Thank you for taking the time to learn about the Labour Market Information Council.
Recognizing that timely, reliable, comprehensive and easily accessible labour market information is critical to identifying and continuing to meet labour market needs, the Forum of Labour Market Ministers endorsed the creation of a Labour Market Information Council for Canada.
We will identify and implement pan-Canadian priorities for the collection, analysis and distribution of labour market information in support of this objective. To that end, our Strategic Plan provides an overview of our core objectives and what we, the Labour Market Information Council, aim to accomplish over the coming three years.
As a new organization, we are at the beginning of this journey. We are excited to serve the needs of Canadians and build new relationships and networks with generators, providers and consumers of labour market information. This Strategic Plan is very much a reflection of our initial consultations with our partners and stakeholders.
We, like this Strategic Plan, must continue to adjust to meet the evolving needs of Canadians. We can only be as successful as our partnerships and collaboration with others. We invite you to share your insights and provide your advice on our mandate. It is meant to respond to the diverse needs of all Canadians, and therefore we encourage your views and look forward to working together.
What is labour market information?
Labour market information is comprised of knowledge, facts, data and other relevant institutional information which pertains to the supply and demand of labour. In other words, labour market information is any information that could support the decisions Canadians make in the world of work and in terms of learning, education and training. These decisions include those by individuals (e.g. regarding their training or career choices), employers (e.g. to hire, create a new business or to (re)train and retain workers), policy makers (e.g. to implement a program to improve labour market and learning outcomes) and educators and career practitioners (e.g. deciding on program content and design or providing career counselling). Information in this regard includes traditional labour market information, such as unemployment rates, wages, job and skill patterns, vacancies and occupational forecasts, as well as other information that factors into labour market-related decisions, including personal preferences (e.g. where one might prefer to live, work or open and operate a business) and a range of other factors (e.g. housing/real estate affordability or transportation access).
Why is labour market information important?
Labour market information is important at an individual, enterprise, societal and macroeconomic level. The value of labour market information, in each of these avenues, is ultimately derived from the extent to which it helps yield better outcomes for Canadians. Information with insight can drive changes that support people and society. For instance, reliable and easily accessible labour market information that helps individuals find jobs that are better matched with their education and skill levels contributes to the improvement of individual welfare and the growth of the economy. Through quality employment, individuals also experience the value of work that extends beyond its monetary dimension to the establishment of social networks and personal identity, bringing additional benefits to people and society. Similarly, if employers can find people with the right skills faster, due to better information and insights, their companies can grow and prosper. This can lead to gains in productivity and competitiveness, with positive societal impacts. And educators, training and learning providers, and career guidance practitioners can enhance program design and human capital – thus improving knowledge and outcomes for all Canadians – by leveraging relevant labour market information and insights.
What is the current state of labour market information?
In recent years, federal, provincial and territorial governments, Statistics Canada and provincial and territorial statistical agencies and departments have heeded the call for more and better labour market information. Important strides have been made in the collection, analysis and distribution of a range of information to support Canadians. New surveys and programs have been introduced to gather better and more detailed labour market information, and progress towards improving the timeliness and relevance of labour market information has been made. At the same time, innovative ways to analyze existing data have been undertaken and all governments and agencies are taking a client-focused approach to distributing data in meaningful ways to Canadians. This has been complemented by private sector initiatives, educational and training institutions, career guidance practitioners and other stakeholders who have taken measures to address their own needs in the area of labour market information. However, a number of important gaps remain, notably for certain groups such as Indigenous peoples, and the world of work is shifting in ways that have elevated the importance of timely, relevant, reliable and accessible labour market information and insights.
What is the challenge?
Regardless of the prevailing economic conditions, some individuals are always looking for a job or on the lookout for a better one – one that supports their needs and the needs of their family, and matches their skills and expectations. Others are trying to gain the skills, competencies and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers and lives. Employers are persistently confronted with the challenge of finding and retaining the right people with the right skills to remain competitive and productive in an increasingly global market. Canada’s labour market and workplaces are evolving at an unprecedented pace. Key mega drivers – notably technological change, an ageing population, immigration, globalization and climate change – are placing increased uncertainty around the implications for employment, job quality, competitiveness, productivity, skill requirements and the ability to attract and retain talent, among other areas. Information itself, its availability, form, content and how it is consumed is changing at an equivalent rate. A growing challenge in this context is to ensure that Canadians have access to the right labour market information and are able to make sense of it in an informed, insightful and coherent way. In other words, the demands for more and better labour market information and insights are intensifying and Canadians increasingly need access to timely, reliable, relevant labour market information to help them navigate the evolving and changing nature of the world of work.
