Data Needed to Track Migration, Labor Costs / Say Economists

Article excerpt

Data research to track migration and better data on labor costs in Oklahoma are needed from the new Economics Anal ysis department of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, economists said Thursday.

Also, the Economics Analysis department was requested to identify a scale for entry level wages to help the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce provide more details to businesses looking at Oklahoma City as a plant site.

These requests were made during a session of Oklahoma economists called by Robert Funston, executive director of the commission, to find out what more Economics Analysis could do in providing data for research and analysis.

Under the newest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics contract, the department will be identifying trends in layoffs when 50 or more jobs are terminated within a three-week period.

W.L. Bowman, senior labor market economist for the Economics Analysis department, said the data would include larger firms, and most smaller firms would not be identified.

The commission currently provides employment service statistics, unemployment insurance statistics, Bureau of Labor statistics and is also doing work in demography, Bowman said.

Increased flexibility with discretionary funds in the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission led to the creation of the new Economics Analysis unit apart from the commission's reseach department.

Formed in August, the new department is headed by Bowman, who was chief of research for 24 years. …

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