What is labour market information and how can it help you?
The labour market is “the supply of available workers in relation to available work.” Labour market Information (LMI) tells you about the current climate of a particular industry with respect to labour market conditions and trends.
LMI helps individuals make educated decisions about their careers and education, and it helps employers with their employment and business plans.
What can labour market information do for you?
LMI provides you with the information you will need to help make decisions about any career you’re researching. Using LMI will save you time and energy when looking for work. For example, LMI can tell you if an industry has little or no demand for employees.
For example, if you’re interested in teaching, you’ll discover that thousands of recent teaching graduates in Canada, and even veteran teachers, are finding it difficult to find full-time employment. Some even have to work in remote communities or overseas, often in jobs for which they were not even trained.
LMI can guide your search by telling you:
- the jobs and skills employers are seeking
- the industries that have excess workers, are hiring or experiencing a shortage of workers
- in which cities and communities employers are hiring
- the working conditions for specific industries
- the education and training needed for specific jobs
- the factors that may prevent you from getting a job
- the job areas that are projected to increase/decrease in the future
- the expected salary for a particular occupation
How and where can I find labour market information?
1. Research online:
There are many resources online to help you access LMI. Not every source of labour market information will be accurate, however. Remember to consult a variety of sources and think critically about the information you are collecting.
Here are websites to help you find relevant information about jobs in British Columbia and Canada:
- WorkBC - Labour market Information | B.C.'s Economy: This comprehensive website allows you to "learn all about the economy of B.C., including vital labour market outlooks, monthly employment trends and information on the province’s green economy. You’ll also find other sources and a guide to making labour market information work for you."
- Work BC also has a report called 2024 Labour Market Outlook, which details “the best available information about the kinds of jobs and skills that will be most in demand – overall, and region by region – for the next 10 years."
- WorkBC - Training and Education, B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: "...aims to provide the information you need to align your training with an in-demand job. Develop a seamless plan from high school through post-secondary and into the workforce. Learn how B.C. is working to enhance access to skills and jobs."
- Canada Business Network: Use this website to "find statistics and analysis on the labour force, employment issues (such as hours worked, number of employees and payrolls) and income. Learn more about the various surveys conducted by Statistics Canada and access the data. You will also find internationally comparable data available from the International Labour Office."
- Job Bank: This government website allows you to search for jobs by type of job and location.
2. Conduct informational interviews
An informational interview gives you the opportunity to speak to an employed professional in the field you’re interested in working in. Ask for advice on your career, gather information about the industry and about the culture of companies in that industry. It's also an opportunity for networking and finding employment leads.
3. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce:
Your local Chamber of Commerce will have information about upcoming projects in your neighbourhood. This will give you an indication of what kind of jobs will become available in the future.
4. Read the news:
Staying up to date on current events, locally and globally, will give you a sense of which industries are experiencing growth and which are impacted by events such as an economic downturn or decreased demand for the product or service provided by that industry.
Hilary Steinberg helps connect youth to employment in her role as case manager at the YWCA’s Career Zone in downtown Vancouver.
Need more information? Get help at one of our WorkBC Employment Services Centres. Our FREE employment and career services for job seekers ages 16 to 65+ years include specialized workshops and support for immigrants, youth, Indigenous peoples,personnes francophones, persons with disabilities, survivors of violence and abuse, older workers and women returning to work after an absence.
Photo credit: wocintechchat.com