Having a better understanding of my career choices helped me decide what was the best training for me to take.
Expanded labour market information and insights will provide me with additional tools to counsel students about the important choices they make.
I decided to open my business here because I knew I could find skilled employees.
More robust labour market information will provide policy makers such as myself with added insights to design more contemporary labour market policies.
At the meeting of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) in July 2015, Ministers highlighted that timely, reliable, comprehensive and easily accessible labour market information is critical to identifying and continuing to meet the labour market needs of Canadians. Recognizing the substantial and ongoing efforts to close gaps in labour market information, the FLMM endorsed the creation of a new Labour Market Information Council for Canada in order to enhance labour market information, including for under-represented populations such as Indigenous peoples and other targeted groups, and to explore new opportunities to complement and add value to existing labour market information investments and activities taking place across the country.
In June 2016, the FLMM endorsed a business plan to implement the Labour Market Information Council. In April 2017, the Labour Market Information Council was registered as a not-for-profit corporation to provide it the autonomy and flexibility needed to undertake its founding mandate to improve the timeliness, reliability and accessibility of labour market information to facilitate decision making by Canadians in support of a flexible, efficient labour market.
Canadians have the necessary information and insights to succeed in a changing, dynamic world of work.
To empower Canadians, including employers, workers, job seekers, academics, policy makers, educators, career practitioners, students, parents and under-represented groups with timely and reliable labour market information and insights in an engaging way that supports their decision-making process.
The following values define what is core and important to us as an organization. We will embody these values in our work every day.
Client Centric and Demand Driven
We approach our work with an understanding that, for our insights to be impactful, they must be timely, relevant and accessible to consumers, users and other providers of labour market information and respond to their needs and demands.
Inclusive and Collaborative
We are committed to providing labour market information and insights that respects the diversity of perspectives and needs that prevail across Canada. To that end, we believe that our best work comes through leveraging existing efforts in the collection, analysis and distribution of labour market information through collaboration, and harnessing the experience, expertise, creativity and resources of all individuals, partners, governments, agencies and stakeholders.
Integrity and Transparency
We lead with integrity through a relentless focus on quality and reliable labour market information and insights. Our approach is anchored in respect and understanding for the importance of openness and transparency in what we do and how. We strive to ensure our efforts and outputs are fair, balanced, unbiased and objective.
Innovative and Evolutionary
We are committed to developing and embracing innovative ideas, new methods and new platforms through our collaborative and inclusive efforts. We will strive to build upon and add value to existing labour market information activities with the goal of being responsive to the diverse needs of Canadians and to reach and interact with them in ways that are impactful and meaningful. We will put in place measures and mechanisms to ensure we continuously evolve and improve as an organization.
Building the LMIC Together
The development, evolution and priorities of the Labour Market Information Council are conceived through extensive and on-going engagement with Canadians, partners and stakeholders. Two panels were created with this in mind, notably the National Stakeholder Advisory Panel and the Labour Market Information Experts Panel.
National Stakeholder Advisory Panel
The National Stakeholder Advisory Panel helps guide the overall activities of the Labour Market Information Council, including the identification of specific priorities on an annual basis. The National Stakeholder Advisory Panel is comprised of non-government stakeholders who possess substantial knowledge and expertise in one or more areas of labour market information, including, but not limited to, its generation, analysis and dissemination. They are also providers of labour market information to Canadians. In addition, membership reflects, to the greatest extent possible, the diversity of stakeholders and regional differences.
Labour Market Information Experts Panel
The Labour Market Information Experts Panel is comprised of non-government experts possessing substantial knowledge and expertise in one or more areas of labour market information, including its collection, analysis, distribution and/or practical application. The Experts Panel members will provide expertise and advice on labour market information policy, practice and methods to address the needs of the Labour Market Information Council. Labour Market Information Experts also provide overall guidance to the Labour Market Information Council and act as key resources for technical support on various labour market information projects and initiatives.
Other stakeholders and the wider public
We will also rely on building and leveraging partnerships with other stakeholders, including governments and non-governmental entities across the country to ensure we add value to existing endeavours. We will also consult and work with Canadians to ensure we are delivering the right information and in a way that they find most meaningful.
