Projections Managing Partnership

Separations Methodology

In March 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced its decision to adopt the Separations methodology, replacing the Replacements methodology. While the pre-existing Replacements and new Separations rates attempt to measure the same concept, the latter more comprehensively reflects the modern labor market, so Separations generally yields higher numbers of openings. Beginning with the 2016 - 2026 projections, national and state occupational projections will use the new Separations methodology to develop estimates of occupational openings.

To prepare for this change, the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) asked states to help test the impact of the new methodology by re-creating 2014-2024 projections using both Replacements and Separations. Results from the 24 participating states helped us understand the practical impact the new method would have on projections, and also made clear the need for a communications strategy to explain the new methodology and the significant impacts it might have on information provided to customers and stakeholders.

In response, the PMP Board competitively selected Piper & Gold Public Relations (P&G) to work with PMP subject matter experts, BLS, and 13 LMI shops to develop and deliver a 'Communicating Separations' workshop in June. The workshop informed an initial set of key messages. P&G tested the key messages via phone interviews with various LMI stakeholders, and then drafted the What You Need to Know About the New Methodology and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents, which received input from PMP Summit attendees, the NASWA LMI Committee, and the PMP Board.

The final versions of these two documents are intended to help projections customers and stakeholders better understand the new Separations methodology.

Communications Toolkit

The communications toolkit contains resources, such as social media images and posts, website copy, newsletter language, presentations, press material, blog post templates, and media interview talking points. The PMP hopes that these materials will aid in effectively explaining and responding to questions about the different employment projections figures produced with the new Separations methodology.

For LMI Directors and staff, please visit support.projectionscentral.com to access toolkit contents.

For others interested in toolkit materials, please contact separations@lmiontheweb.org.