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  • Lori A. Jazvac

Tap into some luck -- be informed about labour market trends

March 17 marks a special tradition for many, paying tribute to the Irish heritage, symbolized by the lucky green shamrock. Did you know that over 80 million worldwide claim an ancestral connection to the Irish holiday? In fact, the first parade took place in New York in the 1760s.

But St. Patrick’s Day is not just a special holiday in many parts of the world where people eat corned beef and cabbage. We typically associate the green shamrock with an abundance of luck, blessings, hope and prosperity.

How much “green” do we channel into our job search as jobseekers? Luck in job searching does not just happen by chance, but a combination of hard work and opportunity. It also involves strategic planning.

Part of increasing your luck when searching for meaningful work is being able to identify your Unique Value Proposition which starts with an effectively crafted resume. The other part involves identifying and understanding labour market trends across the region and globe and they impact your field. Labour market trends reveal job trends, wages, unemployment, and changes in the economy pertaining to workforce development.

Researching labour market information and events within Ontario and Canada will help you to:

  • Forecast events through accessing data from reliable government and other accurate and updated sources which identify careers that are in high demand

  • Understand levels of supply and demand

  • Create a coherent career development strategy

  • Connect your career interests to employment opportunities across a variety of occupations

  • Make informed decisions about your career path

  • Learn where the short-term and long-term opportunities lie and the working conditions in a certain region

Labour market information can be broad or specific. Identifying factors such as demographic changes, technological change, and globalization helps you forecast the types of marketable skills that you will need in the future.

When evaluating suitable occupations for you, there are many factors to consider:

  • Typical day on the job – working conditions, duties, and nature of work

  • Level of education required for occupation

  • Where is training offered?

  • How level of education will affect occupational choices?

  • Salary expectations?

  • Future outlook for this occupation?

How can you access labour market information?

  • Verbal or networking

  • Print – newspapers and magazines

  • Media – billboards, bus shelters, radio, and television, CDs and DVDs

  • Internet- search engines such as MSN, Google, Yahoo, Bing.

  • Trade magazines

  • Industry and labour market reports and government publications

  • Federal and provincial government sources

  • Public library

  • Chamber of Commerce

  • Advertisements

  • Audio, video, and electronic or Internet

  • Trade shows

  • Conferences

  • Forums

  • Seminars

  • Webinars

  • Career development associations or career related organizations

  • Ontario HRDC Job Bank

  • The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS)

When reading about various labour market trends, always ask yourself how will this general trend impacts the local economy and what opportunities might be created as a result. What is the prediction being based on? Assess its reliability. Stay current with labour market trends and be informed as a way to stay empowered with your career development.

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