By Wendy Butterworth - Careers & Welfare Manager

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LMI and Career sign-post

How to use Labour Market Information (LMI) to make career decisions

Data and statistics may not interest you, but it can play a key role when looking at your future career options. Understanding just a little LMI can really help you plan to achieve your goals.

What is it?

LMI can essentially be two things: it’s LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION when you are just looking at data and stats. It becomes LABOUR MARKET INTELLIGENCE when you analyse and act upon the information.

LMI is made up of facts and figures relating to a job, such as number of vacancies, average earnings, typical work pattern etc. It gives us a picture of what the labour market looks like – past, present, and future. The labour market is the term used to describe the amount of people in work, looking for work and number of jobs. 

Why is it important?

LMI can tell us:

  • What jobs relate to a specific industry
  • What you could expect to earn
  • Future trends – which industries are expected to grow or decline 
  • Skills and qualifications required by employers including skills gaps
  • How your skills and interests match up to different jobs
  • What jobs exist in your area

This information is key to helping you make informed decisions about your career. It will help you identify what skills and qualifications you need and what pathways are open to you to help pursue that career. Understanding this will help you create an action plan of how to achieve your career goals.

What things do I need to consider?

LMI provides a general guide to understanding the labour market, as it looks at trends and averages. LMI can help you to understand different careers and make you consider aspects of the role you may not have considered before; it can help you to ask questions.

It is a tool to help you make decisions, but it cannot make decisions for you as it doesn’t give you a full picture. Every person is different and what is right for one may not be right for another; this is something LMI can’t tell you.

Things to consider when using LMI:

  • The labour market changes and the data you find needs to play catch up. This means there is always a lag in data.
  • The figures you see when looking at data could be rounded up or down and are not always precise.
  • Jobs are constantly being created, for example jobs like social media manager and app developer didn’t exist several years ago. This means they may not be included on some of the data you see, or they could be listed under another title as some jobs could have multiple titles.
  • In some sectors there are jobs that don’t even exist yet. These are known as the jobs of the future and it’s important to consider the skills you need to develop for these future jobs.

Where can I find it?

There are a range of LMI cards available at the college, which look at different industries. These cards will give you examples of types of jobs and average earnings. They are a good starting point to do some quick comparisons, but it’s essential you continue with your own research… after all, the labour market changes daily. You can find detailed LMI information on the website under the Subject Area guides. Alternatively, you can pick up a LMI card from the Careers & Welfare team on your site! 

There are a number of useful resources to find LMI such as iCould, the National Careers Service, Prospects, and for more local Greater Manchester LMI GMACS.

In addition to this you can find detailed LMI on industry specific websites such as NHS Healthcare Careers, Creative Careers, Go Construct, Digital Careers and Hospitality and Catering.

You can contact the Careers & Welfare team to book an appointment where we will be able to work with you to better understand LMI and how to use it. We can also help you to develop a career plan, which explores the range of opportunities on offer, so you can make informed decisions about your next steps. 

Contact us at careers& for advice, or through our Twitter @CareersTMC or our Linked In page Careers TMC.