Reimagining Recovery Using Private Sector Indicators

October 2, 2020 - (5 min read)

For policymakers, labor market data can be hard to measure — even more so when the state of play is changing day-to-day.

At LinkedIn, we have a unique window into the global economy through our more than 690 million members – representing 50 million companies, 11 million job listings, 36 thousand skills and 90 thousand schools. As we sift through all of these data points, we can help policymakers understand in near-real-time what’s in demand, and prioritize funding for skill development and job training programs that workers and employers need to get the economy back on track in a more targeted way.

I spoke with Kelly Jin, Chief Analytics Officer for the City of New York and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, about the city’s new partnership to bring together real-time data sources to help as the city navigates economic recovery. Here’s a recap of my conversation with Kelly:

How are you using this data to inform how you’re building programs for New Yorkers who are out of work and looking for a new job?

We at the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics know just how significantly Covid-19 has impacted New Yorkers’ livelihoods across different sectors. This summer, as we began building the NYC Recovery Data Partnership, we heard a consistent need to understand New York City’s economic impact beyond the unemployment rate. We turned to the LinkedIn Economic Graph team who already publishes bi-monthly reports of public indicators in the New York region.

The data and insights we are receiving from LinkedIn for the Partnership will help us understand in a more localized, detailed, and higher frequency way: in which job titles do we see more New Yorkers who are out of work, and in which industries and job titles do we see more demand and hiring?

Data and answers to these questions will be pivotal for understanding not just high-level workforce trends throughout Covid-19 response and recovery, but how to tailor programming to particular populations of New Yorkers or sectors that need more assistance.

Part of the excitement with the Partnership is also that we are equipping City agencies to responsibly receive and analyze partners’ data, and will be sharing examples of analysis and insights that inform workforce programs in the months to come. Stay tuned! 

Are there any short- or long-term changes in New York’s talent pipelines that you’re thinking about?

Heading a data analytics office in local government with a data science team, I keep a close eye specifically on the data and tech sector and talent pipeline in two key areas.

(1) Supply shifts in the local data science and analytics talent pool. I cast the net pretty wide here and follow the private and public sectors – Who is hiring? What job titles and descriptions are they posting? Which individuals are “on the market” and looking for a new opportunity?

You can spot passionate talent just as frequently at large tech companies as you can at smaller local community organizations. I learned from a boss early on to always be scouting for talent just like sports teams do, so I spend time browsing data portfolios.

(2) Increased demand for modeling and forecasting data skills. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the demand for modeling and forecasting skills increased exponentially overnight at all organizations, from healthcare to financial services to government. I will be interested to see in the long-term how this short-term need in 2020 changes the long-term recruitment, hiring, and makeup of data, finance, and budget teams at organizations. I’m also keeping a close eye on how local universities and tech career programs with strong data specializations are adapting their curricula to this demand and teaching students virtual engagement best practices for the workplace.


How can the private sector be a more effective partner as we all navigate workforce recovery?

First, we are taking applications for more organizations to join LinkedIn along with 10 other partners in the NYC Recovery Data Partnership! As we navigate workforce recovery, private-public collaborations like the NYC Recovery Data Partnership will be key for governments to better understand the needs of employees as well as employers. If you’re not sure where to start a data dialogue, Harvard’s Civic Analytics Network can help point you to a local city chief analytics and data officer, and many cities have workforce offices.

If your community does not have these staff members, consider reaching out to your workforce development board who can help you better understand labor market trends, needs, and impact. Many private sector companies have already invested in building data for impact programs, and continued investments will help with these dialogues.

Lastly, workforce recovery will be a long road ahead of us – remember that as leaders we may analyze workforce data and build strategies, yet many of us are also employers and hiring managers who make decisions every day. Double-down on building a diverse and inclusive workplace that represents your local cities and communities. Programs like Code2040 are doing incredible work to be lifted and modeled at organizations.



About the Author

Nick DePorter’s professional experience includes government affairs, higher education leadership and workforce development. Nick is the Sr. U.S. Public Policy and Government Affairs Manager at LinkedIn. He is responsible for partnering with policymakers and community stakeholders to create economic opportunity for every member of the workforce.

He currently serves as a Board Member for the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), the Arizona State University – Career and Professional Development Services Advisory Board and the City of Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board.

Nick served as an elected Councilmember for the Town of Fountain Hills, AZ from 2014-2018. He also served on the Maricopa County Workforce Development Board from 2016-2018 and the Chicanos Por La Causa – Integrated Health and Human Services Board from 2009-2018. Nick holds a BA in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Arizona State University.