All teachers, students and parents should have access to high-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities both nationally and locally.
It is vital, in an environment where new industries are emerging and many of the most important jobs of the future don’t yet exist, that individuals have access to labour market information and earnings data to underpin their choices.
"Receiving up to date LMI information is key in my role and helps me to correctly advise students about current labour market trends. Having everything in one place is great."
Hello and welcome to this video presentation on labour market information or LMI. Today, I am going to provide a brief overview around LMI including;
What it is and why you need to know about it, some business environment data giving us a feel for the industry conditions in the region, labour market conditions data covering some headline figures on how the market is fairing and some labour market demand data giving us an indication of what employers are looking for.
Throughout this presentation I will often refer to the West of England region. What I mean when I say this is local enterprise partnership area which covers Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bristol together as shown on this map. It is a region that is home to over 1 million people and over 45,000 businesses. Where possible I focus the LMI presented to be region specific to provide the richest and most relevant information possible.
So, what is LMI and why do you need to know about it?
Well, in order to answer that I think it is useful to define what we mean by the labour market. You may already know this but in case you don’t, it is a term we use when we talk about buying and selling people’s efforts, skills and time. For example, when you go into a shop and choose a product you need and pay for it – this forms a transaction, in the form of exchange of money for goods. The same thing happens in the labour market. You are the product, employers need your time, effort and skills and to have to ‘buy you’ with a salary in order to produce the goods or services that they offer. In the goods market, the price of a product is influenced by various factors. For example, if something is complicated or difficult to make, it is normally more expensive; something like an iPhone or type of high-end technology. Generally, along the same lines, if someone is highly skilled, they are usually more ‘expensive’. The same goes for rarity. Gold is rare so it is expensive. Skills that are very specialist and rare often cost more to buy; for example, the skills of a nuclear scientist.
So, labour market information is exactly what it states; it is information that we have which describes the labour market. It can be useful to help answer a host of questions about work, working conditions and the economy, such as: what jobs are being heavily recruiting for in the area?, which are the big employers in different areas?, which employers have jobs on offer?, what are working conditions like?, what skills are employers looking for and are in short supply?, how much you can expect to be paid in specific jobs?, how buoyant is the job market currently?, how many people are unemployed?, what might jobs of the future look like and which jobs might disappear?
Answering these questions can, in turn, help young people make more informed choices when researching jobs that they might want to do in the future.
We are now going to look at some data that explores the business environment in the region.
There are over 46,000 businesses within the West of England and employing around 627,000 people across a wide range of sectors. We have a broad sector base compared to many other regions which can be seen as a positive thing as it leaves the economy not overly exposed to shifts in one sector. Some of the largest sectors in the region are retail and wholesale which, collectively, employ 14% of the workforce as well as health, education, professional and scientific services and administration. We also have sizable transport and storage, government, construction, manufacturing and IT and communication. In addition, we have a host of other industries like finance, arts and entertainment.
The next few slides cover some information about labour market conditions which can give us an indication of the health of the local economy and its relative position within the rest of the country.
The claimant count is the number of people claiming unemployment benefit. The graph you are looking at shows the claimant rate among the 4 local authorities, the West of England and the national rate. As you can see, we saw a big spike in this number at the beginning of the pandemic in May last year, but it has stayed relatively stable since. It was lower in the West of England which is the light grey line in the middle than the national rate which is the top line. This information is updated on a monthly basis and can found on the LMI pack on the West of England Combined Authority website.
Nationally the claimant count is higher for young people than it is for the general population. This is not actually the case in the west of England region where 16-24 years old claiming is at a slightly lower rate. North Somerset and South Gloucestershire do have higher youth unemployment rates than the general population though, so there might be more isolated pockets where this is more of a problem.
Claimants are seen in high numbers in geographical areas which are generally areas that have higher rates of unemployment before the pandemic.
We will now look at some current labour market demand information. This includes job postings data, as well as apprenticeships and other industry data.
