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Monday, July 16, 2012

Hearing on the America’s Energy Future

Testimony of Michael Ziesch Manager, Labor Market Information Center Job Service North Dakota Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform United States House of Representatives Hearing on the America’s Energy Future A Blueprint for Domestic Energy Production July 14, 2012 Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings, and members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, thank you for the opportunity to testify on: A Blueprint for Domestic Energy Production, and North Dakota’s contribution towards the Nation’s energy independence. I am Michael Ziesch, Manager of the Labor Market Information (LMI) Center of Job Service North Dakota (JSND). Ours is the state workforce agency that administers the unemployment insurance program, labor exchange systems connecting job seekers with openings posted by employers, and various workforce programs for North Dakota. Detailed information related to our agency and its mission, as well as links to job openings, and our LMI website can be accessed at www.jobsnd.com As a subset of JSND, the Labor Market Information Center operates as the provider of choice for data related to North Dakota’s labor market by policy makers, businesses, the public and media. Our staff collect, edit, compile, and disseminate employment, wage and labor force data under cooperative agreements with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also conduct special survey activities related to labor market and economic topics in North Dakota. Background North Dakota has experienced a long period of economic strength and employment opportunity. Activity has been led in recent years by agriculture and energy. But, the economic gains have also been more widespread throughout the industries of North Dakota. This gives evidence of a balanced economy in the state and is highlighted in several labor force statistics. For example:  In the month of May 2012 (the most recent period state data are available) North Dakota’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7%; compared to 7.9% nationally. o North Dakota has posted the lowest not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the nation since April 2009.  Not seasonally adjusted Nonfarm Employment year-over-year, for the month of May, showed an increase of 6.8%; compared to 1.4% for the nation. o All employment sectors showed increase, with the exception of Government. For a longer term perspective, comparing calendar year 2000 and 2011 annual averages, there has also been considerable growth in Covered Employment and Wage levels. Please consider:  The number of employer worksites increased 4,374 (19.0%); from 22,994 to 27,368 28,000 27,000 26,000 25,000 24,000 23,000 22,000 21,000 20,000 Total Private Ownership Establishments in North Dakota Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011  Covered employment grew by 70,210 (22.3%); from 309,223 to 379,433 Annual Average Covered Employment in North Dakota Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011  Annual average covered wages increased $17,095 (69.3%); from $24,683 to $41,778 $50,000 Annual Average Covered Wage in North Dakota Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program $40,000 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 As mentioned, energy development has been an important contributor to the State’s strength. In North Dakota there are many components to energy production. A subset includes:  Oil & Gas  Coal  Biomass  Geothermal  Solar  Hydroelectric  Wind On topic with this morning’s Committee Hearing, oil & gas exploration and production activity in the Bakken Formation will be focused upon. The impact of the Bakken Formation on employment and wage levels in the state has been significant. However, measuring its total contribution to the state’s economy is challenging. This is because the activities taking place in the Bakken include companies involved in direct exploration and production industry codes (which are subsets of the mining industry and easily identified), as well subsets of related industries. For instance, a portion of employment and wages from companies across all industries codes could possibly be associated with the Bakken play, especially those located in the northwest portion of our state. Industries with strong Bakken relationships would include:  Transportation o Oil, water, sand & gravel, other materials and supplies.  Construction o Roads, bridges and well pads, commercial and residential buildings, specialty trade contractors.  Wholesale trade o Equipment, supplies, and material.  Professional and business services o Engineering, surveying, and geology companies.  Utilities o Providing infrastructure and supply.  Manufacturing o Storage tanks and specialized equipment.  Other services o Repair and maintenance of equipment. With that being said, to get an idea of the Bakken’s impact, we will look at employment and wage impact geographically (oil & gas producing counties), and by industry. We will look at the data pre-Bakken, using 2004 calendar year, with 2011 annual average being the most recent time period available. Comparing 2004 and 2011 annual averages in oil & gas producing counties versus North Dakota show:  Total covered employment grew 48.3% in oil & gas producing counties; compared to 18.2% statewide. o From 67,911 to 100,717 in oil & gas counties. o From 321,108 to 379,433 statewide.  Total covered wages (payroll) grew 178.6%; compared to 70.3% statewide.  