"The APIs profoundly simplified the process of updating wages and outlooks data on Job Bank. It made things much more efficient but more importantly, it provided the data owner with more control over their data."
— Mina Riad, Manager of Business Analytics & Technology @ Job Bank
Bringing Labour Market Information (LMI) to Canadians through an API Approach
February 12, 2020 - Gatineau, QC - Employment and Social Development Canada
By Chrystal Tolu Olorunsogo and Tony Heacock
In the past, updating labour market information such as wages and employment outlooks, would take weeks, and any published news information had to go through a lengthy and cumbersome process before it was available to the public. This meant that people were not getting the most current and relevant information. Recognizing this, the Labour Market Data, Methods and Analysis Division (DMA) created new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that would make the information updating process more timely and efficient.
Thanks to a new API-driven approach, DMA in partnership with Job Bank has been able to streamline its publishing of labour market information and ensure Canadians have access to the most updated wage and employment outlook data information, as well as faster access to information on local news events that are affecting the Canadian labour market.
The Labour Market Data, Methods and Analysis Division (DMA)
DMA within the Skills and Employment Branch (SEB) at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has developed a suite of Labour Market Information APIs to explore innovative ways to disseminate labour market information to Canadians. The beta version of the LMI Explore website was publicly released in the summer of 2018.
A key outcome of the release was demonstrating the value that APIs brought to LMI content producers and consumers through a modern digital approach to service delivery.
The API Journey
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are digital building blocks of information and data that can be shared between two computer systems to enable service delivery and information sharing. They let services easily communicate with each other, thereby saving time and money.
An API approach provided an efficient way to ensure effective data governance; “a single source of truth” by centralizing data management and controlling user access to the data. Overall, the outcomes demonstrated value from a data governance perspective and also encouraged innovation and stakeholder collaboration, increased reach and improved accessibility for users, and enabled a more digital approach to service delivery.
The API’s – a suite of LMI products
ESDC has published a suite of LMI API products on the Government of Canada API store. These APIs can be used independently, or in combination with others to provide a picture of the labour market within Canada. The available APIs include:
- Wages API (published by SEB)
- Determines a low, median and high wage for each of the 500 occupations identified in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system, at an economic region, provincial and national level. Wages across the country are evaluated, and updated annually.
- Employment Outlooks API (published by SEB)
- Determines an employment outlook (good, fair or limited prospects) for each of the 500 occupations identified in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system at an economic region, provincial and national level. Employment Outlooks are modeled, and updated annually.
- NOCAutocoder API (published by SEB)
- The NOC classification system can be a challenge to navigate for citizens. Job titles are not always intuitive to Canadians. The API will return a list of possible NOC code matches from plain language text input.
- LMI News API (published by SEB)
- Four regions, Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and West compile a list of events (news articles) from across the country that have an impact on the labour market.
Launch of the GC API Store
The launch of the Government of Canada API Store in April 2019 provided a platform for effective API governance through which the LMI API developers can confidently manage operational access to, and distribution of their API; thus, all LMI APIs by default go through the GC API Store.
Using the API Store to disseminate LMI API products has provided a secure platform to expand DMA’s digital presence, and extend their reach across the Government of Canada and private sector organizations that rely on labour market information.
Special thanks to the DMA’s technical team for their work on this initiative: Servillano Poserio, Carl Christian Madrid, Ulan Sydykbaev and Rebecca Baird.
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