Job Quality: LMI Tools for Employers Part I

employer at warehouse with employee

What starting wages compensate your employees fairly? Where are new sources for recruiting job seekers? Is your retention rate as high as you want it to be? What other questions have you asked yourself when developing a recruiting strategy?  

To encourage businesses to become more competitive while ensuring workers achieve economic stability, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recommends incorporating job quality mile markers into their business practices. These steps are based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s 8 Good Jobs Principles for retaining employees and increasing access to good-paying jobs.

Monitoring job quality indicators requires data and DEED’s Labor Market Information team has helpful data tools ready to support all Minnesota employers with the information they need. In this two-part series, we demonstrate how to apply Minnesota’s available labor market tools and reports to two of the Good Jobs principles. Let’s start with recruitment and hiring.

Recruitment and Hiring
The first step in understanding the hiring picture for your industry and region is to start with your region’s or county's labor market information. Demographics have shifted in many Minnesota counties over the past ten years and the comprehensive, downloadable regional and county profiles from the Regional Labor Markets page of DEED’s website provides an overview of your area residents by age, race, educational attainment and more, plus provides unemployment rate, industry employment trends, occupations in demand and additional helpful information. 

Within each of the six regional report pages, you can select a county profile, updated annually, for each county within the region. On those county profiles you can see a demographic breakout for the county and how it has changed overtime, as well as an Employment Characteristics table that shows which demographic groups, by age, race/ethnicity, disability status and educational attainment have higher unemployment rates. Here’s an example of a County Profile Employment Characteristics table from the latest Anoka County Profile.  

information in table 7 here:

In this table, the unemployment rates for young workers, Black, Indigenous and People of Color workers, and workers with a disability are higher than the total unemployment rate. Awareness of these rates can lead your company to develop a broader recruiting approach to encompass these groups.  

Another component to consider when recruiting job seekers is that not all may be looking for full-time work. The Job Vacancy Survey indicates the percent of part-time job openings within an industry or occupation. Consider using this number because if your business does not offer part-time opportunities while other similar businesses in the region do, those job seekers that want or need part-time employment may apply elsewhere.  

DEED Labor Market Information Resources for Employers

On the Job Vacancy Survey page on the DEED website, click “Data Tool” and then on the "More Vacancy Details" button for additional details on education and experience required, wage ranges, and whether open positions offer health care. How do you compare to industry standards? In this example for Economic Development Region 11, 30% of the 154 job vacancies in the “life, physical, and social science technicians” occupation offer part-time opportunities. Are you one of the employers offering that option for people who are looking for part-time flexibility? Could you lose a potential good hire to a competitor?  

job vacancy info from here

Take time to explore the Regional Profiles and County Profiles and the Job Vacancy Survey to learn more about all the helpful information you can access. Need assistance? View this page if you have questions about how to use any of our data tools, plus video tutorials and other tools, or contact your regional labor market analyst.  

Access even more job quality resources through CareerForce, Minnesota’s state’s official career exploration and job search resource, serving both job seekers and employers, and get connected with an employment specialist in your area by calling 651-259-7570 or emailing

In part 2 of this series, we will look at livable wages through the cost of living tool and how your wages align with those in your region.