What is labour market information? Do I need it?

Labour market information can be overwhelming and confusing. Learning what it is and how to use it can help you find a job.

Labour market information tells you:

  • What jobs and skills employers are looking for
  • Which industries are hiring and where they are located
  • Where to find employers who are hiring
  • What working conditions are like for specific industries
  • What education and training you need for specific jobs
  • What factors can stop you from getting a job
  • Which job areas are growing in the future and other statistics

Why do I need this information?

Labour market information can help you make a good decision when you want to change jobs or move to a new place. It can help you find out what the labour market is like for that job or that city. For example, if you are a machinist and you move to a town with no factories, you will have a hard time finding a job. Looking at labour market information before you move can help you make a good decision.

Labour Market Definitions

Labour market information covers the principal elements of the labour market and its operations. The principal elements are the demand for labour and the supply of labour. Demand means the number of jobs available. Supply tells you the number of people who are able work. This information is organized by:

  • Time periods
  • Sector
  • Industries
  • Geographic areas

The labour force is the number of people available to work. These numbers are broken down by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnic background
  • Education level and skills

Unemployment happens when there are more people (who want to work) than jobs.

The operations of the labour market include:

  • Labour exchange –searching for workers, offering people jobs, hiring activities, and separations (lay offs, firings, quitting)
  • Government policies and activities – created to help reduce the number of people who do not have jobs.

Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are the major sources of government labour market information. Both departments have labour information at the national, regional and local levels. Statistics Canada watches unemployment numbers by:

ESDC runs a labour market information service. It has information on local labour markets across Canada.

For More Information

  • Ontario's Labour Market - Has an overview of Ontario's employment patterns, information on major trends in the economy and occupational profiles.
  • Job Bank - Use this to find the name of your occupation in Canada, find out if it is regulated and get labour market information.
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - A very large and useful site that can be used as a research source for small businesses and people looking for labour market information. Includes industry profiles, and information on importing and exporting of products and much more.
  • Employability Skills 2000+ [PDF] - Describes the critical skills that employers look for. Developed by the Conference Board of Canada.
Last updated: January 26, 2023 4001091