Data is important for informed decision-making. Labor market information (LMI) is data that allows you, as a workforce professional, to speak knowledgeably with jobseekers, workers and businesses about the skill demands, labor availability, and business dynamics in your local labor market.
Labor market data can be used for a range of purposes, such as:
- Identifying the top employers in your area,
- Finding the location of establishments,
- Identifying sectors or industries for business development,
- Understanding job trends and occupational requirements, and
- Helping jobseekers make skills training decisions to meet employer needs.
Labor Market Terms and Definitions
- Speak about skills and occupations knowledgably to jobseekers and employers seeking assistance.
- Learn about current labor market dynamics. Understanding the working population can help you assess the key employment demographics, and address gaps between the current workforce and employer demand.
- Learn about industry's labor needs, general economic or market forces, and specific challenges a business faces before reaching out to them. For “how to” guides on using labor market data tools, view "How To Find and Download Business Lists."
- Identify top employers and locate employer sites. Knowing who your key employers are will help in outreach to businesses. You can also use this information to understand where firms are clustering in a certain region, and make determinations about supply chains.
Job Demand and Trends
- Understand how many jobs there are and where they are located. This information will allow you to identify trends – what sectors and occupations are growing, and which are declining.
- Identify promising occupations for jobseekers. Using tools like O*NET will allow you to compare job quality criteria and employer skill demands.
Wage and Earnings Data
- Identify entry-, mid- and high-level wages to assist jobseekers entering a new profession or to assist employers in competitively advancing incumbent workers.
- Calculate self-sufficiency wage levels for your region to determine the minimum livable wage for your area.
Industry Sector and Occupational Data
- Use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for identifying key or targeted industry sectors through the analysis of a variety of datasets from multiple sources.
- Use the Standard Occupational Coding (SOC) system, which is part of O*NET, to identify growing occupations, map staffing patterns in industries, and link job data by SOC code.