Longitudinal surveys repeatedly query the same individual, household, or business establishment over time.  They provide essential insights into how the labor market functions, offering a different perspective from more traditional surveys. 

Longitudinal data systems offer the ability to perform data matching on participants to track their education and labor market outcomes over time.

The Power of Longitudinal Data

In the directory on this page, ETA has assembled information on all the major longitudinal surveys that include information on workers.

The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program 

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), under the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, funded the design, development, and implementation of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grants to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, disaggregate, and use individual student data.

The data tracked were from comprehensive P-20 systems that have the capacity to link individual student data across time and across databases.  This included data that matched teachers to students, promoted the linking of data collected or held by various institutions, agencies, and states, and protected student privacy consistent with privacy protection laws.

The Workforce Data Quality Initiative

The Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) complements the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grant initiative that was implemented through the U.S. Department of Education. 

WDQI grants to state workforce agencies (SWAs) supports the development of, or enhancements to, state longitudinal administrative databases to better integrate workforce and education data.  These funds help states incorporate workforce information into their longitudinal data systems to allow following individuals through school and through their work life.

The WDQI systems are required to be linked longitudinally at the individual level to allow for analysis that can lead to enhanced opportunity for program evaluation and dissemination of information for customers and stakeholders of the workforce system.

High quality and accuracy in the data concerning the training provider service, and how well these serve customers when they enter the labor market, are integral to informed consumer choices.