Annual average wages increased from $27,275 to $51,244 (87.9%) o This was nearly double the statewide percentage increase of 44.1% in the same period ($28,987 to $41,778). More specifically, the impact of just the oil & gas exploration and production companies can be viewed over time. For instance:  In calendar year 2004 annual average covered employment, of exploration and production companies, was approximately 2,050; increasing to nearly 15,000 by 2011 (631.7%).  Annual average covered wages nearly doubled from approximately $50,000 a year in 2004 to over $90,000 in 2011. o Annual average wages include the influence of such things as over-time pay and bonuses. Current Condition The current period job creation environment, which is a demand indicator for North Dakota, can be gauged by looking at labor exchange system data administered by JSND. For the most recent time period, (June 2012), there were 22,695 open and available positions posted with our agency. This was an increase of 8,321 (57.9%) from prior year. The job openings, posted by employers in the state, were across all major occupational groups. They varied from those more general and statewide in nature such as:  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related in: o Business and Financial Operations o Computer and Mathematical o Architectural and Engineering o Life, Physical and Social Science.  Health Care Practitioner and Support  Sales and Related  Office and Administrative Support To those more closely related to Bakken activity:  Construction and Extraction o 1,915 in June 2012; up from 1,188 in 2011 (61.2%)  Transportation and Material Moving o 2,298 in June 2012; up from 1,796 in 2011 (28.0%) As mentioned, job opening activity in the state has been influenced by the strength of the Bakken. However, slightly less than 1/3 of the state’s job openings are in the oil and gas producing counties of western North Dakota. The majority of open and available positions are in the balance of state, anchored by the three largest metro areas (Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks). Current supply information is available by incorporating job seeker data from the labor exchange system. In June 2012 job seekers, posting resumes, numbered 15,099; down slightly from 15,835 in prior year. The data include both out-of-state job seekers, and North Dakotans, utilizing the system to find employment. Future State The Job Service LMI Center also produces industry and occupational projections for short-term (2 year) and long-term (10 year) periods. We have recently completed a new set of projections for each time period. During the process we relied heavily on data from our state’s Department of Mineral Resources regarding production activity forecasts. The next set of short-term projections, which cover the 2011 to 2013 time period, will be available in August of this year. The current data covers the 2010 to 2012 time period, with percent change of employment expected to be 4.4%. Gains were projected to be widespread among most industries and occupations, with the largest increases in those most closely related to the Bakken activity. The new set of long-term employment projections will be available on July 20th 2012 and will cover the 2010 to 2020 time period. This puts us at the end of the 2008-2018 data sets. During that timeline (2008-2018) employment was projected to have a percent change growth of 9.2% and occur across most industries. As with short-term projections, industry gains will be led by those associated strongly with the Bakken (Mining, Construction, and Transportation). Occupational growth is also expected to be widespread and led by jobs closely associated with Bakken activity (construction & extraction, and transportation and material moving positions). Conclusion North Dakota has enjoyed a long period of economic strength among businesses and employment opportunities for job seekers. It has benefited greatly by activity related to oil & gas exploration and production in the Bakken fields. But, it’s employment and wage growth has also been balanced across other industry sectors and geographies in the state. I thank you for this opportunity to present and would welcome any questions you may have. Michael Ziesch has worked at Job Service North Dakota for the past 15 years. He is a Manager (BLS), in the Labor Market Information Center, which is charged with administering the federal/state cooperative programs related to North Dakota’s labor market. He also acts as a Governor’s Liaison to the U. S. Census Bureau. A native of North Dakota, Michael holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from North Dakota State University. He lives in Bismarck with his wife Cathy and step-son Noah. JUNE 2012 ONLINE JOB OPENINGS JOB OPENINGS • Online job openings totaled 22,695 open and available positions in June 2012. Openings were lower by 2.8 percent (-655) over the prior month but 57.9 percent higher (+8,321) than one year ago. • Of the 22 non-military major occupational groups, Office and Administrative Support reported the largest number of openings with 2,385, followed by Transportation and Material Moving with 2,298 and Sales and Related with 2,290. Six other occupational groups also reported job opening counts greater than 1,000 (Management; Healthcare Practitioners and Technical; Food Preparation and Serving Related; Construction and Extraction; Installation, Maintenance, and Repair; and Production). • Nineteen of 22 major occupational groups reported over-the-year gains of 100 or more led by Office and Administrative Support with a gain of 1,155 openings. • Cass County reported the largest over-the-year increase in the number of job openings with 2,721, followed by Burleigh County (+1,337) and Grand Forks County (+704). Five counties reported over-the-year decreases. ACTIVE RESUMES • Active resumes totaled 15,099 in June 2012. Active resumes were lower by 3.3 percent (-514) over the prior month and 4.6 percent lower (-736) than one year ago. There