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Overview of Labor Market Information for Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Labor market information (LMI) consists of quantitative and qualitative information gathered from a variety of sources to inform vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors, administrators, and leaders on employment opportunities for their clients. Resources in this section define and explain different sources of LMI and how LMI has been used by job counselors, researchers, educational institutions, administrators, and policy-makers to link education and training pathways to good career opportunities.
VR counselors, administrators, and leaders can draw from these resources to learn what LMI data is and how it can be useful to meet the training and employment needs of VR customers.
What is LMI?
Labor market information consists of traditional and real-time sources, as well as agency business relations information (local labor market intelligence gathered through VR agency relationships with employers).
- Traditional LMI: The systematic collection, analysis, and reporting of a broad range of federal, state, and local data that describes current economic conditions within a given geographic area. Key data metrics include current employment levels, projected employment growth, unemployment rates, average wages, minimum education requirements, industry trends, and workforce demographics.
- Real-time LMI: Data drawn from online job postings for a region, offering information on employer demand, new and emerging in-demand skills and credentials, job titles, industry trends, and educational requirements.
- Agency Business Relations LMI: Qualitative information gathered from employers, chambers of commerce, and industry associations about opportunities and challenges of hiring for different positions, expected changes in employment, and positions that require specialized skills. View a brief to learn more about using Agency Business Relations LMI as part of your labor market strategy [PDF].
Together, these types of LMI offer VR providers a map of the labor market landscape in their region which can be used to guide VR customers to promising career opportunities. LMI helps inform VR providers about where there are employment opportunities, in what occupations and industries, and the training required to be qualified. Without good LMI, it becomes much more challenging to navigate the labor market landscape.
Value of LMI to VR
When a client comes to VR seeking guidance on career opportunities, counselors can use LMI to identify areas of employment growth, skills and education required for different career paths, what available jobs pay, and top employers for different occupations in the region. Drawing from these metrics, counselors can help VR customers plan out educational and career pathways that meet both customer and labor market needs, thus enhancing the chances that the customer will obtain an optimum employment outcome.
Administrators can use LMI to understand discrimination against people with different abilities, as well as those of various ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. This can enhance employer engagement around these issues, as well as the development of trainings to help staff understand and cope with the challenges that their clients may face.
Leaders can use better understanding of labor market supply and demand to allocate internal resources more effectively, develop sector-based strategies for long-term planning and employer engagement, and work with policy-makers on the development of rational accountability plans.
Read more about how to use LMI strategically in your agency in this LMI Report, LMI: Bring it to the Next Level.
Webinar View ExploreVR webinar, Sector Strategies: what are they and how can they help VR agencies? to learn more about the impact of LMI on developing sector-based strategies for employer engagement.