

Look over the web site and see what it has to offer:

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