GAO: One-Stops Satisfy Employers, but More Data Needed

March 21, 2005 ( - A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggests that while employers are, overall, satisfied with one-stop services, the Department of Labor (DoL) should collect more data to better address employers' needs.

While only about 50% of employers are aware of their local one-stop, awareness increases as the size of the employer grows. For small business, about 50% are aware of such shops, while 66% of medium-sized businesses and 75% of large businesses are. Use is also correlated with size, with 75% of large employers using such one-stops, compared with only 50% of medium and 25% of small businesses doing so.

Employers still use the systems primarily to fill job vacancies, according to the report.

A large majority (75%) of those who use one-stops are satisfied with their services, while 83% would go back to use them again. However, the GAO is recommending that the DoL lacks data on employer usage. It is recommending to the Secretary of Labor that she require states to collect and report on employer use of the workforce system. According to the GAO, the DoL agrees with the recommendation.

One-stop services were created by the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which created a comprehensive workforce system – known as a one-stop system – which is designed to bring job seekers and employers together. State and local agencies are required through the WIA to bring together 17 federal programs and make their services available through about 1,900 one-stops across the country.

The survey polled 3,232 small, medium and large employers from the private sector from a nationwide database of businesses, according to the report. The businesses were divided into small (less than 49 employees), medium (between 50 and 499), and large (over 500).

For a copy of the report, please see .