How Labour Market Information Supports Career Development

By Sharon Graham. Up-to-date information for 2016.

Statistics Canada provides in depth Labour Market Information (LMI) that is valuable for Career Professionals and our clients. LMI is abundant and Canadians should be using it for their overall career development. Yet, many workers and job seekers are not aware of the information. Some may not grasp the value of these resources and are unable to use them properly.

Career Professionals refer to the Statistics Canada’s labour market activities feed for broad geographic and demographic information on the Canadian population. This resource provides a range of high-level information, tables, and charts. Topics range from the unemployment rate to which industries or occupations people work in, the hours they work and more.

Two current snapshots of the 2015 Canadian outlook can be found here:

Labour Market Information (LMI) in Career Development

Career decision making may seem nebulous and complex. While it is important to be introspective, it is equally important to be armed with knowledge about the career environment. For some, the idea of matching personal and professional career goals and qualifications with actual opportunities is intimidating.

Canadians who appreciate the significance of Labour Market Information, use it to their advantage throughout their career:

  • Job market entrants use LMI to determine trends in the market and select viable paths during their career planning.
  • Job seekers in career transition exploit LMI to learn the current situation in the market and seize opportunities.
  • Experienced workers regularly check LMI to take a pulse of the market and support their ongoing career management.

Simply put, a good labour market research plan will allow an individual to ask and answer the central questions related to their career development:

  • Who – Identify who is “in the know” about the Canadian job market.
  • What – Know what opportunities are available across Canada and in their region.
  • When – Learn when to pursue specific job opportunities based on market rhythms.
  • Where – Determine where to focus career planning and career transition efforts.
  • Why – Understand why something is worth pursuing and invest time in the right place.
  • How – Learn how to go about building and managing a sustainable career.

How your clients can use Labour Market Information (LMI)

For most Canadians, it is difficult to gather and sift through the enormous amount of information available on the Internet. Yet, it is important to keep up with opportunities and trends related to a person’s career objectives. A two-step structured approach to continuously researching the labour market can bring comfort and clarity.

Step 1- Keep up with emerging opportunities

Individuals can embark on improving their career prospects by accessing the Government of Canada’s website, Job Bank. The site provides a running list of labour market events. This useful resource provides meaningful industry news from across the nation. This online list of openings and closures is an excellent tool for individuals who are exploring potential careers and job opportunities. Individuals can learn about specific happenings in the industry, sector, and region that interests them. By keeping up with supply and demand, they can make solid career planning, career transition, and career management choices.

Step 2- Keep up with trends and developments

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), formerly known as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) uses a variety of models by broad skill level and by occupation to produce detailed 10-year labour market projections at the national level, which focuses on the trends in labour supply and labour demand. This suite of models is known as the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS).

Since projections and forecasts are developed by statistical models, there is some danger of relying solely on LMI. Unexpected or unanticipated events may come up and require changes to assumptions. For these reasons, career research and decision making needs to be revisited regularly. Ongoing career development decisions should be updated as new information comes to light.

Career Practitioners can help job seekers better understand how to use information about the Canadian labour market to attain their career goals. Find a Career Professional to help you in your career.


  1. Hi Sharon, thanks for this Labour Market Information post. All career development professionals need to have this information at their fingertips.

    To expand on the first step, the weekly labour market news is offered by province and Statistics Canada economic regions across Canada. There is a text-only archive that goes back two years in addition to the current 4 weeks published. With the hiring and layoffs there is a third category called other type of event which captures significant job fairs and business announcements.

    On the second step, if a career development professional needs to delve further into an occupation, the Working in Canada website offers some of the 500 4-digit NOCs with a short-term forecast by province and economic region where it is significant. (for example computer programmers in Toronto) This is under the explore careers tab.

  2. Hello: I am currently seeking an article (fewer than 10 pages) that focuses on “effective job searching in today’s labour market”. Essentially what makes a person stand out, what employers are really looking for (besides the obvious education, training, experience) and any other valuable tips that may be relevant.

    There are so many articles available; however, I am hoping to find one that is written by someone who is very credible. This is why I am contacting you!!

    Thanks ever so much for any assistance you can provide.

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