As we move forward, we will constantly seek input from a wide variety of stakeholders as we work together to build a Labour Market Information Council that is relevant and responsive.
Our aim in building a Labour Market Information Council through effective engagement with all stakeholders is to ensure that the activities we undertake are consistent with our values of being client focused, transparent and inclusive.
This approach is also intended to reinforce our founding mandate, which affirms that we should strive to add value and build upon existing labour market information investments taking place across Canada. In this regard, we will work closely with federal, provincial and territorial governments, Statistics Canada, provincial and territorial statistical agencies and departments and other labour market information stakeholders to help achieve greater efficiency and take advantage of economies of scale.
Our engagement efforts will also help us better prioritize our actions, work more effectively and open up opportunities for our stakeholders to reinvest any savings in new labour market information activities to the benefit of all.
Our Advisory and Experts panel members, government and non-government partners and stakeholders, will also be agents of change. We will work with them to develop innovative partnerships to evaluate potential courses of action and provide opportunities to collaborate on the delivery and achievement of these objectives.
Guided by our founding mandate, vision and mission we have developed three key strategic goals to focus our efforts over the next three years as we establish a vibrant organization:
These ambitious goals will lay the groundwork for advancing labour market information and insights in the medium and long term.
Gather and improve the availability of relevant labour market information to Canadians.
Identify specific gaps and develop solutions to enhance the availability and relevance of labour market information that Canadians need and want.
In collaboration with our partners and stakeholders, we will review and assess the availability, reliability, relevance and accessibility of prevailing labour market information and insights. At the same time, we will reach out and connect with Canadians to understand what they view as most relevant in terms of information to support their decision-making process. The supply of labour market information will be contrasted with the needs of Canadians and we will identify specific gaps and develop solutions to improve the relevance, quality, accessibility and overall use of labour market information.
Improve the availability of local, granular labour market information
Our partners and stakeholders have long called for more granular information at the local level to support better, more informed decisions. In collaboration with them, we will develop and assess a range of approaches and methods and set in motion an action plan that will address the need for detailed and local information and insights on a range of labour market information issues.
Increase collaboration and leverage investments in pan-Canadian labour market information
We will take advantage of our stakeholder engagement and economies of scale in the gathering of labour market information to reduce the duplication of efforts and improve the efficiency of investments in labour market information. We will champion a pan-Canadian collaborative approach that is based on openness and focuses on the needs and wants of Canadians, our partners and stakeholders.
We will monitor progress and achievements across the course of the three years of this Plan. We commit to publicly reporting our progress and the achievements. We will know we are making progress on Goal 1 when:
- The gaps related to labour market information are identified and documented, and the needs and wants of specific groups are understood and addressed;
- The approaches to the collection of local, granular labour market information have been assessed and projects towards this end have been initiated and completed; and
- Efficiency gains and savings have been generated in the gathering of labour market information.
Undertake insightful and high-quality analyses of labour market information.
Provide insights on the jobs of today and tomorrow
We will build upon existing analysis and generate new insights to better understand shifting employment patterns and job requirements. We will provide evidence-based insights to Canadians and stakeholders on emerging risks and opportunities associated with the changing world of work, including those related to the rapidly evolving skill needs of all Canadians.
Advance efforts to assess and report on labour market outcomes of Canadians
We will leverage existing data sources to analyze trends and insights related to national, regional and local labour supply. We will document the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals and assess labour market outcomes and patterns of Canadians, notably of under-represented populations and other targeted groups.
Champion best practices in the areas of labour market information and insights
We will promote best practices in key areas of labour market information to provide leadership in how labour market information is analyzed and communicated. We will endeavour to ensure the standards we set are open to scrutiny, developed in a transparent way and are a result of our collaboration with key partners and stakeholders.
We will monitor progress and achievements across the course of the three years of this Plan. We commit to publicly reporting our progress and achievements. We will know we are making progress on Goal 2 when:
- There is an increased awareness and improved understanding regarding the potential risks and opportunities related to the labour market;
- The design of labour market programs and services for Canadians and newcomers is better informed by the insights related to the needs of the Canadian economy and labour market; and
- The quality and reliability of labour market information and insights in Canada are improved.
Provide Canadians with timely, relevant and reliable labour market information and insights in an effective manner.
