Did you know that:
- One in five jobs coming up in the next five years are predicted to be in engineering industries? (Source: Engineering UK)
- Your salary is likely to be £10,000 a year more as a nutritionist than as a sports coach? (Source: Moving On Magazine)
- there are 10 times as many people working in agriculture in the South West of England than in the North East? (Source: Nomis)
When looking at your career options at school, it's important that you find out as much as you can about the industry that you'd like to work in. Knowing how much you'll be paid, how competitive the job market is and where most jobs are based can all influence your decision in pursuing a career.
'A useful list of websites to find labour market information'
In this post, we'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about labour market information. and we'll provide you with a list of websites to help you find the information that you'll need to make careers decisions.
What is labour market information?
In a nutshell, labour market information tells you about the local or national demand there is for different skills and from different industries. Labour market information tells you:
- Which jobs are likely to be easiest or hardest to find in your area
- Which are the big employers in different areas and which ones have jobs on offer
- What skills employers are looking for and which are in short supply
- How much you can expect to be paid in specific jobs
- What working conditions are like
- What qualifications will be most helpful if you want a certain career
- What the jobs of the future might look like and which jobs might disappear
All of these factors can help you make a more informed decision about what career path to take. For example, if you're considering a career in the fashion industry, research into the labour market might tell you that most jobs in fashion are based in London. Depending on where you live, and whether you’re willing to move, that might mean you need to adjust your career plans.
What's the difference between the national and local labour market?
National labour market information tells you about jobs and industries in the UK as a whole, whereas local labour market information focuses on one particular area, e.g. Manchester. When researching the labour market for specific careers, both local and national information can be helpful.
Looking at national labour market information will give you a good overall picture of the opportunities open to you in each career area.
However, some parts of the UK are better known for certain types of jobs than others. If you’re dead set on a certain career then researching local labour markets can help you find out whether you’re likely to have more success in certain locations. Generally speaking, there tend to be more employment opportunities in cities, so you might find that your preferred career will require you to move to another place.
If you know you don’t want to move very far to get a job, you’ll need to make sure you consider local labour market information when you choose your qualifications, so that you are getting the skills that employers want in your local area.
Why do I Need Job Market Information?
When pursuing a career, it's important to have realistic expectations of how much you'll be paid, where you'll be based and how competitive it is to find a job in that industry.
Looking at labour market information while you’re still at school can help you narrow down your career options. For example, you might rule out a job because you realise there aren’t many opportunities in your local area, or because you don’t want to work the hours it requires. Alternatively, you might decide to reconsider a career in science, technology or engineering when you find out that STEM graduates can earn 25% more than graduates from other subjects!
In the next five to ten years the job market will change – there will be many more jobs in some industries than others. Labour market information can help you to make sure you have the right skills for the jobs of the future.
Researching the labour market can also help you make decisions if you want to change jobs or move to a new location.
How to find labour market information
Finding labour market information can be tricky if you don't know where to look. That's why we've made things easy for you and compiled a list of our favourite websites for finding job market information:
National Careers Service (local)
If you're looking for job market information by region, then the National Careers Service website is really useful. Using their interactive map, simply click on the area that you'd like to find out about and you'll be presented with lots of information about the local labour market. On this website, you can find out about the employment rate, skills shortages, growing industries, employment forecasts and the types of jobs that are popular in that area.
Your teacher can also email the local team to request even more information on the local labour market.
This website is great for finding out how much the average salary is in certain careers. You can fill in an online form (remember to change your location to the UK!) and then compare how much people are paid in different industries, with different levels of experience or in different local areas. What we find particularly useful about this website is the 'popular skills' section, where you can check what skills employers look for in that industry. This can help you work out the skills that are missing from your CV and that you need to develop.
UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)
Okay, so this isn’t an interactive tool but the UK Commission for Employment and Skills does produce some really interesting reports about the skills that employers want now and the ones that might be needed in the future. If you look at their research page, the newest reports are right at the bottom and our favourite one is Careers of the Future which tells you about the new careers that might appear by the time you leave education.
UK Data Service
On the UK Data Service website, you have access to all the latest employment reports on various different themes. You can search for data using their UK question bank and analyse the data using graphs and tables. There is also a very useful resources page that lists more websites you can use to find out specific labour market information.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Every quarter, the CIPD publishes a Labour Market Outlook report, which looks at labour market trends and provides indicators of what might change in the labour market in the future. The report looks at factors such as recruitment, redundancy and employers' pay intentions. This website is particularly useful if you want to find out how 'secure' a career might be.
Skills Development Scotland
This website provides labour market information for Scotland. Some of the information you can expect to find on this site includes, local labour market information, job gains and losses, profiles of jobs by industry, the latest labour market research in Scotland. If you're based in Scotland, this site provides an in-depth overview of the labour market in the country. The site can also be useful for people looking to move to the country.
This website won’t be relevant for everyone, but it does include data on the salaries of graduates from different university courses. So if you’re choosing your post-16 subjects or thinking about university, this site could give you a useful steer on what you can expect to earn if you study different courses at different universities.
Other places to look locally
We can’t list them all here, but your Local Enterprise Partnership or your Local Authority are also likely to have local labour market information. This can include information about new employers who might be moving into the area, or companies that are planning to grow and will need to employ new people as a result.
It’s also worth looking at your local further education college’s website. Some colleges have invested in local labour market information tools that will tell you about the job opportunities in your local area. Here’s an example from MidKent College.
How can I tell if the information I have is good quality?
It’s important to think about the quality of the information you get and also how certain you can be that the information is relevant to you. A few simple things you should think about are:
- When was this information published? Is it from the last year?
- Where is the information from? Is it from a government source or a private company, or is there nothing to say where it came from?
- Does this information relate to me? Is it about my local area? Is it about people with my sorts of skills and experience?
- Could the information be biased? Is it written by someone trying to persuade me to go into a certain industry or career?
Send us your links
Have you come across any other websites that provide labour market information? Which of the sites listed do you find are the most useful? Log in below and tell us what you think.
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