Let’s #FreeTheData and Get PA to Work

The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association is proud to announce that we are leading a coalition to #FreetheData 

The Pennsylvania workforce is changing, so policymakers and administrators must work together to ensure that programs effectively serve job seekers, workers, and employers. A coalition of stakeholders has echoed this sentiment, and that’s why we’ve launched the #FreetheData campaign to push for legislation that will allow for better access to workforce data.

The proposed legislation to #FreetheData has two primary components. 

First, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry should share unemployment claim, unemployment wage, and new hire database information with Pennsylvania’s local workforce development boards and other stakeholders for performance accountability, evaluation, and research. 

Second, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry should develop an accessible and usable dashboard platform that allows streamlined, user-friendly access to the data at any point in time.

Fix the Data Lag, Free the Data

Currently, local workforce boards and other stakeholders in Pennsylvania are experiencing a severe data lag that makes it difficult to evaluate and change workforce policies and programs effectively. Specifically, Unemployment Compensation and new hire data can take up to 24 months to access from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The data we receive must provide more information to redesign programs or processes that improve workforce outcomes.

Economic and workforce conditions can change quickly, making it essential to have access to real-time data that accurately reflects the realities in the field for Pennsylvania’s workforce development system. The coalition behind the #FreetheData campaign is urging the legislature and the Shapiro Administration to pass legislation that will allow for more timely services for workers, job seekers, and employers.

It’s important to note that Pennsylvania already collects and protects non-identifiable workforce data on unemployment claimants, unemployment wages, and new hires. The coalition is not asking for new data but, instead, for more timely access to the data that the commonwealth already provides. More timely data will allow local workforce development boards to address service delivery gaps more efficiently and improve government transparency and openness.

Our #FreetheData campaign is about creating a more competitive and prosperous Pennsylvania where all residents benefit from a strong, resilient, and effective workforce development system. Our coalition hopes that policymakers, administrators, and other stakeholders will join them in advocating for better access to workforce data and support the proposed legislation to #FreetheData

We hope you join us to help create a brighter future for Pennsylvania’s workforce.