Job Opportunities Reports
Maine’s future success and prosperity depends to a large degree on having enough workers with the diversity of skills and education to meet the changing needs of our economy. We need to focus on both the quantity and quality of our workforce. A key element is improving the skills and knowledge of Maine adults who are, or could be, participating in the workforce.
In addition to inspiring and encouraging this population to continue with their education, we need to help inform their educational decisions so they align with current and future job market needs. Many people – students and potential students, workers and potential workers – do not have all of the pertinent information to make informed decisions about their educational and career choices (which sectors are growing, which jobs are in demand and offer high wages, and a clear path to them, expected earnings and employment for various education, training, and associated occupations). By providing real-time knowledge of the skills and competencies required by employers, we can help ensure that their next step is a strategic one that benefits the individual, employers, and the state as a whole in both the short and long-term. Data and analysis of current job opportunities can complement and inform workforce training, work ready, and adult learner initiatives.
Online job postings data has limitations. Online job postings are not synonymous with job vacancies, as the number, composition, and distribution of postings by occupation or industry do not necessarily represent the marketplace of job openings. A single posting can advertise multiple job openings. Duplicate job postings, and postings that are not job openings, do exist. Some jobs are not posted online, and certain occupations, industries, and geographical areas may be underrepresented. Changes in posting behavior or collection procedures can produce changes in volume that are unrelated to actual demand for workers.
In spite of these limitations, online job postings do track with overall employment numbers and can be used to:
- Look at top online trends within job posts including required skills, certifications, and more
- Compare information within and across national, state, regional, and local levels
- Provide insights into demand for certain occupations, with the caveats listed above
- Identify types of employers or industry sectors which are advertising
- Indicate possible mismatches between job seekers and job postings
- Help connect the dots on the value of soft skill trainings to current market needs
- Inform next steps for individuals seeking new training opportunities and educational institutions designing new programs to meet current workplace supply and demand
Online job posting data alone should not be the sole basis for policy development. It can bring to light trends and highlight opportunities, that when combined with other state and federal employment data, can lead to good policy development.
We are strategically using this work to enhance our programming and services and connect to community resources, helping to raise awareness of, and connections to, current resources and pathways to increased skill and educational attainment. Online job posting data can bring to light trends and highlight economic opportunities. When combined with other state and federal employment data (ex: Maine Department of Labor), it can lead to well informed next steps in one’s educational attainment, program design, or recruitment processes.
1. Identify Goals
Discussion of how best to apply this data to complement initiative’s primary objectives
2. Identify User Groups
Reports and job opportunities analysis are designed around the users’ need in relation to the initiative’s goals and objectives. Just as there are many audiences to an initiative, there may be many potential users for the reports. Though many reports can be made at a level helpful to a majority of users, for some tasks, it will be more meaningful to create unique reports just for those specific users.
3. Determine Report Types/Content and Frequency
Which data sets are most meaningful to your initiative / user groups?
We are able to provide reports focused on top trend (for example: top five companies currently posting job opportunities, top five credentials in demand) or specific job posting content – from all employers hiring (whether for one position or many), and major skill clusters in demand, to actual job postings, educational level required and more, all tailored to your specific geographic area (Portland and the Portland MSA).
This is where we see the greatest variability in project time and resources. The degree of specialization in report types and analysis impacts the length of time required to compile and present the needed information. After an initial design phase to build report types (based on user identification and need), efficiencies increase with continued and regularized reporting.