Tailor labour market information in a way that addresses the diversity of user needs.
We understand and respect that Canadians use and interpret labour market information in different ways. We will strive to ensure that Canadians are able to access relevant labour market information and insights in a manner that is respectful of that diversity and supports their decision-making in an effective manner.
Place information in the hands of Canadians to maximize impact and engagement
We will harness new technologies, promote open data and transparency and leverage other methods to communicate directly with Canadians and empower the providers of labour market information and insights. We will work closely with our partners to leverage existing initiatives and make labour market information more accessible.
Facilitate information sharing among, and between, stakeholders
We will work to improve dialogue among our stakeholders, including policy makers, researchers and other partners to enhance awareness of labour market information activities, share best practices and improve collaboration among key providers and users of labour market information.
We will monitor progress and achievements across the course of the three years of this Plan. We commit to publicly reporting our progress and achievements. We will know we are making progress on Goal 3 when:
- Labour market information and insights are presented in ways that respond to the diverse needs of Canadians;
- Canadians are engaged through innovative platforms on the use and development of labour market information; and
- Stakeholders are more knowledgeable of the best practices and labour market information activities across Canada and elsewhere.
Focusing on outcomes
What we aim to achieve
We recognize that we exist within a broader labour market information ecosystem in Canada. A significant part of our success will be achieved through collaboration with our partners at the federal, provincial and territorial levels, as well as our stakeholders in the private sector, associations, education and training institutions, think tanks and beyond.
With that in mind, we are focused on achieving the following outcomes within our three strategic goals:
- The relevance of labour market information and insights for Canadians has improved.
- More timely, local and granular labour market information has been made available to our partners and stakeholders.
- Efficiencies in the gathering of labour market information have been generated and the duplication of efforts by all actors has been reduced.
- Canadians, stakeholders and policy makers have a better understanding of the implications of the changing world of work.
- Knowledge of ways to improve labour market outcomes of under-represented populations is enhanced among program providers, policy makers and under-represented populations themselves.
- Best practices in the provision of labour market insights have been established and shared with all partners.
- User-friendly labour market information and insights have been made available to Canadians.
- Open access to labour market information has become more widespread.
- Awareness of best practices and labour market information activities has improved among Canadians.
How we aim to achieve our goals
We will make our operational plans publicly available on an annual basis to provide additional clarity and transparency into the activities, projects and initiatives we are undertaking to achieve our strategic goals.
We will establish barometers of success and targets for our achievements and their impacts on the decisions of Canadians; and measure ourselves against those criteria.
Demonstrating leadership, relevance and value added
We understand the importance of having meaningful work as an individual or being able to find the right people to grow and develop a business. It is with this in mind that we will seek to demonstrate leadership, excellence and rigour in the collection, analysis and distribution of labour market information and insights so Canadians can make informed decisions with confidence. We promise to set our bar high and our two advisory panels will play a central role in keeping the bar elevated.
Importance of feedback
The Labour Market Information Council is accountable to its Board of Directors but ultimately is responsible to Canadians and exists to serve and respond to the needs of Canadians. We will strive to ensure that our efforts are meaningful and add value to existing efforts and support the decisions of Canadians. A key step in that regard will be to seek feedback and constantly look for ways to improve how we do business and support Canadians. The members of our National Stakeholder Advisory Panel and Labour Market Information Experts Panel will be key in this regard.
The world of work is constantly changing and so should we
The labour market is evolving in new and dynamic ways and, some would argue, at an unprecedented pace. The emergence of new technologies and ways of doing work will have profound impacts on jobs, businesses and workplaces, offering both challenges and opportunities. In a changing world of work, the types of information and how they are produced and digested will also shift dramatically, and we must evolve to these changing circumstances.
Transparent reporting to Canadians
The Labour Market Information Council will prepare an annual report for its Board of Directors, its stakeholders and the Canadian public. Our annual report will provide updates on the accomplishments of the Labour Market Information Council in terms of our Strategic Plan and supporting business plan. We will highlight where we are going based on what we are hearing from Canadians and our advisory panels. We will also ensure accountability for our public funding through audited financial statements.
Mid-way through the initial three-year Strategic Plan, the Labour Market Information Council will launch a call to have our efforts independently reviewed and to assess our achievements, progress and areas for improvement, as a commitment to ensuring value to Canadians.