June 2009

Back Issues of Trends

Labor Market Information


R&P Data Reach Wide Audience: Customer Contacts, Media Coverage, and Internet Downloads for 2007

To better understand and anticipate customer needs, Research & Planning (R&P) in 2004 began tracking customer contacts from the public. A contact is defined as any phone call, letter, or e-mail to R&P, as well as any visit to R&P’s Labor Market Information (LMI) websites – excluding regularly scheduled and periodic contacts with customers, such as the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information’s Economic Analysis Division, the Wyoming Healthcare Commission, community college staff, the Wyoming Board of Nursing, and others.

The number of direct phone calls and e-mails were low, but visits and downloads from the LMI website typically show a high level of interest. Direct customer contacts are self-reported by R&P staff. Approximately 200 phone calls or e-mails from the public were received concerning LMI in 2007. R&P has made more publications available on the Internet rather than in print, which results in a reduction of printing and mailing costs. R&P in 2007 distributed 27,395 print copies of its monthly Wyoming Labor Force Trends to customers, with 6,212 copies electronically downloaded from the website.

R&P continually looks for ways to reach more customers. The Quarterly Connection is a newsletter sent to all employers registered with the Wyoming Department of Employment’s Unemployment Insurance Tax Division and Workers’ Compensation Division. R&P began contributing content for each newsletter as a way to familiarize more customers with R&P data and research. In 2007, 108,000 hard copies of the Quarterly Connection were sent out, while 1,095 electronic copies were downloaded.

During the year, 1,594 news releases regarding the state’s unemployment rates and other employment data were sent out, primarily to the media, but also to other subscribers on a monthly basis. These news releases prompted 291 interviews by the media, ranging from newspapers to on-air television interviews with R&P staff.

Each article in a Wyoming newspaper had the potential to reach more than 30,000 readers depending on that newspaper’s circulation. R&P data were also published in national media such as USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, interviews or R&P data were often published on media websites, allowing online readers access to this data.

Visitors to the LMI Website

An older version of WebTrends software had been used to track LMI website activity from 2004 through third quarter 2008. New software, WebTrends Marketing Lab, was installed during fourth quarter 2008. With the new software weeding out irrelevant bots and spiders (computer programs that automatically browse the World Wide Web, usually searching for links) from the data, R&P will be getting a more accurate picture of its customers’ interests.

A total of 171,032 visits were made to the LMI website during 2007. A visit is a series of actions that begins when a visitor views his or her first page from the server and ends when the visitor leaves the site or remains idle beyond the idle-time limit.

When determining the number and type of visitors, only visitors identified by cookies are counted. A cookie is a string of text that is stored by a browser on a user’s computer to track visits to a website. New visitors are users whose visits begin without any cookie information but acquire a cookie or multiple cookies during the visit. Returning visitors are users who already have a cookie from a previous visit to R&P’s website. Many users’ browsers are set to refuse to accept cookies; there is no way to determine if these new visitors are new or returning.

New Versus Returning Visitors Visits
Visitors Not Accepting Cookies 164,737
Returning Visitors 4,723
New Visitors 1,562
Total 171,022

Most Downloaded Files

The downloading of a file from a website is a clear indication of the user’s interest in that specific data. Data from the LMI website were downloaded a total of 58,514 times in 2007.

A review of the most downloaded files shows R&P’s customers were interested in using R&P data regarding Occupational Employment Statistics and Wyoming wages and benefits. A total of 10,600 such files were downloaded from the LMI website during 2007.

An almost equal level of interest was shown by customers in files related to commuting and occupational information, as shown by the downloading of more than 10,000 files in each area.

Health care (http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/health.htm) and projections (http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/projections.htm) continued to be issues of high interest with approximately 4,000 files downloaded relating to each area.

Last modified on by Phil Ellsworth.