were a total of 11,148 in-state active resumes and 3,951 out-of-state active resumes. • Of the 22 non-military major occupational groups, Office and Administrative Support reported the largest number of active resumes with 3,111, followed by Construction and Extraction with 2,076 and Transportation and Material Moving with 1,818. Two other occupational groups also reported active resume counts greater than 1,000 (Management; and Production). • Three of 22 major occupational groups reported over-the-year gains in active resumes with two reporting gains of 100 or more (Construction and Extraction; and Transportation and Material Moving). SUPPLY/DEMAND RATES • North Dakota’s job openings rate was 5.2 percent in May 2012, the latest month for which data are available. One year prior, North Dakota’s rate was 3.6. The U.S. rate for May was not available at the time of publication, but an April 2012 comparison showed North Dakota at 5.5 percent versus the U.S. rate of 2.7 percent. The job openings rate is the percentage of all jobs in the economy open and available. • North Dakota’s rate of unemployed persons per job opening was 0.5 in May 2012, the latest month for which data are available. One year prior, North Dakota’s rate was 0.8. Again, the U.S. rate was not available at the time of publication, but an April 2012 comparison showed North Dakota at 0.5 unemployed persons per job opening versus the U.S. rate of 3.2. Twenty-seven North Dakota counties reported unemployed-per-opening rates of less than 1.0 which indicates more job openings than resident labor supply. One year ago, ten counties reported rates of less than 1.0. • North Dakota’s rate of active resumes per job opening was 0.5 in June 2012. One year ago it was 0.9. Twenty of the 22 non-military major occupational groups reported rates of less than 1.0 while one year ago nine occupational groups were in that category. All 22 non-military major occupational groups reported rate decreases from the prior year. JOB OPENINGS DATA JOB OPENINGS--TOTAL JUNE 2012 ONLINE JOB OPENINGS REPORT--JOB SERVICE NORTH DAKOTA 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0The job openings rate is simply the percentage of all jobs in the economy open and available and is calculated by taking the number of job openings divided by total nonfarm employment (filled jobs) from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program plus job openings (unfilled jobs). A higher rate is an indicator of increased job opportunities for seekers. This supply/demand rate includes those working more than one job and commuting from out of state. The latest month for which North Dakota employment data are available is May 2012. The latest month for which U.S. job openings data are available is April 2012. U.S. data taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BACKGROUND Online job openings statistics provide a timely overview of the current supply/demand dynamic of North Dakota's labor market. The Online Job Openings Report (OJOR) is the earliest published monthly indicator of North Dakota’s labor market activity. Data publication generally occurs the first Tuesday of the month following the reference period. The report involves the monthly collection, processing, and dissemination of online job openings posted by employers and active resume activities of job seekers. Both job openings and active resumes are published for the major occupational groups at the statewide and regional levels. Data for counties are only available at a total aggregate level. Various supply/demand rates are calculated for major occupational groups and select geographies. Job openings and active resumes data are used to calculate the rate of active resumes per job opening. Unemployment data from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program is used to calculate the rate of unemployed per job opening and employment data from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program is used to calculate the job openings rate. All these supply/demand rates provide users with alternate views of the local labor supply/demand situation. For comparability, national level job openings data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are extracted from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and featured in the report. For a detailed description of the various supply/demand rates, see the ‘Terms and Concepts’ section. METHODOLOGY AND COVERAGE The OJOR is essentially a universe count of all North Dakota worksites with online advertised jobs posted either directly with Job Service North Dakota or indirectly through other online job sites. It should be stressed that coverage is limited to jobs posted online. Job vacancies advertised strictly through word-of-mouth, local print-only newspapers, outdoor signage, or any other non- online means are not counted. The database from the Job Service North Dakota online labor exchange system is the underlying source for the OJOR and its corresponding time series. The data are a combination of local openings brought into the system either internally or externally. An internal job opening is submitted directly to the labor exchange system by either local office staff or authorized local employers. An external job opening is "spidered" into the system from outside online job sites including corporate, educational institution, newspaper, government, private job board, and recruiter sites. Keep in mind, almost all of the online job openings and active resumes data are self-reported by the employer and job seeker, respectively, so accuracy cannot necessarily be guaranteed though system checks are in place to flag potential errors. Every effort is made to ensure the report is constructed using unduplicated data. The unduplication process involves the