Cross-State Sharing of Employment Data

Participate in the Wage Record Interchange System version 2 (WRIS2) or another appropriate platform to enable the cross-state sharing of employment data, in order to capture the outcomes of students and workers who take jobs across state lines.

State Blueprint in Action

Oregon was involved in developing WRIS2, and uses the system to improve data on employment outcomes for several workforce programs, including adult basic education, vocational rehabilitation, career and technical education, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Its neighboring states of California and Washington are not yet signed up for WRIS2, so state officials suspect they are still missing a lot of information on program completers who get jobs out of state. But they see the potential of the system. For the workforce programs that are allowed to calculate outcomes using the original WRIS, which includes all states, capturing out-of-state outcomes increased employment placement rates by more than ten percent for some completer cohorts.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has created a data sharing arrangement between the four states (Idaho, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington). Each state contributed to a data set containing information on over 190,000 students who graduated from a public high school and/or began at a public postsecondary institution in the state. The data set included information on enrollments, postsecondary credential attainment and wage records, so researchers could look at employment outcomes and subsequent enrollments after completing a program of study. About half of graduates had employment records in the same state where they earned a credential. Getting data through the WICHE exchange enabled researchers to find wage records for an additional four to ten percent of completers, depending on the state. Additional state participation naturally would result in even greater amounts. Researchers and policymakers are using the data set to understand how students and workers are moving through the regional labor market. The data exchange is also supplying participating states and state agencies with enhanced information for the students they are able to claim as their own, so that those agencies can more comprehensively analyze employment and other outcomes for the purposes of reporting, strategic planning and program improvement.

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