How Labor Market Information Can Help Me Find a Job

Get Hired Fast - help me find a jobThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can be very helpful in your job search – especially if you are looking for a new career or new cities.  Every month, BLS releases information about job openings and hires; for example, there were 3.7 million job openings and 4.3 million hires in November 2012. This and other information available on the BLS website can be used when you ask “help me find a job.”

Find Positions According to Your Qualifications

You can narrow down career opportunities according to your interests or skills. The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook profiles a number of careers and lists them by occupational groups. For example, the topic “healthcare occupations” includes information about audiologists, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, and physicians.  You can also search by industry. The OOH also includes educational requirements and particular duties for each position. You can figure out if a job may be something that you might enjoy.

Learn about Typical Wages and Benefits

The BLS also supplies stats about salary ranges for various jobs by skill, location, experience level, and industry.  For example, middle school career and technical education teachers earned a median salary of $51,470 as of May 2010 but the top 10% earned at least $78,160. For high school career and technical teachers, the top 10% earned $80,050. The median pay for police officers and detectives was $55,010 in May 2010; the site also breaks down the salaries for transit and railroad police ($54,330) and sheriff patrol officers ($53,540). There is also information about overtime pay (if applicable) and vacation time that you may be able to get with each position.

Location Matters

You can also learn data about pay in different parts of the country for your chosen profession. There are maps that show the employment by state along with the hourly and median wage for that particular state.  For example, California has the highest number of accountants (121,590) with an hourly median wage of $36.02 while New York has 92,630 accountants with an hourly median wage of $40.90.

Remember that the cost of living may be higher in places with higher wages so you may not be getting the benefit that you expect. There are more graphs that show the states and cities with the highest concentration of positions and the top-paying metropolitan areas in the country for that position. You can use that data to focus your job search.

See Into the Future

The BLS can also give you some insight on the trends in your industry of interest. For instance, growth for physician jobs will be 24% and 28% for chiropractor jobs over the years 2010-2020.  Lawyers can expect a growth in employment opportunities of 10% over those same years, but there will continue to be significant competition for these positions because of the increased numbers of law students graduating each year than jobs available.

Look through the data; you can pick a position that has a good growth outlook or at least be aware of what the landscape will look like over time.

As part of your investigation of potential careers, you can use the BLS to help you narrow down your choices and find more attractive positions, locations, and pay scales. For more information on how to utilize the BLS, sign up for our today.

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