Here are some of the best sources for understanding special population characteristics and demographics in the labor force, and for using labor market information (LMI) to help you target services and design service delivery to special populations. Some special populations could include veterans, older workers, long term employed, disabled individuals, etc.

Key Workforce Data Sources for Planning and Designing Services to Special Populations

1. Labor Force Characteristics in the Current Population Survey:  contains demographics and labor force data on characteristics of employed and unemployed individuals, as well as persons not in the labor force, who are not actively seeking work.

2. American Community Survey Data in the Census Data Explorer:  an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year, giving communities the information they need to plan investments and services.

3. Census QuickFacts:  an easy-to-use and quick way to get demographic and population data.

              social worker interviewing homeless man outside

Other Data Sources for Program Staff to Use in Service Delivery

4. Guide to State and Local Workforce Data: a comprehensive source of quality government and private sector sources, including a section for specific worker characteristics as well as industries.

5. State and Local Employment Projections: links to all state and local industry as well as occupational projections.

6. Education and Training Data for BLS Employment Projections:  BLS’ new system to specify the education and training typically needed to qualify for employment in an occupation.

7. BLS' Occupational Outlook Handbook: widely considered the single most important source of career information.

8. Data and Other Information Available from Selected Federal Multi-Purpose E-Tools: chart comparing the data and job-related-information available from each data source.

                        older worker holding 'hire me' sign

Tools and Training to Access and Utilize Data Sources Effectively

9. Quick Lesson Workforce Data Podcasts: ETA’s collection of 10 training modules on locating, selecting, using and applying data to your work. 

10. Using LMI for Serving Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: although developed for serving farmworkers, the same approaches and datasets are used in applying data to service delivery for special populations.

11. Putting LMI to Work in Employment and Training Programs:  tips for using data and making informed decisions based on the data.

12. Navigating Online Career Exploration and Planning Tools:  skills development roadmap for case managers and staff to follow in job readiness activities.