Reading and understanding economic data can be difficult and boring! So many of us think, ‘why bother reading about the economy when I can spend time looking for job postings?’ But economic data can help with both job search and career decision making because it can help you see patterns. For example, if you look at the unemployment rate, is it going up or down in the city where you want to work and has it been going up or down for an extended period of time? Is real estate strong? If it is, think about all of the other industries attached to the housing industry (construction, furniture manufacturing, plumbers, landscaping, etc.) What about bankruptcy statistics? Do you see a pattern of bankruptcies in specific industries? Labour market information is all about searching for and analyzing information that can help us understand the future of work, and this includes taking a look at the economy.

Below is an example of labour market information compiled by Statistics Canada. It can tell you what industries saw growth and decline in the previous month and it often mentions names of companies that announced growth or are shutting down. This is valuable information for both job seekers and career decisions.

  • As a job seeker, you can search for companies in the industries that are doing well and take a look at their careers page for job postings. The real strategy in taking the time to read these kinds of reports is learning about business activity long before jobs are advertised so you get ahead of everyone else. If you know a company is growing, why not approach them now?
  • If you are deciding on a career, this information can help you determine if there are opportunities in the city where you want to work and live.
Source: Labour Market Bulletin: Ontario, February 2014.
Finding Statistics and Economic Reports

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