LMI is important – now what?

We all know that Labour Market Information/Intelligence or LMI is an important part of the careers advice and guidance that people should receive. It’s the second of the Gatsby Foundation’s 8 benchmarks for good career guidance. But I feel that LMI is something that we all struggle with for a few reasons:

  • It’s a bit numbery. If no one puts the raw data into a useable format it can be completely impenetrable.
  • It’s diverse. There is no one stop shop for LMI as my list below will show. Keeping up to date with the latest data and tools is difficult.

So my contribution is this blog post. Below are 15 sources of LMI plus a few extra that require more work. It’s a brain dump of all the cool tools I’ve come across recently. I’ve also added a bit of commentary for each of the tools.

  1. Graduate earnings

This list is in no particular order but I’ve decided to put my own tool first (because I can). This tool uses a new linked data source called LEO. The data consists of tax data, pupil data, and benefits data. You can explore graduate earnings by gender, subject, cohort, and years since graduation. All the earnings data is in January 2017 prices to make it comparable across cohorts.

  1. Where the work is

This tool uses data scraped from job sites to show which occupations have the most job openings in an area. It goes further than this by saying how many of these jobs are available to school leavers, further education leavers, and higher education leavers and has a measure of salary. By combining salary with jobs it gives each occupation an opportunity score for the selected area.

  1. Top 30 skills

This tool uses data scraped from job sites to show which skills are most and least in demand. It also looks at which skills pay the most and the least and breaks this down by all occupations, tech occupations, and digital occupations.

  1. Earnings by region

This lively infographic uses earnings data from the ONS and breaks the data down by local authority.

  1. Earnings by occupation

This tool allows you to compare the pay of different occupations. It also forecasts the growth of that occupation. It is part of the LMI for all project and can be embedded in your website.

  1. Earnings by occupation and gender

This tool from the ONS allows you to compare gender pay gaps by occupation.

  1. NOMIS

NOMIS is a good (if not a little dry) source of headline LMI. The summary pages tell you all the bread and butter LMI (e.g. employment/unemployment, skills levels etc) of an area (be it a LEP, local authority, or parliamentary constituency). If you get more confident you can download trend data from the site. It’s not the prettiest site but it is one of the most important for LMI.

  1. Monthly regional LMI from ONS

Every month the ONS updates the labour market statistics. The ONS website has had some major investment recently and the usability and commentary around the statistics make them very accessible.

  1. Concentration of industry by region

This tool shows the relative distribution of jobs by industry and by region.

  1. Unistats

Unistats is the official university LMI website. It contains a suite of data from various sources including earnings data and course satisfaction ratings.

  1. Centre for cities

As per the name this site is focused on cities. It contains a wide variety of data including; housing, skills, jobs and employment, welfare, and demographics, amongst others.

  1. I could

This site features videos of people in various professions. It also pulls in labour market information from the LMI for all project including salary data.

  1. Glass door

Glassdoor is a job site. What sets glass door apart is that users leave commentary on companies including salary data. However, other job sites can be just as useful for local LMI.

  1. Risk of automation

This is a good example of a tool that you may not think is LMI. It was a news story on the BBC but functions as a source of LMI just the same. The tool allows you to see the chance that a job will be automated. Instead of advising people on what jobs to do in the future, perhaps we should also advise on what jobs not to do (for example accountancy is a risky choice).

  1. Can a robot do your job?

This tool is similar to the aforementioned BBC tool but requires a bit more information and was developed more recently.

Best of the rest

Most of the tools here use publicly available data but put it in a format that the layman can use. If you are more confident with a spreadsheet you may wish to hunt down the data in a rawer format. places to look include:

For data on the economy and population.

This group has now been disbanded but the data is still available and many of the services that were provided will continue.

UCAS has a surprisingly large amount of data available on it’s website.

For data on schools and pupils.

For data on FE including apprenticeship statistics.

Companies

There are a few commercial enterprises out there that do bespoke LMI work (such as creating tools, and consultancy). An exciting new company Burning Glass were responsible for two of the tools above (where the work is, and top 30 skills). Burning glass have a few local authorities as clients in the UK. EMSI UK is another US country with some operations in the UK. Similarly to burning glass their clients are probably pitched at the local government level.

There are plenty of consultancies with a expertise in labour market information. The institute for Employment Studies is one, SQW is another (I’m not on commission so if you can think of anymore that might be useful, or you have first-hand experience please leave a comment).

Without a doubt the most exciting thing for LMI is the LMI for all project. This uses much of the data from various tools in the above list and makes it available through an API for people to make apps with. So far there are some good examples but really the project needs more people to get stuck in and make more apps.

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