Kansas Job Vacancy Survey Methodology
The Kansas Job Vacancy Survey is conducted by the Kansas Department of Labor’s Labor Market Information Services (LMIS) division on an annual basis. The sample for the survey is approximately 3,100 establishments. The sample is selected from the establishments listed in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages database during the second quarter of the year prior to the survey. For example, the sample for the 2019 Kansas Job Vacancy Survey is drawn from the list of employers from the 2018 2nd quarter QCEW file.
The sample is stratified by industry supersector, employment size, and by local workforce investment area based on establishments’ industry code, number of employees and the county they are located in. The sample is stratified to ensure the sample is a mix of representative businesses for the state of Kansas.
Establishments are placed into one of 11 major industry supersectors based on their assigned industry code. The industry codes used are from the 2017 North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). The supersectors are defined using the following 2017 NAICS codes:
Establishments are divided into four size classes based on the number of employees they have: Size Class 1 (1-4 employees), Size Class 2 (5-49 employees), Size Class 3 (50-249 employees), and Size Class 4 (250+ employees).
Finally, establishments are assigned to a local area based on the county they are located in. These local areas are used as planning regions under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The map below shows the five local areas in Kansas:
Establishments with at least one employee during the second quarter of the year prior to the survey are eligible to be selected for the survey with a few exceptions. Establishments that are excluded are:
The sample is drawn by LMIS staff using SPSS. The sample is selected randomly without replacement within the strata. All Size Class 4 establishments are selected for the survey while the sample size for each stratum in the other three size classes are determined by applying the following rules in order:
The Kansas Job Vacancy Survey is conducted annually over a three month period from April 1 to June 30. On April 1 (or the Friday before if April 1 falls on a weekend), a postcard is mailed to all private sector and local government establishments informing them they have been selected for the survey and giving them instructions on how to fill the survey out online. An email is also sent out on April 1 (to the following Monday in April 1 falls on a weekend) to all establishments that we have an email address on record. Establishments receive a paper copy of the form roughly two weeks after the beginning of the survey period. Up to three additional emails and one additional paper form will be sent to establishments who have not responded to the survey.
In addition to contacting employers via mail and email, LMIS staff will look up and record job vacancies posted online for surveyed establishments that list their job vacancies online. LMIS attempts to follow up with establishments that have not responded by phone during the month of June. Employers have the option of responding to the survey via return mail, email, fax, telephone or the KDOL website.
Employers are asked to provide their contact information and whether they have any job vacancies currently or not. If they do have job vacancies they are asked to provide a list of job titles for their vacant positions and the following information about their vacancies:
Classification of Job Titles
LMIS staff reviews the job titles provided by respondents and matches them to a corresponding occupation using the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. SOC consists of 840 detailed occupations within 22 major civilian occupational groups. For the purposes of this study, occupational information is presented for both the major occupational groups and the detailed occupations. In the case of vague or unfamiliar job titles, employers are contacted to provide more information to facilitate assigning the appropriate occupational code.
More information about the 2010 SOC can be found here: https://www.bls.gov/soc/2010/home.htm.
Estimates are prepared and published for the state of Kansas and each local area. In order to produce estimates, each employer is assigned a weight relative to other employers in the same local area, industry super sector, and size class. The weights are derived from the total number of employers in a given stratum as a percentage of the number of usable responses from that stratum. The weights are assigned after data collection was complete and were based upon response status.
Establishments that have gone out of business, no longer have employees in Kansas, or are deemed out of scope of the survey are completely removed from the sample population before calculating the weights. Establishments that are found to have been assigned to the wrong stratum, are moved into the correct stratum before assigning weights.
These weights are used to estimate the number of job vacancies for each occupation reported by respondents. Outliers are identified and the number of job vacancies were adjusted where necessary. In some cases, additional information such as education requirement or starting wages are not reported or are not usable in the final analysis. Therefore, the data may not add up to 100 percent.
Average Lowest Wage Offer
The respondents are asked to provide the expected compensation for each job opening. In many cases, the average lowest wage offer may vary depending on the experience of the candidate; therefore, employers have the option to provide a wage range. This provides the availability of two sets of average wages, lowest and highest. In most cases, the published results represent the lowest average wage offer.
The majority of the results presented in the published tables include average wage offers as an hourly wage. Annual compensation for full-time positions reported in the survey was converted to an hourly rate for the purposes of this study. This was determined by dividing the annual compensation by 2,080 hours. There is a small group of occupations, primarily in teaching professions and coaching, identified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Survey (OES), where the standard work-year assumption is not valid. Therefore, the wages for these occupations were excluded from the analysis.
The average hourly wage offer is based upon the responses employers provided to the survey and does not reflect information from other sources or wages paid for currently filled positions. The average wage offer is the average of the wage information reported by employers. It does not include wage information for any occupations paid by special pay arrangements. For example, some truck drivers are paid a certain amount per load and some part-time postsecondary teachers are paid per credit hour.
The average wage offer may not include all monies received from tips because the amount of tips received is unknown. All wages reported below the federal minimum wage, including those that indicated tips were also received, were adjusted to $7.25 an hour when it was stated that tips were included. In these cases, $7.25 was used to calculate the average lowest and highest wage offer.
Job Vacancy Rate
The job vacancy rate is a computation of the number of job vacancies as a percent of all positions filled and vacant. The most current employment data from the Local Employment and Wage Information System (LEWIS) was used to assist with the calculation of the job vacancy rates by occupation. LEWIS is a system for producing occupational wage and employment statistics from the results of the annual OES Survey. LEWIS is particularly useful because it allows for the calculation of employment within occupational groups and detailed occupations for the state and for local areas. The occupational employment data used to calculate the job vacancy rates are from the most recent Kansas Wage Survey.
Job vacancy rates were calculated by industry supersector as well. The annual average employment from the most recently completed calendar year as reported by QCEW is used to calculate the job vacancy rates. Due to the use of different sources, the job vacancy rate by occupation and industry supersector may differ slightly.
Comparing Results from Previous Studies
Previous job vacancy studies (2004 - 2006) were stratified by industry sector. In an effort to continually improve the methodology and lower the survey cost, beginning in 2007 the study was stratified by industry super sector. Beginning in 2014, all government owned establishments regardless of NAICS code were placed in the Government super sector to provide a comparison of public sector vs. private sector openings and to be more aligned with other data published by LMIS. In 2018, LMIS began conducted a fall job vacancy survey in addition to the one done every spring. Due to changes in methodology, comparison of estimated job vacancies with previous surveys should be made with caution.
For more information regarding the Kansas Job Vacancy Survey please contact LMIS at:
LMIS Address: 401 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66603
Job Vacancy Survey Unit Phone Number: (866) 270-2873
LMIS Fax Number: (785) 296-5286
LMIS Email Address: KDOL.Laborstats@ks.gov