Same powerful platform, even better data

Developer now has even better job postings data

Published on Mar 9, 2022

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Drew Repp

Providing labor market insight to create prosperity and enable economic mobility is at the heart of our work. It’s one of the big reasons why Emsi and Burning Glass merged last summer. By combining the best of both companies, we’re able to offer better tools that deliver more actionable insight than ever before.

And that’s exactly what we’ve done with Developer: our all-in-one labor market data platform for economic and workforce development. In early January, we released a major “under the hood” update to the Developer platform that makes it better than ever at helping you develop effective strategies, win grants, and drive your community forward — and it’s only the first of many enhancements to come.

Here are some details on the updates so far and a look ahead at some of the additional enhancements on the horizon.

1. Even better job postings data

The methodology used to capture, deduplicate, and enrich our job posting data has been improved. The result is a job postings feed that more accurately reflects actual job openings in the market as opposed to how many job advertisements are being published.

How do we know it’s more accurate? Because the posting counts and trends align very closely to the BLS’s monthly JOLTS report, which is the best metrics available for tracking job openings. But, unlike JOLTS data, which has a two-month lag in publication, our job postings feed is available in real-time.

Improved deduplication is a key component of the new methodology. Deduplication means that if a company posts a job in your region on six different job sites, we’re only showing that job once in our postings feed. We’ve always deduplicated postings in this manner, but the updated methodology means even fewer duplicate postings slip through the cracks. And the postings that survive the deduplication process are ones you can rely on.

Similarly, we’ve reduced spam postings. Some companies publish the same posting on multiple job sites in multiple cities, or even publish a general posting that isn’t for a specific vacancy. For example, as a strategy to garner more applicants and address the trucker shortage, truck driver postings for a single job often appear in multiple communities across the country. But counting each of these does not give a true measure of demand and openings. That’s why our updated methodology does an even better job of removing these blanket or spam postings. 

The updated methodology also improves the accuracy of tagging. Tagging is the process whereby certain key characteristics of a posting are captured and categorized, making the postings easier to analyze and filter. These characteristics include whether the role is full or part-time, years of experience required, location, whether the job is remote or non-remote, and more.

2. Same platform, now even more powerful

The Developer platform is built to deliver data in a way that’s easy to understand and use. Reports are simple to filter so you can quickly generate tables, maps, or charts to download and use in presentations, reports, and grant applications. In this way, Developer makes it easy to go beyond collecting data to insights and strategic decisions that move your community forward. This hasn’t changed. And as more updates are rolled out, the guidance you glean from Developer will only get stronger.

With job postings now an even better representation of vacancies, Developer filter parameters give researchers an even better real-time understanding of advertised wage trends, remote work increases, changing degree requirements, and much more.  And, since job postings are the leading edge of employer hiring efforts (preceding any actual hires that might take place), they offer predictive, forward-looking insight into where the market is heading.

Developer is also designed to provide a comprehensive view of the labor market. To do this Lightcast uses job postings to build on the foundation of labor market information (LMI) from government sources. Put another way, LMI is like the blueprint of a house; data from job postings, profiles, and resumes are the wall colors and final finishes. Developer pulls both of these rich, complementary data sources together in one intuitive platform, so you can easily access all the data you need to power prosperity in your community.

3. Continued innovation

We’ve always known the labor market is complex and can change on a dime. The last few years have demonstrated this fact. It’s why we’re continually updating Developer  with new data sets, reports, and methodologies to adapt to the research needs of communities and location decision makers. Here’s a sneak-peak at some of the innovations that are on the horizon. 

Updated global occupation taxonomy – This taxonomy will use SOC and O*NET categories, but will provide more granularity with specialized occupations that better reflect the nuances of the market and capture more up-to-date and emerging roles. This taxonomy will apply to all postings, both US and global.

Updated skills taxonomy  This taxonomy update will provide better breadth and depth of skills coverage, including categorization of how different skills relate to each other in the labor market. The update will also allow us to introduce new skills and identify emerging skills more quickly in the future.

Enhanced data methodologies – What skills actually define a job? “Communication” is part of and important to all roles, but it doesn’t distinguish one job from another. Enhanced data methodologies will help define and distinguish the relationship of skills to an occupation, revealing the importance of a skill to an occupation as opposed to how often it appears in a job posting.    

Report Builder – This capability will make it easy to customize and create your own reports, providing even greater flexibility for how you view and analyze job postings, and helping you discover how employers are talking about their hiring needs.   

More filters and pre-generated groups – Soon, you’ll see new filters to search by additional posting characteristics, such as background check requirements and remote work preferences (e.g. remote allowed, hybrid, unspecified). Additionally, pre-generated groups such as green jobs, advanced manufacturing, and biotech will be added so groups don’t need to be created manually for building research projects.

Impact across the platform

While this first major update to Developer was largely “under the hood”—making the job postings feed more accurate and reflective of job vacancies—its impact is felt across the platform. Comprehensive and unsuppressed LMI combined with best-in-class job postings gives you the ability to examine the labor market both retroactively for established trends and explore real-time data to determine emerging trends.    

Reading about it is one thing. Seeing it is another. Reach out today and get introduced to Developer.

For more information on how our insights can help your community, please get in touch.