Supply and demand. It’s the age-old question facing every workforce development professional. And it’s one that, thanks to Emsi’s new job posting analytics, Thomas P. Miller and Associates was able to answer.
In a recent report for the STEM Food & Ag Council, TPMA analyzed the many career opportunities (frequently overlooked or simply unknown) in the food and agriculture industry. “The client needed to understand both the supply and the demand,” said Nicole Dunn, director of research and evaluation at TPMA. “So from a demand perspective we looked at historical growth but also job openings and actual hires made.”
The report, emphasizing the industry’s “human capital needs and…enormous career opportunities,” used fine-grained data from Emsi’s job posting analytics to deduce that a steadily increasing need for workers is currently outstripping the supply—in six relevant occupations especially.
With close to 700,000 jobs in 2014 and projected 5% growth over the next five years, the six advanced food & ag disciplines under analysis seem to be doing well. But with nearly 12,000 job postings and an average of almost 34,000 hires per month in 2014, the industry could be doing even better—clearly impatient for more workers, thanks to both retirements and actual job growth.
TPMA, an Indianapolis-based consulting firm, was already familiar with the power of the data within Analyst. “We use Emsi data the most in trying to understand local labor market conditions, as well as finding strategic opportunities for growth and foreseeing the threat of economic decline for our clients,” Dunn said. “Where Emsi comes in is in either validating or exploring target industry sectors that different communities should be pursuing.”
But TPMA took an even bigger step in 2014 by becoming one of the very first users of Emsi’s JPA. “We looked at a few different platforms,” said Dunn when we asked how TPMA came to use Emsi’s job posting analytics. “The thing that we really liked [about JPA] was the actual hires per month and the comparison with the postings data…. [The client] was pleasantly surprised; they didn’t know that that data even existed when they asked for job postings.”
This connects to another feature that set JPA apart from the other platforms: context. “Job postings data is just one piece of the picture,” said Dunn. “Emsi’s comparison of postings to hires is a great illustration that it is only part of the picture, even for the parts of the questions it does address.” TPMA also appreciated the value of subscribing to the data within Analyst instead of purchasing a costly additional platform.
Based on this success, TPMA is eager to add JPA to other reports. “We have another project in Michigan ramping up. We’ll be using JPA there in a very similar way, to add another data point to the picture we’re giving them,” Dunn said. “Job postings data is great to have. I see it playing a strong role in supply-demand analysis in the future.”
Thomas P. Miller and Associates is a top-tier consulting company creating partnerships across education and economic and workforce development since 1989.
Emsi turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, we build user-friendly services that help educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers (such as WIBs, EDOs, chambers, utilities) build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions. For more information, email Josh Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.economicmodeling.com.