2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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LOCAL LABOR MARKET RESEARCH

WHEREAS, a key task of any locally-based, demand driven workforce system is to understand the fundamental industrial and occupational structure of local labor markets and local/regional labor market trends, identify those industry/occupational segments that are leading the growth, identify key skill/training issues, assess the adequacy of labor supply to those segments and devise strategies to effectively respond to the skills needs of employment sectors in local and metropolitan labor markets; and

WHEREAS, there are sharp differences in demographic developments, local economic performance, and the magnitude and nature of labor market problems confronting each of the sub-markets of the economy; and

WHEREAS, locally-based labor market research data for use by local elected officials and their Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and other public and private stakeholders to address the needs that are unique to their markets and to make sound decisions regarding their workforce is not available in a timely and useful manner; and

WHEREAS, not only is accurate, timely, and useful labor market data essential at the local level, it is critical for making funding and other determinations under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which authorizes the locally-based workforce system,  and other federal programs; and

WHEREAS, the national data on unemployment does not truly reflect the unemployment picture in local areas and at the national level; and

WHEREAS, there is concern that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is still using old data to make funding and other determinations rather than the most up to date data, including the 2000 census data; and

WHEREAS, as the nation continues to face high levels of unemployment, particularly in cities and among youth, the resources and support provided to the locally-based workforce system will impact our national economy and global competitiveness in an unprecedented way; and

WHEREAS, further, as the economy moves into recovery, the underlying skills shortage for high-growth jobs will impede economic growth unless addressed,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to provide resources and support for locally-based labor market research data and make investments in better data collection; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Department of Labor to use the most recent data available, including data collected as the result of the 2000 census or newer data, in the determination of state and local funding decisions, and such other activities and functions that require the use of data for carrying out the requirements of WIA.