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Use Labour Market Information to Boost Your Career

Discover how labour market information (LMI) can help you make good education and career decisions. LMI helps you find trends and opportunities, whether you’re starting a new career, changing jobs, moving to a new place, or improving your skills.

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What is labour market information?

The term “labour market information” may be new to you, but you’re probably familiar with the concept. If you’ve heard news about who is hiring or downsizing or talked with others about the industries they work in, you’ve picked up some LMI. It’s also known as job market information.

LMI is data that offers a broad view of employment in an area. You can use LMI to help you make informed decisions about your future. It tells you:

  • The industries that are hiring or not hiring at this time
  • The regions of the province that need certain workers
  • The skills employers look for and the current type of education you need
  • The chances of finding certain jobs
  • Forecasts on which jobs will be in demand

Factors that affect the labour market

Many factors can influence the labour market. Understanding these factors can help you predict the skills that workplaces will need and the kinds of jobs that will be available in the future.

Alberta’s labour market is influenced by things such as:

  • Demographics—the traits of a population, such as size, growth rate, average age, or highest level of education
  • New technology—innovations that can help organizations work smarter and faster, leading to new or improved products, processes, and services
  • Key occupational needs and requirements—the jobs that are in demand and the skills you need to do those jobs
  • Local, provincial, and national economic situations—these shape the ups and downs of the labour market, including the strength of specific regions and changes in employment rates
  • Industry activity—the change in growth and job outlook in Alberta’s major industries
  • Labour market trends—the combined effects of all the influences in this list

How can labour market information help your career?

Understanding LMI can help you make choices on your career path. For example, it can help you:

Learn about an industry—If you’re interested in working in a certain industry, you can explore trends, changes, and challenges in that industry, as well as its key players and the values the industry reflects.

Choose an occupation—Learn about long-term prospects of certain jobs or about those that may soon be in demand. When you explore occupational profiles, you can see what to expect for each job, including average wages or salaries.

Identify training and education programs—Discover what employers want and what schools offer. Many education institutions conduct LMI research to find and ride the waves of trends.

Tap into the hidden job market—LMI can help you find job openings that aren’t posted. For example, if you learn that many organizations require more security, you can network to get a job referral within that industry.

In this video, Alyssa discusses how she used LMI to help her choose her career path:

Researching and Choosing a Vocational College Program (2:43)

Ellysa is a student at a private college offering licensed vocational training. Watch as she discusses how she researched occupations in demand and managed her finances.

Labour market trends reveal opportunities

Trends can point you to opportunities in your job search or career planning. For example, as we embrace online shopping, the need for delivery services has grown. Other trends that might affect you include:

Retirement of baby boomers—Many Albertans born between 1945 and 1966 are retired or close to retiring. This creates job vacancies which can help you to build your career. Some questions to ponder include:

  • Some employers worry about losing their older employees’ knowledge and experience. And some boomers want to keep working. If you’re a baby boomer, can you benefit from the demand for your experience?
  • Or, as someone younger, can you find work looking after the needs and demands of the growing senior population?

GlobalizationGlobal transport and communication allow employers to operate 24/7 all over the world. A call centre on the other side of the globe that answers your questions about your fridge is an example. Globalization creates new competition. But it can also open new markets for goods and services. When thinking about how that might impact your career, consider these questions:

  • How will globalization influence your current line of work?
  • Do you have experience working with or in other cultures?
  • Can you use languages other than English?
  • Could your experience give you new work options?

Digital technology and online skills—As more work can now be done remotely, and as companies collaborate across multiple offices, computer and digital technology have become basic requirements. Employers are looking for workers who know how to use social networking, live video conferencing, and digital file sharing.

  • Will your computer and online skills help you find work?
  • Can you improve these skills?
  • Is there a small businesses where your technology skills can help them improve their online presence?

Growth trends of specific industries—LMI shows which industries may be growing and what the job and wage outlooks are. Think about the following:

  • Is your industry growing quickly or slowly?
  • What does that mean for your career?
  • When planning your career, do you think of jobs that are needed in more than one industry? For example, an accountant can work in many different industries. However, an elementary school teacher may be limited to work in educational services.

Use labour market trends to keep your career on track

Let’s say you’ve landed your dream job. Do you still need LMI? The simple answer is yes!

You can learn how your employer is doing compared to the competition. You can also follow the news about the latest workplace trends and changes in the provincial, national and global economy. This information will help you continue to make good career decisions.

Where do I find labour market information?

You can find information from governments, policy institutes, and news media. On the internet, just about everything you want to know about occupations, employment, and the workplace can be right at your fingertips.

Here are a few guidelines to help you find the LMI you need.

Start with alis

Alis provides Alberta-specific advice about all aspects of career planning, education, and work search. The OCCinfo section on alis is a great place to start your online LMI search.

Begin by exploring:

  • Over 500 occupational profiles that you can search by title, industry, and keyword, and filter using industry, field of study, employment outlook, and more
  • Wages and salaries for information by occupation and geographic area, plus information on skills shortages in Alberta
  • The industries and sectors that make up Alberta’s economy

Explore further

Here are some other sources that offer reliable LMI:

Broaden your online search

One website can often lead you to several more. Here are some tips to find more information:

  • Search using keywords related to the LMI you need.
  • Add a location or specific industry to your search terms. For example, “labour market information Drumheller” or “labour market information oil and gas” would provide you with fewer but more specific results.
  • Consult the Help menu on the website or search engine you’re using to learn more about the search techniques they recommend.
  • Online networking may put you in contact with people working in sectors and occupations of interest to you

Avoid information overload

The amount of online LMI can be a bit overwhelming. Before you start, keep these tips in mind to avoid information overload while you’re searching the Internet:

  • Always stick with reliable sources. Learning how to find out if an LMI source is reliable is a useful skill as you plan your career.
  • When you link from reliable sources to related websites, make sure you’re looking at information that’s still reliable and relevant to your region. Most websites include a profile of the host organization so you can see where it’s based, how it’s funded, and whether the contributors have experience in the field.
  • Limit your LMI search to the geographic areas, such as Alberta or Canada, that you want to work and live in.

No one can predict exactly what will happen with the labour market, but good LMI can help you make informed decisions and prepare you for what the future is likely to hold.

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