WIAC August Meeting Series Update: Recommendations to the Department of Labor
The Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC) finalized recommendations to the Biden Administration on August 31, 2021 that, if implemented, would enhance the Workforce and Labor Market Information (WLMI) system. Lesley Hirsch, the New Jersey Department of Labor Assistant Commissioner of Research and Information stated that the WIAC recommendations are of “critical importance to securing the workforce and labor market information infrastructure, advancing the field, and serving the needs of key constituencies.”
Many WIAC members agreed that improving data practices within the Department of Labor could facilitate economic recovery by optimizing decision-making. With the recommendations in development even before the pandemic, the economic disruption caused by COVID 19 has created new opportunities for making progress in moving them forward.
The WIAC held a series of meetings in August about the proposed recommendations. After much discussion and deliberation during the final meeting, the council voted unanimously to recommend that the Secretary of Labor:
- Advocate for the adoption of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Wage Record by including information on the occupational job title(s), hours worked, and job site location;
- Improve the data and information on the changing nature of work through a Department of Labor (DOL) working group and;
- Adequately fund state workforce and labor mark information infrastructure to meet 21st century demands for data-driven decision-making.
In response to the vote, Hirsch exclaimed that she is “proud to be part of this WIAC.” Other members appeared equally excited by the work they accomplished together. During the public comment portion of the meeting, participants expressed that they were also pleased with the recommendations but had thoughts on ways data could continue to improve going forward. A common theme was the need for more streamlined data between federal agencies and levels of government. Linking and matching data long-term yields great benefits.
The WIAC has already developed plans for next steps. Formulating sub-committees to lead future meetings, members will cover vital topics like data sharing, connecting workers to work, and understanding skills and skill-clustering. The current and future recommendations by the WIAC will continue to advance evidence-based and equitable decision-making coming out of the global pandemic. Click here to learn more about the WIAC expedited recommendations.