Insights and Perspectives

Insights and Perspectives


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The Role of LMI in Graduates' Career Planning Graphic

May marks the exciting milestone of graduation season. Across the country, college students are taking their first steps into the professional world. However, stepping into the dynamic and evolving job market can be challenging without the right information. For new graduates, the state of the labor market has implications beyond getting your first job. Understanding the state of the labor market and labor market information is crucial for recent graduates to make informed decisions about their career paths.

What is Labor Market Information  

The labor market refers to the supply and demand for labor. Employees provide the supply and employers provide the demand. Labor Market Information (LMI) is a set of data and insights that helps describe how jobs are changing, now and into the future. LMI provides essential data about job trends, salaries, industry demands, required skills, and education levels.  

Why LMI Matters for Recent Graduates  

Graduates can use this valuable information to make informed decisions regarding their career paths. For graduates, LMI serves as a compass, guiding them through the initial stages of their professional journeys. LMI can answer questions such as “how much does a job pay,” “how many jobs are available now,” and “what is the growth rate for this job.” By understanding and leveraging labor market information, graduates can gain a better understanding of the labor market by having the ability to identify job trends and opportunities as well as learn how to align their skills with the demands of various industries. 

 What Does the Current Job Market Look Like for College Graduates 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 2024, the current unemployment rate is 3.8%. However, recent college graduates face a different job market. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in March 2024, about 4.7% of recent college graduates were unemployed in the U.S. Until 2018, the unemployment rate for recent graduates was lower than the overall unemployment rate. Since then, it has hovered under a percentage point above the overall rate. However, this gap has recently widened. Recent graduates are also more likely to be underemployed, meaning they are working in jobs that do not require a college degree. In March 2024, recent graduates had an underemployment rate of 40.8% compared to college graduates with an underemployed rate of 33.1%. Although unemployment and underemployment for recent graduates are higher than historical rates. According to the Harvard Business Review, the strength of the labor market can positively impact recent graduates, and students who graduate into a strong labor market will earn more throughout their careers than those who graduate during a recession. The time of the year can also positively impact recent graduates, Phillip Sprehe Geographic Solutions’ Sr. Economist, explained more on this during the Big Interview YouTube Expert series on Labor Market Trends. He compared seasonally adjusted and unadjusted job postings, and he found that March and April are the best months to find opening and December tends to be the worst. 

Using Geographic Solutions LMI Tools 

Geographic Solutions empowers individuals with the information that they need to make informed career decisions. Through innovative software solutions, graduates can gain access to data and insights that they can use to navigate the complex job market with confidence. Geographic Solutions offers user-friendly LMI tools like Virtual LMI (VLMI) and Virtual Career Center (VCC). Virtual Career Center (VCC) provides colleges with an online platform that helps students prepare for entering the workforce after graduation. VCC’s personalized dashboard and algorithms match students with relevant internships and job opportunities based on their data. Virtual LMI (VLMI), is an online platform that provides individuals with the ability to perform detailed analyses, compare job market statistics, and explore various career paths.  

Maximizing LMI for Career Success 

By having access to real time data on job opportunities, salary ranges, and skills requirements, graduates can make informed decisions about their first steps in their career paths. Understanding what employers are looking for and how to stand out for entry level jobs can be challenging. By using LMI to complement research, graduates can gain a better understanding of what will be expected for a certain role. Graduates can leverage LMI effectively by tailoring their resume with skills and qualifications identified through LMI, use industry-specific insights and trends from LMI to impress potential employers during interviews, and negotiate a competitive salary based on skills, education, training, and knowledge of industry averages.  

Go Forth into the Job Market with the Power of LMI 

Labor Market Information is a valuable resource that empowers graduates to navigate the job market confidently. By leveraging LMI tools, the class of 2024 can make informed career decisions that align with their goals and the demands of today's job market, contributing to the success of the next generation of the workforce.  

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