January 18, 2018 by Sheridan Benard
Labor availability—specifically how many workers are available at a certain wage range—is a huge issue for businesses looking to expand or relocate. Thus, it’s a huge issue for economic development organizations and site selection consultants working with businesses.
To help answer the talent availability (and sustainability) question, we’ve launched a new report in Emsi Developer that drills into the supply of talent by compensation—and how much similarly skilled talent a business can tap into at different wage levels.
This new talent supply report is one of several updates to Developer to start the new year. Also new: regional gross domestic product (or GRP) back to 2007 and deeper insights on businesses through our new business data provider.
We first introduced the talent supply report in the HR/talent acquisition version of our research tools midway through 2017. After seeing how much this report resonated with companies making talent and location decisions, we are thrilled to provide it to economic and workforce development organizations in Developer.
Businesses don’t just care about labor availability. They want to know how sustainable (or thick) a labor pool is when considering new markets. Our new report provides answers to both questions.
The talent availability report allows you to visualize the available workforce at a given level of compensation. Then you can see how much that available labor pool expands when considering compatible job titles. For instance, Amazon expects to hire workers with an average salary of $100,000 for the jobs it will fill in its second headquarters. Using roughly that comp level ($48 per hour), we estimated how many software engineers Amazon could expect to be available in Austin and the other top cities in the HQ2 index and analysis we produced last year. (This is timely considering Amazon just winnowed the list of 238 cities to 20, many of which made it to the top of our index.)
Traditional workforce availability analysis usually stops at the larger SOC or job family in a region. Another problem is that percentile wages by occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are not granular enough for wage analysis. This new approach uses two different methods to overcome these issues.
First, we use O*NET skills mapping for an occupation to help users understand broader skill groups closely related to their job search. For example, if you wanted to see how many customer service representatives there are in the Charlotte MSA, we can target the exact match (SOC 43-4051), similar skillset (SOCs with O*NET match of 95 or higher), general skillset (SOCs with O*NET match of 75 or higher), and any skillset (all occupations).
This functionality allows users to communicate transferable talent embedded in their region. It’s an often-missed perspective that’s extremely important in today’s tight markets.
The second piece involves availability by hourly wage. Emsi distributes jobs across occupational hourly earnings so you can understand your talent compensation curve alongside workforce availability by skill level.
During the last quarter of 2017, our data production team put significant effort into bringing historic GRP (gross regional product, or regional GDP) to our tools. This frequently requested addition allows users to perform county-level analysis of GRP, commonly referred to as value-added, from 2007 through 2016.
One great use for historic GRP is to trend labor productivity, or output per worker. This metric has been increasingly touted by Brookings and others as a method for measuring prosperity at the local level.
In mid-December, we changed our source of business-level data from Infogroup to DatabaseUSA. We believe this change will give our customers better accessibility to relevant information about local businesses. With this new data, we also have access to over 30 data points per business like:
This newly-sourced business data will continue to assist in local business engagement and retention efforts.
Business data from DatabaseUSA is also available in Emsi Analyst.
If you have questions about these updates or feedback, please contact Sheridan Benard.