Labor Market Information

The Labor Market Information (LMI) Section, in conjunction with the Department of Labor (DOL)/ Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), conducts surveys on Wisconsin employers, extracting and editing the data, applying statistical methods to produce estimates, screening the results for publishability, analyzing and disseminating the final numbers on jobs, wages, the labor force, employment and unemployment, layoffs, businesses and related statistics.

There are five such programs housed in the LMI Section. These programs are: The Current Employment Statistics (CES), the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), the Occupational Employment and Wages Survey (OES), the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), and the Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS).

In addition to the data survey activities described above, the LMI Section is also responsible for the creation and population of the Workforce Information Database (WID). WID is a relational database structure developed for the storage and dissemination of local, state, regional, and national information on the population, workforce, industries, occupations, education, economic development and other areas relevant to the economy and workforce.

The front end piece to WID is WORKnet, the interactive LMI website located on the Internet. The deployment of WORKnet as Wisconsin's premier labor market information delivery system has increased awareness of the products and services available. As customers become more familiar with the core data housed on WORKnet, curiosity grows and the role of labor market information in economic development and public policy decisions becomes increasingly more prominent. As a result, LMI products have expanded to the creation and roll out of more than 38,000 Career Posters throughout the United States. Demand for speaking engagements, training courses, and LMI demonstrations has also increased.

Section Chief

Programs

Information Development and Economic Analysis (IDEA)

The Labor Market Information Section developed a new unit specifically to meet the increasing number of requests for Workforce Information products based on data derived from our core business areas.

The IDEA Unit:

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)

The QCEW program is a comprehensive and accurate source of employment and wage data, by industry, at the national, state, and county levels. It provides a virtual census count of nonagricultural employees and their wages. In addition, about 47 percent of all workers in agricultural industries are covered. Jobs that are exempt or not covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) law are not included in the published data.

Data are used as a sampling frame for other Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys and as an input to other Federal and State programs. The program data is used as input for UI actuarial studies, determination of experience ratings, maximum benefit levels, and areas needing Federal assistance. It also assists in determining the solvency of unemployment insurance funds, and administration of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) program.

QCEW data are used by businesses and by public and private research organizations as one of the best sources of detailed employment and wage statistics for economic forecasting, industry and regional analysis, impact studies, and other uses. The data play a central role in monitoring the economy. QCEW data are used to evaluate labor trends, time series analysis, and also used in studies of employment growth and wages by size of establishment.

Current Employment Statistics (CES)

The CES program provides the first indicator of current economic trends each month. CES surveys businesses and government agencies in order to provide timely and detailed industry estimates of employment, hours and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls.

Employment and earnings are major economic indicators of the business cycle and used by industry for site location, in adjustments of labor costs, wage negotiations, by non-profits in writing grant proposals and targeting services, and by academics in economic research. Federal and state governments use CES estimates as leading indicators of economic health and are a primary input into other major economic indicators, such as Personal Income, Industrial Production, Index of Leading Economic Indicators, Index of Coincident Indicators, and productivity measures.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program develops monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment, and unemployment rates for the State of Wisconsin, all counties, Workforce Development Areas, Small Labor Market Areas, Metropolitan Divisions, Combined Statistical Areas, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and cities with a population of at least 25,000 people.

In Wisconsin, data are produced using models, which combine current and historical data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, the state Unemployment Insurance (UI) system, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, and the Decennial Census.

Some primary data users of LAUS data are federal, state, and local governments, private industries, and individuals. Current LAUS estimates are used as a basis for allocating Federal funds, as an indication of need for employment and training programs, for assessing local labor market conditions, and as a tool for planning and budgetary purposes.

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a joint effort of the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state of Wisconsin. The purpose of the survey is to determine the occupations that are in demand, the number of employees in each occupation and the wages paid to the employees working in those occupations. The survey generates estimates of employment, the mean wage, the median wage and 10th, 25th, 75th and 90th percentile wages for about 800 occupations. Separate wage and employment estimates are published for the state and for each of Wisconsin's 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and five Balance of State (BOS) areas.

Wisconsin's OES sample consists of about 10,000 firms with a total employment of roughly 650,000 employees. Half of these firms are contacted from May through January and the other half from November through July.

Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS)

The Mass Layoffs Statistics (MLS) program is a Federal-State cooperative statistical effort which uses a standardized, automated approach to identify, describe, and track the effects of major job cutbacks, using data from individual state unemployment insurance (UI) databases.

The MLS program reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least fifty initial UI claims filed against them in a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff statistics are from a subset of such establishments, those where the employer indicates that 50 or more people were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days. If the separations are of at least 31 days duration, information is obtained from the establishments about the total number of persons separated, the reasons for the separations, recall expectations, and the movement of work.

MLS data are used for allocating Federal funds for dislocated workers through the Economic Development and Worker Adjustment Assistance Act; analyzing ailing industries or geographic areas; identifying the causes and scope of worker dislocations and the characteristics of dislocated workers; developing approaches for work force planners and labor market analysts for assisting employers and/or workers at the local level; and for analyzing the potentially available labor market supply.