In 2016, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Labor Market Statistics (LMS), in cooperation with CareerSource Florida and CareerSource Broward, conducted a pilot study to collect employer-identified skills gaps, hiring practices, and job vacancies. The pilot study was very successful and proved the viability of collecting skills gaps by occupation and industry for several types of soft and hard skills in a Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA).
Due to the success of this pilot effort, LMS will begin conducting a statewide Skills Gap/Job Vacancy survey for each of Florida’s 24 LWDAs in April of this year. A total of 53,988 private-sector employers are in the sample. The samples were selected by LWDA to provide statistically-reliable estimates of skills gaps, job vacancies, and employer hiring practices in each local area. Oppenheim Research, a Tallahassee-based survey research firm, is the contractor for the survey and will be making the data collection calls. To achieve a successful outcome, Florida employers need to know that this is a valid survey conducted under the direction and approval of CareerSource Florida. The sole purpose of the survey is to identify the skills needs of business and to provide the results to workforce, education, economic development, and labor market research partners. Skills-based education, training, and placement services will help employers hire workers who are better prepared for the demands of their jobs. This means more competitive employers who are better able to deliver the types of goods and services needed by the consumers in Florida’s growing economy. For the workforce system, the data can directly link employer-based skills needs to the capabilities of jobseekers, students, and the unemployed.
The surveys will be conducted by LWDA from April until late October, 2017. The timetable below shows the proposed start and end dates by LWDA (in date order).