One of the first steps to take in any job search plan is to review labor market information particular to your skills and interests (information on skills evaluation can be found in previous blogs). Labor market is defined as “the supply of available workers in relation to available work.” With labor market information, we can find what training or education is necessary, what is the predicted growth of an industry, the average salary for the occupation, and a host of other information.
Once you have completed an evaluation of your own skills, you can begin to see a picture of what is important, and as a result begin to identify the appropriate labor market. Labor market data covers a broad range of topics, such as:
- Characteristics of the labor force
- Employment by industry and occupation
- Hours worked
- Training programs
Many professionals utilize labor market information to make decisions (business, government, career counselors, etc.). Job seekers can use labor market information to help make decisions for their job search that ties back to their specific career goals.
You might be thinking “I’m not into career planning…I need a JOB right now.” And that’s fine, I’ve been there myself. But, let’s think for a moment. Never mind any philosophy of the benefits of working, physical or mental…we both need a job so we can eat. And, we both need to work for another few years, so here we are. We can find a J-O-B right now to satisfy our immediate needs (food, shelter), but we can also begin the long-term plan of our career that satisfies future needs (retirement, fulfillment). And who knows, that J-O-B today might very well develop into a fulfilling career.
Fortunately, we are living in the “digital age” where you can find useful labor market information online. If you do not have access to the internet, there are 28 Workforce offices in the Houston area that do.
The following are several internet websites that have labor market information you can review:
Tracer Texas provides all types of labor market information for the Texas.
Wage information can be found at Texas Wages.
Bureau of Economic Analysis provides national, regional, international, and industry-related information.
The U.S. Census Bureau provides relevant data about the people and economy of the United States.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics at provides information on inflation and consumer spending, wages, earnings and benefits, productivity, health and safety, occupations, demographics, employment and unemployment, and industries.
The Occupational Information Network allows you to research occupations, skills, and use classification systems to find matching occupations.
America’s Career Info-Net, or ACI provides a host of labor market information.
Once you have gathered useful labor market information, the next step will be to investigate effective ways of looking for work and developing an effective job search plan. Stay tuned and we’ll provide more information soon!
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.