One of the most important choices a person will make is which career to pursue. It’s a choice, in fact, that we prepare for our entire lives. Given that roughly one third of a person’s life is spent at work, this isn’t too surprising. As young children, our play often involves imagining ourselves in a variety of careers, some fantastical and some a little more realistic. As we get older, family and friends ask us what we want to be when we “grow up.” And eventually, we choose an educational route that prepares us for assuming our place in the workforce.
In today’s world, the story doesn’t end here. Mid-life career changes are increasingly common and frequent job hopping is no longer stigmatized—in fact, it’s even considered an asset in some professions and necessary for others. But whether you are getting ready to choose your first job or making plans for your third career, these decisions are most likely not based on flights of fancy; rather, they are the result of research and careful consideration of the facts. The “facts” in this context refer to labour market information (LMI). Simply put, LMI is any information that supports the decisions Canadians make in the world of work. It includes such information as unemployment rates, wages, certification requirements, vacancies, and occupational forecasts, among others
This year, LMIC completed a public opinion research project to better understand which information Canadians use to make their education, workplace, and career decisions. We recently published the results of our first round of data exploration, which focused on the LMI needs of five populations: employed persons, unemployed persons, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, and recent university and college graduates.
In LMI Insights Issue No. 8, we show that the most common type of LMI requested by Canadians is wage information, followed by skill requirements. Although it may not be surprising that wages are the most sought-after type of information, it underscores the importance of providing better accessible, accurate, and reliable wage data.
We also learned more about the challenges Canadians face when looking for job-related information. These results, presented in our LMI Insights Issue No. 9, indicate that the number one challenge faced by employed and unemployed persons, as well as persons with disabilities, is the lack of relevance to their individual circumstances. On the other hand, recent immigrants and recent graduates are more concerned with the lack of insight about the future.
At LMIC, we are working hard with partners across Canada to address the issues raised in our public opinion research and to provide LMI that can guide Canadians through difficult career-related decisions.
Check out LMI Insights on LMIC’s public opinion research to learn more about the challenges faced by Canadians:
- Is it Difficult to Find Information That Helps Career-Related Decisions?
- Easily Understood LMI is Essential for Making Informed Career Decisions
- LMI has Important Impact on the Career Paths of Canadians
- LMI Most Wanted by Canadians: Wages and Skills
- Canadians Face Persistent Challenges When Looking for Job-Related Information
Try out our survey dashboard to visualize the results in an interactive way.
As an economist with LMIC, Anthony Mantione contributes to advancing LMIC’s mandate through the application of computational techniques to data analysis.