Labour market information is information you need to make informed decisions about your future. It includes
- details about different types of work and learning opportunities
- data on current employment conditions
- forecasts for future employment growth and conditions
The term may be new to you but you’re probably already familiar with labour market information. If you’ve heard a news item about who is hiring or downsizing or talked with friends about the industries they work in, you’ve encountered labour market information.
What information about the labour market do you need?
Several factors influence the labour market. Understanding their impact allows you to anticipate the types of skills that will be needed and the kinds of work that will be available in the future. The following factors influence Alberta’s labour market:
- Demographics are the characteristics of a population, such as average age, population size and projected growth. For example, one influence of the aging population of baby boomers on the labour market will be an increased need for services for seniors.
- Technological change means an increasing number of occupations require basic computer skills. One result of this is that no matter what occupation you choose, computer skills will likely be an asset.
- Globalization means that companies can operate all over the world and around the clock. One labour market outcome of globalization is the growth in the development of call centres.
- Local, provincial and national economic situations influence the ups and downs of the labour market, including the strength of specific industries such as oil and gas, and variations in the overall employment rate.
- Industry or sector activity is the change in growth and job outlook in Alberta’s 19 major industries.
- Labour market trends describe the combined effects of the influences in this list. One example of a trend is the growing diversification of Alberta’s economy.
- Key occupational needs and requirements can change as a result of labour market trends. To learn about the educational requirements, duties, working conditions and salary expectations of over 550 occupations, check out OCCinfo.
How can labour market information help you?
Understanding labour market information can help you make decisions about your career path, like
- choosing an occupation. If you’re going to spend time and money preparing for an occupation, it’s worthwhile to do some labour market research about it before you make a commitment. What is a typical day on the job like? How good are the employment prospects? What is the average salary range?
- identifying training and education programs. What credentials are employers looking for? Which schools offer the programs you’re interested in? Labour market information will help you make a wise choice.
- tapping into the hidden job market. Labour market information can help you access the 80% of jobs that aren’t advertised. For example, if you learn that a specific industry is expected to grow in the near future, you can focus your job search on employers in that industry.
Armed with labour market information, you’ll be better equipped to make effective choices about work opportunities and career directions. No one can predict the future but labour market information can help you prepare to succeed, whatever it brings.