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Real-Time Labor Market Information: An Environmental Scan of Vendors and Workforce Development Users

Prepared by Maher & Maher in Collaboration with Jobs for the Future and the New York City Labor Market Information Service

Prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce Investment

Real-time labor market information (RT LMI) is gleaned from large numbers of online job postings. Several private sector entities have developed software to collect online job postings by "spidering" the listings from the Internet and organizing them into standardized data categories. These entities have also built tools for analyzing current and historical labor market trends on hiring and employer demand (including certifications and skill prerequisites). A variety of users including state and local governments, workforce boards, educational institutions, economic development entities, and research organizations currently use RT LMI tools to better understand state, regional, and local labor market conditions. 

Many view RT LMI as an important new data source but are unfamiliar with how best to use it to complement traditional survey-based LMI. As a result, in late 2013, ETA launched a technical assistance project to increase knowledge of the RT LMI landscape and support selected states in building their capacity to utilize the new data sources. As part of this project, ETA awarded a technical assistance contract to Maher & Maher, which is collaborating with Jobs for the Future and the New York City Labor Market Information Service.

This Environmental Scan of Vendors and Workforce Development Users is part of this project; it seeks to inform the workforce development community and others about the most common uses, successes, and challenges of RT LMI. The report includes an overview of major RT LMI vendors and their products and services. It also profiles how three states and three regional workforce development knowledge centers are using RT LMI to identify and address labor market issues.