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UCD Research Skills & Career Development

Forbairt Ghairme & Taighde Scileanna UCD

Accurate Labour Market Information (LMI) is crucial in finding and securing career opportunities. Knowledge of current trends and developments within a field allows candidates to effectively address key issues during the selection process or even identify potential opportunities before they are advertised. Feedback from recruiters, at every level, highlights a lack of commercial awareness as a common failing among candidates. A distinction can be made between labour market information, i.e. raw data, and labour market intelligence, i.e. interpretation of that data, however for our purposes we will refer to both as the former.


Labour Market Information - Definition

An all-encompassing definition of LMI might be: Anything information that might add to the total knowledge related to this area. However that is perhaps too broad and loosely defined for practical purposes, in general LMI comprises the following:


  •   trends and conditions in particular industries or the local economy
  •   forecasts of occupational trends and the needs in particular industries
  •   organisations within an industry sector 
  •   education, qualifications, experience and skill requirements for specific jobs
  •   salary information
  •   labour force profile (age, education, gender, ethnicity, etc.)

At a very basic level LMI can be reduced to Demand, the jobs available in this sector, Supply, the availability of suitable people to do these jobs, and External Forces affecting the labour market, such as regulation, legislation, micro and/or macro economic factors.


Sources of Relevant Labour Market Information

Information overload, or infobesity, is usually associated with three main issues:

  • the inability to process the sheer quantity of information
  • attention fragmentation as we strive not to miss any “critical” data
  • the problem of validating the information

 In sourcing reliable LMI without spending unreasonable amounts of time on the project it is recommended to restrict your research to:

  •  established organisations in the field, e.g. companies, research institutes, etc.
  • professional and/or regulatory bodies
  • industry-standard journals, e.g. Nature, Science, etc.  
  • established mainstream media, e.g. the Economist, The Irish Times, The New York Times, etc.
  • government and transnational organisations


Examples of reliable sources of LMI:



UK and Europe:


Global: -     please contact for password -  please contact for password


Labour Market Information on the go

Social Media, particularly twitter, has accelerated information flows everywhere. Most organisations now have a twitter feed broadcasting news as soon as it happens and this can be an excellent, and verifiable, source of up-to-the-minute news. By simply signing up to a twitter feed you can stay abreast of developments in your field with relatively little activity on your part. The downside is the previously mentioned information overload, and it is no substitute for real research on the field, however it can prove to be an invaluable source.