The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jointly issued directives to remind state agencies administering the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program that state Labor Market Information (LMI) offices are important partners, when states are modernizing their UI information technology (IT) systems.
States also include LMI data in their state planning processes, for which collaboration with their state LMI units is expected.
UI Modernization Project Planning and Implementation
The importance of including LMI Stakeholders in the planning, design and implementation of UI system modernization projects is underscored in Training and Employment Notice (TEN) 14-19.
LMI units need to be included throughout the lifecycle of modernization projects states undertake to improve their benefits and tax system management information systems (MIS) and public-facing information technology (IT) systems.
Data from the UI program are critical inputs into national LMI datasets and economic indicators issued by BLS, in conjunction with state LMI departments under a federal-state cooperative agreement. So, concurrent with the publication of this directive, BLS is issuing an LMI administrative memorandum with the same content as this TEN.
What datasets does BLS produce using UI data in the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program? This Guide to State and Local Workforce Data has that information for you.
State Plan Development and Program Targeting
States submit program plans to ETA following templates and guidance issued by ETA. Incorporating LMI data into the state plans submitted to ETA is expected in order to demonstrate relevance to labor market conditions and a focus on the best labor market impact for customers.
Incorporating LMI into an analysis is an art that requires a good understanding of LMI dataset parameters and economic analysis techniques - all of which are housed with the expertise in state LMI departments. State policy and program development units should collaborate with LMI experts in those departments to incorporate sound, statistically reliable analyses into their state plans and program planning.
At the service delivery level, resources and funding are limited, so LMI targeting helps you focus your investments where it matters most. Decide on a targeting model that best serves as a roadmap for achieving the labor market outcomes desired for your customers.
Selecting the most appropriate or key industries and occupations for your service delivery will mean that you have a reliable return on investment for the funding, assets and staff resources you employ. This requires leadership and vision in deciding what data criteria, filters and data cut-offs to use in determining where data shows a strong need for focus among your targeted populations.