Labour market information

Labour market information (LMI) can show you where the jobs are now and predicts where they may be in the future. It helps you find work, feel confident in your career decisions and answer important questions like:

  • Where are the jobs related to my degree?
  • What opportunities are available in the region(s) I want to work in?
  • What are the prospects for this career option?
  • Where can I find an entry-level job when I graduate?
  • What salary range could I expect for my career choice? (you can also check out LinkedIn's salary estimator)

How the labour market works

The “market” is an economics term that refers to any place where things are bought and sold. Just as there are markets for computers, stocks and real estate, there are markets for labour.

Like other markets, the labour market involves supply (those looking to sell) and demand (those looking to buy).

In the labour market, "supply" means people looking to supply their skills, talent and labour. "Demand" means organizations and employers looking to hire.

The Victoria labour market has:
  • a high demand for information technology specialists and government workers
  • a low demand for border security workers and air traffic controllers

Supply and demand shifts over time, and can be affected by changes in the economy, population demographics, government/policy decisions, funding, technology advancements and more.

For example:
  • A damaging earthquake would increase the demand for construction workers
  • A new department store would increase the demand for retail workers
  • A school closing would decrease the demand for teachers
  • A growing population of seniors would increase the demand for care workers

What LMI includes

LMI can include things like:
  • Job postings or contract opportunities
  • Employment rates
  • Labour market statistics
  • Economic reports
  • Emerging industries
  • Industry and occupational classifications
  • Academic research papers
LMI gives you information about:
  • Job prospects
  • Salaries and working conditions
  • Industry and employment trends
  • Economic outlook by region

Where to find LMI

LMI comes from many sources and is organized in different ways for different audiences. Federal government agencies are primary sources of LMI, but provincial and regional governments, colleges, industries, and other organizations also share information about jobs, training, salaries, working conditions and more. Lots of LMI is readily available online.

National and international sources (“Big picture” information)

  • Job Bank – Government of Canada: Resources for your job search, exploring careers and job market trends
  • National Occupational Classification (NOC): NOC 2011 is the authoritative resource on occupational information in Canada. It describes and categorizes types of work to help professionals and job seekers understand the jobs in Canada's labour market.
  • GoinGlobal: Research tool providing country-specific resources (Subscription sponsored by UVic Coop and Career)
    

Provincial sources

BC, Alberta and Ontario examples are listed below; for other provinces and territories, you can search online.

Local and regional sources

Municipal governments, regional districts, chambers of commerce and other community-based organizations often publish reports related to economic growth and strategic plans. These can be a rich source of LMI and help you find growing industries and organizations that are creating employment. Here are some examples to get you started.  To find more for your community, try searching “your city/region” + “economic development”.

Sector and industry-based sources

Some sectors and industries create organizations to support their economic growth. Here are some examples. You can talk to a career educator or search online to find out about organizations like these for other industries.

UVic resources

These resources can provide a starting point for your LMI research.

Using LMI for your career

LMI is useful for many different purposes, whether you’re considering future career options or looking for a job now. Let’s say you’re ready to search for a job. You could dive right in to searching for postings and applying for jobs right away... or you could research the job market first to find out what types of jobs are out there and where those jobs might be. Enter LMI! 

LMI research is an important piece of your overall career exploration and job search strategies. Here's how it fits in (Amundson and Poehnell 2015). When you consider that your ideal career sits in the intersection between your passions, competencies and opportunities, LMI can help fill in the "opportunities" side.

Exploring LMI while you’re still pursuing your degree can help shape and sharpen your career trajectory. The new information you discover may create new questions and fuel further research into other sectors, careers, locations and more.

See some examples of students using LMI in their career research.