systematic analysis of key fields of each opening, such as company name, job title/description, and location, against all openings, flagging potential duplicate matches. An analyst reviews and eliminates legitimate duplicates. The OJOR is not subject to the typical sampling error and non-response error components associated with most statistical surveys. Non-sampling error sources would include population under-coverage due to missing a portion of the targeted population (e.g. a large Internet job board), and over-coverage due to the inability to fully eliminate duplicate job openings. Additional potential sources of non-sampling error would include occupational and/or geographic coding errors which could affect the proper classification of individual job openings. Occupational coding is done at the 6-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) level and the 8-digit O*NET level. The SOC coding used in the OJOR is the same definitional coding used for federal employment and unemployment statistics. It should be noted that are no changes at the major occupational group level in the 2010 SOC revision, though the detailed composition of the groups may have changed but not enough to be significant at the group level. The geographic coding for an internal opening is determined by information submitted directly to the labor exchange system by either local office staff or authorized local employers. An external opening is coded against location information from the original posting. Data are not seasonally adjusted and subject to revision. Dashes (---) indicate data not available. TERMS AND CONCEPTS DATA REFERENCE PERIOD. The OJOR collects data using a mid-month reference period (the week that includes the 12th of the month), which is standard for most BLS programs and provides a more accurate comparison for measures using data from those sources. JOB OPENINGS. Job openings include all open and available online openings during the reference period. This figure may include openings posted no more than 90 days prior but still active during the reference period, as well as new openings. ACTIVE RESUMES. Active resumes are all online resumes that have been created or otherwise modified during the reference period. This figure may include resumes posted no more than 90 days prior but still active during the reference period, as well as new resumes. Active resumes may include those created by out-of-state candidates. Candidates may post multiple online resumes so active resumes should not be interpreted as an individual candidate count. Active resumes are not necessarily an indicator of unemployment since candidates posting resumes may or may not be unemployed. SUPPLY/DEMAND RATES. Supply/demand rates, as outlined below, only provide a measure of relative slack of the labor market and whether a potential imbalance exists, but does not suggest that the qualifications of the job seekers directly align with the requirements of the advertised vacancies. Over time, these rates tend to trend closely with the general economic cycle, specifically labor market contractions/expansions. JOB OPENINGS RATE. The job openings rate is simply the percentage of all jobs in the economy open and available and is calculated by taking the number of job openings divided by total nonfarm employment (filled jobs) from the CES program plus job openings (unfilled jobs). The number of unfilled jobs is an important measure of the unmet demand for labor. With that statistic, it is possible to paint a more complete picture of the state's labor market than by looking solely at the unemployment rate, a measure of the excess supply of labor. A higher rate is an indicator of increased job opportunities for seekers. This supply/demand rate includes those working more than one job and commuting from out of state. Calculations for the U.S. job openings rate use data from the JOLTS. Due to timing issues, supplemental data used to calculate this rate typically lag one month, therefore the most recent published rate will lag one month in the latest published report. The U.S. data typically lag two months. ACTIVE RESUMES PER JOB OPENING. Active resumes per job opening is a supply/demand rate that uses active online resumes as the supply input and is the most timely of the supply/demand rates. For this measure, only local active online resumes (i.e. resumes tied to an in-state North Dakota address) were used in the calculation in order to get a more accurate measure of the local supply situation. Out-of-state resumes are excluded from this calculation. A result less than 1 indicates more job openings than local active resumes, while a result greater than 1 indicates more local active resumes than job openings. Also, this is the only supply/demand rate that generates results at the occupational group level. UNEMPLOYED PER JOB OPENING. Unemployed per job opening is a supply/demand rate calculated by taking the number of unemployed persons from the LAUS program and dividing by job openings. A result less than 1 indicates more job openings than potential resident labor supply, while a result greater than 1 indicates more potential resident labor supply than job openings. Calculations for the U.S. rate of unemployed per job opening are based on data from the JOLTS and the Current Population Survey (CPS) from the BLS. Due to timing issues, supplemental data used to calculate this rate typically lag one month, therefore the most recent published rate will lag one month in the latest published report. The U.S. data typically lag two months. OCCUPATIONAL DATA. Occupational groups are based on the 2000 SOC coding system. It should be noted that are no changes at the major occupational group level in the 2010 SOC revision, though the detailed composition of the groups may have changed but