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Data - Real-Time Jobs Postings Market Representation
Data - Real-Time Jobs Postings Market Representation

How representative is Labour Insight data? What are the advantages of analyzing the labor market through real-time data?

Updated over a week ago

Real-time labor market information, also called real-time jobs data, is based on analysis of the millions of job listings posted every day by employers. A job description provides important insight into what employers are thinking. By its very nature, a job description means an employer has had to spell out the specific skills and qualifications they need to get a particular job done. Employers also have every incentive to get job descriptions right (bad or delayed hires can cost a lot of time and money). By analyzing job listings, researchers can find out which companies and sectors are hiring, which skills are in demand, how hard they are to find, and which jobs and skillsets are emerging.

Traditional labor market data, such as the data produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or other government statistical agencies, is collected using surveys of employers, job seekers, or the general public. A significant drawback, however, is that it takes time to compile traditional data series. Depending on the report, the jobs data can be up to two years behind the market. A further limitation to these traditional measures are that they are generally structured around broad job categories, and all jobs within those categories are presumed to be identical in terms of the skills, experience and education they require.

By contrast, real-time data can provide a picture of what the job market looked like as recently as yesterday. In addition to being faster, real-time data are also more granular. Put another way, real-time data are microeconomic data, because they are focused on the specific details of job postings and how they affect employers and job seekers. Employers are constantly adjusting job descriptions to match a changing marketplace, and real time data will see those changes more quickly. The skills required for a job can vary by region or industry, which Labour Insight is able to track due to its collection of a number of elements, such as the specific skills of individual jobs, that aren’t available in other data sets.

After taking the above points into consideration, comparisons to Labour Insight data and more traditional employment measures can be achieved.

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