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Use Labour Market Trends to Find Career Opportunities

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You want to make good education and career decisions. Discover how labour market information can help you find trends and opportunities in the job market.

Labour market information is about:

  • Current employment conditions
  • Trends for jobs and conditions
  • Specific work and learning opportunities

Where can you find labour market information?

You probably know some of it just from talking with friends about who is hiring or downsizing. Every week, governments, policy institutes, and news media publish labour market information.

Why should you care about labour market trends?

Labour market trends can help you identify skills you may need to develop. They can tell you where the jobs are now and where they’re likely to be in the future.

Check out these examples of labour market trends. Notice the skills that become more important with some of these trends:

  • Many Albertans born between 1945 and 1966 are retired or close to retiring. But many of these baby boomers have decided to keep working. And some return to work after age 65. Employers worry about losing knowledge and experience as the boomers retire. They are looking for ways to keep them.
  • When labour is in short supply, employers look to under-used sources for workers. These include Aboriginal Indigenous peoples, women, recent immigrants and persons with disabilities.
  • Globalization could create new competition in your field. But it could also open up new markets for goods and services.
  • Computer skills are a basic job requirement. More and more employers also want workers who can use social networking. And they need workers who know how to use mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.
  • To keep up with the pace of change, Alberta businesses need workers with skills like critical thinking, project management, problem solving and communication.
  • Some goods-producing industries are growing slowly. These include forestry, mining and manufacturing. Some service industries are growing faster. These include hotel and food services, arts and entertainment, finance and insurance, and health care.

Can labour market trends create new opportunities for you?

Look at a labour market trend. Then ask yourself how it might affect you:

  • Retirement of baby boomers: If you are a boomer, can you benefit from the demand for your experience? If you are in school or training for a job, will the baby boomers have retired when you enter the workforce? When they retire, demand for services for seniors will probably increase. Can you benefit from this trend?
  • Hiring from under-used labour sources: If you belong to one of these groups, can you find new job and education options? Can you find a work-related program that will help you?
  • Globalization: How will this trend influence your field? Do you have experience with other cultures? Do you speak languages other than English? Could your experience give you new work options?
  • Computer and online skills: Will your computer and online skills help you find work? Can you improve these skills? Some small businesses aren’t interested in online marketing. Maybe your skills can help them serve local customers.
  • Employability skills: Can you improve these skills? You might even be hired because of these skills and get training in work-specific skills later.
  • Growth trends of specific industries: Is your industry growing quickly or slowly? What does that mean for your career? If you are in school, have you considered jobs that are needed in more than one industry? For example, a dietician can work in many different fields, including health care and business. A rig service technician is likely to be limited to the energy sector.

Use labour market trends to keep your career on track

Let’s say you’ve found your dream job. Do you still need to know about labour market trends? Yes! Know how your employer is doing compared with the competition. Follow the news about changes in the economy. Keep up to date with workplace trends. All of this will help you continue to make effective education and career decisions.

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