Taking advantage of Labour Market Trends can greatly improve your employment prospects. Being aware of labour market information will give you hints on which skills you need to develop, where the jobs are and how the world of work is changing.

Alberta has a relatively young population but it is aging. Many baby boomers, members of that large group of people born between 1945 and 1966, will probably retire in the next decade or so.

More and more occupations require basic computer skills. Think of the last time you shopped for groceries, did some banking, serviced your car or went out to a restaurant. In most cases, staff used computerized equipment.

When you come across this type of information, think about how the reported trend could affect the labour market in your community. Ask yourself the following questions:

How could this trend affect me?

Depending on the industry you work in, Alberta’s aging population could have a positive or negative effect on employment opportunities in your industry.

Improving your computer skills may open up new employment prospects.

Globalization could create more competition in your field, as well as create new markets for your goods or services.

Your long-term employment prospects are directly related to the size of your industry and the rate at which your industry is growing.

What opportunities might this trend create?

Demand for services designed specifically for seniors will probably grow, especially after 2011.

Improving your computer skills will make you more marketable. Likely, the more skills you have in this area, the more options there will be for you.

If you are willing to travel or can speak more than one language, globalization will probably create many opportunities for you.

If you have transferable skills such as good communication and teamwork skills, you may be able to find opportunities in a large, growing industry like the service industry.

Are there exceptions to the trend?

Some baby boomers will probably continue to work long past the traditional retirement age. Their needs may be different from those of other seniors.

Improving your people skills might improve your employment prospects just as much as improving your computer skills.

Not all small businesses market their goods and services on the Internet. Sometimes, it makes good business sense to stick to serving a local market.

Some goods-producing industries such as the food processing industry may be growing faster than service industries in the community.

Is it a fad or is it a trend?

A fad comes and goes quickly. The rise and fall of a number of companies is a recent example of a fad. Trends are more gradual changes that last longer.

Even after you’ve found your dream job, it’s a good idea to keep informed about trends that might influence your work in the future. Know who your employer’s major competitors are and how your organization is doing in relation to its competitors. Take note of information in the news about overall shifts in the economy. Anticipating their potential effects will help you to continue to make informed career decisions.

Labour Market Information Can Change Your Life

Very likely, it already has.