not enough to be significant at the group level. Openings and resumes are coded to the 6-digit SOC level and 8-digit O*NET level whenever possible. Data are aggregated to the major occupational group level. UNEMPLOYMENT DATA. The unemployment data used in this report come from the CPS and the LAUS programs. Both programs provide timely and accurate data on the unemployed and are used to calculate supply/demand rates of unemployed per job opening. The unemployed are defined as those 16 years of age and older who were unemployed but actively seeking and available for work within the last month. REGIONAL DATA. The eight North Dakota regions were established in 1968 are made up of groupings of counties around a regional city center providing a majority of the services and exhibiting the greatest economic influence. Openings data are coded based on worksite location. Resumes data are coded based on the current residential address of the job seeker. While the regional reports are not as comprehensive as the statewide report, they do provide some local detail and comparisons not otherwise available. WAGE DATA. The average hourly wage data are the latest available from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. OES wage data provide an accurate, comprehensive, point-in-time snapshot of wage levels of currently employed workers across all 800 SOC occupations. These wage data should not be interpreted as an advertised wage for openings in that occupational group. Occupational wage data specific to the OJOR regions are not available, instead, state-level North Dakota occupational wages are provided as a general guide. DATA INTERPRETATION The OJOR contains a lot of data and information. For many, the issue becomes how to interpret it. While the top-line numbers get the most attention, the emphasis in interpreting the data should focus on the trend over time. Since the time series is not seasonally adjusted, the most appropriate comparison for any month should be the same month one year earlier. Job openings data reflect a relative demand for labor. Job openings include all open and available online openings. It should not be assumed that the published job openings number is the entirety of the job openings market. There is a segment of the job openings market that relies solely on means other than online to recruit workers. Those openings aren’t captured in the OJOR. Active resumes data reflect a relative supply of labor. Active resumes include all online resumes that have been created or otherwise modified by job seekers with a desire to work in North Dakota. Therefore, a segment of active resumes belong to out-of- state candidates. Candidates may post multiple online resumes so active resumes should not be interpreted as an individual candidate count. Active resumes are not necessarily an indicator of unemployment since candidates posting resumes may or may not be unemployed. It should not be assumed that the published active resumes number is the entirety of the potential labor supply market. For example, those unemployed who haven’t created an online resume are not counted in the active resume total. Similarly, “casual” job seekers who may peruse job openings but not create an online resume are not included in the count. Supply/demand rates are a calculation used to reconcile the relationship between labor market demand (e.g. job openings) and labor market supply (e.g. active resumes, unemployed). The resulting ratios highlight the relative slack of the labor market for occupational groups and select geographies. Generally, supply/demand rates (e.g. active resumes per job opening, unemployed per job opening) below 1 indicate a greater need for workers in an occupational group or area. In other words, there’s not enough supply (workers) to keep up with demand (job openings). Generally, the opposite is true when supply/demand rates exceed 1. Of course, such an analysis only provides a general idea of where excess demand exists; it does not necessarily indicate a match if a candidate doesn’t have the individual education, skills, or experience to get hired. Caution should be exercised when interpreting supply/demand rates. Occupational groups and geographies with a small number of openings exhibit much more volatility and may skew a user’s interpretation of an area’s labor market situation. It’s important to reference the number of openings for an occupational group or geography in order to add context to any supply/demand analysis (high/low rates may mask a relatively small labor market demand and/or supply).This is especially true for geographies with small populations and labor forces. Career planning and exploration is an integral component to a successful work life. Students are increasingly being introduced to career planning and exploration activities early on in their academic life. In conjunction with other pieces of labor market information (e.g. projections, wages, skill requirements, etc.), the supply/demand data can alert students, educators, and counselors to excess supply or higher demand in certain occupational groups or geographies. For job seekers, the OJOR data can help focus job searches and highlight occupational groups and/or geographic areas with the greatest opportunities or toughest competition. The business community, economic developers, and policy makers use supply/demand data to track trends in the labor market. OJOR data can potentially highlight labor imbalances. This can be especially helpful if a business is looking to expand or relocate, therefore needing a supply of available workers. Economic developers and policy makers use the data to gauge the general health of the economy and look for opportunities to maximize labor supply and demand.

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