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Research the job market

Before starting your job search, make sure you have fully assessed your skills and experiences, ensuring they are a good…

Article by: Corinne Mills

research the job market

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Before starting your job search, make sure you have fully assessed your skills and experiences, ensuring they are a good fit for your target role. You should know exactly what type of roles are suitable as this will help with the accuracy of your job search. Many people waste hours applying for unsuitable roles and wonder why they do not get any response from employers or agencies.

Researching the job market will give you a good idea on which job roles are suitable to you and what industry sectors you should be aiming for. This research will also outline the trends of the labour market as a whole, giving you an idea of what industries are growing and which are shrinking. This will help you decide which industry you should be investing your time in.

Take time to thoroughly research the industry you are applying for to ensure that the job you are interested in is actually what you think it is, that it is right for you and that it is achievable. It might be worth talking to recruiters , people who work in similar roles and employers to help you see whether this is the right role for you. They can also inform you about any additional qualifications or experience you may need. The information you gain from your research may give you a competitive edge, an opportunity to address any shortfalls and potentially save you a lot of time.

By taking the time to research the job market it can also help you tailor your CV and application forms, ensuring they are a good match for the role you are applying to. Having strong knowledge of the industry and position will also help you stand out from the crowd and show you have done your homework. This could be the difference between getting shortlisted or being turned away.

Working with a career coach can help you to assess your career options, clarify your next career move and help put together a targeted job search campaign. Career coaches can help you get the job that you want by helping you locate the target roles, develop a persuasive sales pitch, produce a winning CV and perform well at interview.

You can find out more here about the benefits of working with a career coach

Personal Career Management have a strong team of career coaches who are experts in the UK Job market and have the skills and experience to help you enhance your employability and support you through the job search process .

If you take up one of our career coaching programmes you can also benefit from the services of a dedicated Research Manager who can assist you with your interview preparation. They can provide background research into the company or industry you are applying to, as well as any other research requests you may have. This helps in cutting down the time taken to find the research materials and ensures you are fully focused on your job search.

If you are interested in finding out more, please give us a call in the office on 01753 888995 or get in contact using our online contact form and a member of our team will be happy to give you a ring to discuss your requirements.

research the job market

Article by:

Corinne Mills

Corinne Mills is the Joint Managing Director of Personal Career Management, she is a career coach with 15 years career management experience.

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Job Market: Definition, Measurement, Example

research the job market

Gordon Scott has been an active investor and technical analyst or 20+ years. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT).

research the job market

What Is the Job Market?

The job market is the market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs. The job market is not a physical place as much as a concept demonstrating the competition and interplay between different labor forces. It is also known as the labor market .

The job market can grow or shrink depending on the demand for labor and the available supply of workers within the overall economy. Other factors which impact the market are the needs of a specific industry, the need for a particular education level or skill set, and required job functions. The job market is a significant component of any economy and is directly tied in with the demand for goods and services.

The employment numbers are released on the first Friday of every month.

The Job Market and the Unemployment Rate

The job market is also directly related to the unemployment rate . The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force who are not currently employed but actively seeking a job. The higher the unemployment rate, the greater the supply of labor in the overall job market.

When employers have a larger pool of applicants to choose from, they can be pickier or force down wages. Conversely, as the unemployment rate drops, employers are forced to compete more heavily for available workers. The competition for workers has the effect of increasing wages. Wages determined by the job market provide valuable information for economic analysts and those who set public policy based on the state of the overall economy.

The highest rate of unemployment in the U.S, which was documented in 1933.

During difficult economic times, unemployment tends to rise as employers may reduce their staffing numbers and create fewer new jobs, making it harder for people trying to find work. High rates of unemployment can prolong economic stagnation —a sustained period of little-to-no growth in an economy—and contribute to social upheaval, leading to the loss of opportunities for many individuals to live comfortably.

A report called the Current Population Survey can measure the state of the job market. It's a statistical survey performed every month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study includes a representative sample of about 60,000 homes to try and determine the unemployment rate of specific regions, earnings of those surveyed, hours the respondents worked, and many other demographic factors.

Key Takeaways

  • Employers search for employees and employees search for jobs in the job market.
  • The job market grows or shrinks based on demand for labor and the number of workers in the economy.
  • The job market is directly related to the unemployment rate—a measure of the percentage of people who aren't employed but actively seeking work.

Example of a Job Market

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics total employment for non-farm payrolls rose by 528,000 for July 2022, and the unemployment rate (a lagging indicator) fell to 3.5%. Industries such as leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care all saw job gains during this time.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. " Current Employment Statistics - CES (National) ."

National Bureau of Economic Research. " Annual Estimates of Unemployment in the United States, 1900-1954 ," Page 215.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. " Current Population Survey ."

Bureau of Labor Statistics. " Employment Situation Summary ."

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Understanding the job market

Most graduating PhDs seeking jobs in academia, government, or industry will participate in the job market for economists and may interview for positions at the ASSA Annual Meeting in early January.  

The job market process

The AEA provides a  guide to the job market process  created by John Cawley. It details the following:

Job openings for economists

The American Economic Association provides the JOE Network (Job Openings for Economists Network) for employers and job-seekers who are participating in the annual economics job market cycle.

AEA Committee on the Job Market

The AEA's Committee on the Job Market posts information and updates in various reports and webinars on the economics job market.

Current salary information

There are several sources of current salary and job market information for economists:

  • The Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas conducts an annual " Survey of the Labor Market for New Ph.D. Hires in Economics ."
  • The American Economic Association publishes results of its Universal Academic Questionnaire in each May issue of AEA Papers and Proceedings .
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes information on economists in the Occupational Outlook Handbook .

Further reading

Auerbach, Alan J., Francine D. Blau, and John B. Shoven. 2004. "The Labor Market for New Ph.D. Economists: Panel Discussion." American Economic Review , 94 (2), pp. 286-290.

Coles, Peter, John Cawley, Phillip B. Levine, Muriel Niederle, Alvin E. Roth, and John J. Siegfried (2010) "The Job Market for New Economists: a Market Design Perspective" Journal of Economic Perspectives 24(4) (Fall): 187-206.

Ehrenberg, Ronald G. 2004. "Prospects in the Academic Labor Market for Economists." Journal of Economic Perspectives , 18 (2), pp. 227-238 .

Jihui, Chen, Qihong Liu, and Sherrilyn Billger. 2012. “Where Do New Ph.D. Economists Go? Evidence from Recent Initial Job Placements.” Journal of Labor Research , 34, pp. 312-338.

Krueger, Anne O. 1999. "Implications of the Labor Market for Graduate Education in Economics." Journal of Economic Perspectives , 13 (3), pp. 153-156 .

Smeets, Valerie, Frederic Warzynski, and Tom Coupe. 2006. "Does the Academic Labor Market Initially Allocate New Graduates Efficiently?" Journal of Economic Perspectives , 20(3), pp. 161-172.

Career earnings

The economics profession, universal academic questionnaire (uaq).


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