© Copyright 2008 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

WYOMING LABOR FORCE TRENDS

Vol. 45 No. 8

Survey of Trends Subscribers

by: April Szuch, Information Specialist

Statistical analysis conducted by Research & Planning (R&P) frequently reaches its widest audience through the publication Wyoming Labor Force Trends and via R&Pís labor force information (LMI) website, http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI. To gauge the effectiveness of these media and the satisfaction of users, R&P sent a survey to individuals on the mailing list for Trends. Recipients were asked to rate their satisfaction with Trends, comment on how they use the publication and R&Pís website, suggest improvements, and indicate their interest in e-mail notification when publications are available online. According to survey results, respondents are satisfied with Trends. Additionally, respondents reported that they use Trends in connection with employment and unemployment data, health care issues, workforce training, wage data, career planning courses, presentations for and work with clients, employee recruitment, grant applications, regional data, and industry information, among others.

Federal funding constraints put pressure on statistical offices such as R&P to provide hard copy dissemination of information but do not remove the obligations to make information publicly available and to obtain input from stakeholders and customers. As a way to increase efficiency, R&P and many other research offices across the country are now offering more online and e-mail services.

To gauge the effectiveness of Trends and the LMI website, R&P sent a survey to individuals already on the mailing list for Trends. Recipients were asked to rate their satisfaction with Trends, comment on how they use the publication and R&Pís website, suggest improvements, and indicate their interest in e-mail notification when publications are available online.

The survey was mailed in March 2008, and again to those who had not responded in April 2008. Of the 1,236 individuals who were mailed a survey, 333 (26.9%) responded (see Table 1).

Subscription Preference

Survey recipients were asked if they wanted e-mail notification when Trends is available online. They were also asked if they wanted to be notified when other R&P publications are available online. Of those who responded, 73.5% wanted to receive an e-mail when Trends is online and 26.5% did not (see Figure 1 and Table 2). The percentages for those who wanted an e-mail when other R&P publications are online were similar: 67.3% answered yes and 32.7% answered no (see Figure 2).

As shown in Figure 3, more than half of survey respondents (60.8%) wanted to receive both a hard copy of Trends and e-mail notification, 20.8% wanted only a hard copy, and 7.2% asked to discontinue their hard copy subscription and receive only e-mail notification. Those who wanted to cancel their subscription (11.3%) made up the remainder of responses.

As a result of this survey, R&P has updated the Wyoming Labor Force Trends mailing list and begun to notify subscribers via e-mail when Trends and other publications are available online.

Satisfaction

Survey recipients were given six choices for satisfaction ratings: Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Very Dissatisfied, and Donít Know.

Most survey recipients (85.3%) indicated a satisfaction rating (see Table 1). Of those who did, 43.3% chose Very Satisfied and 45.4% chose Satisfied (see Figure 4). The remainder selected Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied (8.5%) and Donít Know (2.8%).

Comments

Of the 333 who responded to the survey, 133 (39.9%) respondents wrote a comment. Half of the comments (51.1%) included the respondentís method of use for Trends. Nearly one-quarter of the comments (24.1%) included details about the type of subscription needed or asked to be removed from the mailing list. Complimentary comments and those offering suggestions comprised 35.3% of comments (20.3% and 15.0%, respectively). The remaining 1.5% of comments said the publication was not useful. Some comments were classified in more than one category. Table 3 shows selected comments demonstrating the range of topics covered.

The respondents who told us how they used Trends usually mentioned employment and unemployment data, health care issues, workforce training, wage data, career planning courses, presentations for and work with clients, employee recruitment, grant applications, regional data, and industry information, among others.

Of the respondents who had suggestions, several requested more detailed county- and city-level data (see Cowan, 2008, for a response to that request). Some asked for industry-specific articles (e.g., mining, manufacturing). Several also requested that terminology, writing, and tables be simplified so that more readers could understand.

Conclusions

While many survey respondents wanted to receive e-mail notification, many still wanted to receive a hard copy as well or only a hard copy. Several respondents wrote that they shared Trends hard copies with coworkers or saved them for future reference. In addition, a number of libraries keep hard copies of Trends on hand for patrons.

Given the limited response rate, which experience has shown is not uncommon when canvassing subscribers of publications, the reader should be aware that R&P receives customer input from a range of sources: feedback at presentations and comments from advisory councils, boards, and commissions for whom we do work. These forms of input significantly influence subsequent publications and research.

References

Cowan, C. (2008, July). Ask an economist. Wyoming Labor Force Trends, 45(7). Retrieved August 4, 2008, from http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/0708/a6.htm

To receive e-mail notification when Trends or other R&P publications are available online, please contact April Szuch at aszuch@state.wy.us or (307) 473-3808.




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