We can use job posting data as an indication of the health of the job market and which industries are recruiting. This data is limited due to not all vacancies being advertised online as well as the fact that industries with high levels of staff turnover (like certain sales roles) can be over represented, but it gives a good indication of general trends. We saw a strong down tick in the number of job postings at the beginning of the pandemic which recovered to some extent over the last year and has stayed broadly stable this year so far. Top occupations advertised in the last 6 months are generally occupations that saw a strong demand pre Covid. Some of these have actually seen an increase in demand since the pandemic began. These include programmers and software development professionals, nurses, care workers, managers and proprietors in other services and sales related occupations.
Some other professions that have seen high level of postings are: IT business analysts, architects and system designers, other administrative occupations, human resources, industrial relation officers, marketing and sales directors, solicitors, web design and development professionals, chartered and certified accountants and van drivers.
We can break down the job postings down to education level to give us the kind of jobs advertised that might be suitable for young people leaving education at different stages. This is by no means perfect as many jobs do not have an education level specified and this software can only represent ones that do. As a result, many might be omitted but it still gives us a broad indication of the kind of jobs demanded. Please bear this in mind whilst interpreting the job posting slides. In terms of entry level jobs there are strong job postings seen for a variety of professions: care work, sales work, van drivers, large goods vehicle drivers, storage work, construction work, cleaners, nursing assistants as well as kitchen and catering assistants.
In terms of level 3 qualifications required the highest polling jobs advertised include vehicle technicians, care workers, nursery nurses and assistants, various engineering roles, teaching assistants and electrical and electronic trades.
In graduate positions; software and IT, engineering, management, marketing and STEM (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) all see high levels of postings.
Looking at the skills demand from job adverts shows the top skills include hard skills and soft skills with the latter being most frequently sited. Teamwork is the most common skill required followed by collaboration. Amongst the hard skills we again see the prominence of software engineering and a few programming languages as we can see here, in the examples of Python and SQL. Many skills fall in the middle between hard and soft like budgeting.
The demand for apprenticeships dipped at the beginning of the pandemic and have stayed much lower than pre pandemic levels but we have seen a big spike in March 2021 which could indicate that they are recovering. Hopefully this will be confirmed over the next few months. Here is a selection of apprenticeships from the 15th,16th and 17th of March. A total of 27 were posted on these 3 days. This shows they are out there. Although none are shown here, degree level apprenticeships are also available, though competition for these is high. This list changes constantly so it is best to check the government’s website which is linked at the end.
In terms of growth areas there are some key sectors that are expected to grow nationally and these include; engineering, software/IT/digital, creative including design, construction, health and social care, professional services, business and public services and low-carbon economy. Some of these are particularly key in our region as we see that presentation software and IT continue to see huge demand and we have many specialist, engineering, creative and professional service companies located here too.
Over the last 20 years there has been a significant increase in the number of digital jobs. This is partly due to growth in the IT and digital sectors themselves but also the increased prevalence of these roles across all industries with finance demanding high volumes of software professionals. For example, in no particular order: analytics, cyber security, games and animation, networking and cloud infrastructure, programming and software development are all thought to be within growing areas in the digital space and are likely to grow in prevalence subsectors. Currently there are 8 particularly highly demanded skills within digital roles that are specified within 10% of all digital job adverts. These are shown here and include a lot of programming languages as well as some project management skills.
So, I have covered a variety of different sources of LMI in this presentation, and these can be found on the West of England Combined LMI pack published monthly and available on the regional insights page on the West of England Combined Authority website. There are lots of external sources of LMI available that are great to use and helpful in finding opportunities. These include the dot Gov apprenticeship website which is a good place to start when looking for an apprenticeship. Career Pilot provides excellent career guidance information for 11 -19 year olds and the Career o Meter, which is an extension of Career Pilot, compares jobs to each other. The National Careers Service also provides information and guidance on jobs.
I hope this presentation has given you some insight to what LMI is, why it is useful and how to access it. Thank you for your time and please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions via the email shown on screen.