Labour Market Information 101

Labour Market Information (LMI) User Guide

Users can find more in-depth coverage of information found on our website in Workforce Development Board’s Labour Market Information User Guide. Specific inquiries can be sent to HelpDesk@wdb.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions about Labour Market Information


What is LMI?

Labour market information (LMI) is used to monitor and forecast economic trends, such as occupation projections, wage characteristics, demographics, or recruitment methods.

The goal of LMI is to offer decision makers, from business owners to individual workers to government planners, the ability to analyze or access analysis in a way that increases their understanding of the conditions they face.

Who can use LMI?

LMI can be used by:

  • Job seekers
  • People currently employed
  • Students and parents
  • New Canadians
  • Business/economic development
  • Entrepreneurs and trainers
  • Guidance and employment counsellors
  • Policymakers

What is a NOC code?

A National Occupation Classification (NOC) code is a number used to classify occupations or groups of occupations. Individual occupations will be 4 digits, while occupational groups can be 1, 2, or 3 digits.

For example, HVAC mechanics are listed under NOC 7313- Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics.

NOC codes can be searched for by job title or NOC code here.

How do I find an occupation?

Employment and Social Development Canada has a valuable resource available for users that want to search for, and learn more about occupations.  Some great information that users can access include:

What is a NAICS code?

A North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is a number assigned to each sector or industry. NAICS codes are 2-digits at the sector level, 3-digits at the sub-sector level, and 4-digits at the industry level. NAICS codes are also available as 5 and 6 digit codes.

For example, HVAC mechanics work in both NAICS 23 – Construction and NAICS 238220 – Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning mechanics.

NAICS codes can be searched for here.

How do I find an industry?

In total, there are over 900 Canadian industries listed in the NAICS, each with a different code to identify the specific industry.  For a complete list of all of the NAICS codes, the NAICS structure, and related information, users can download the full PDF document at Statistics Canada – NAICS. Additional resources that users can access include:

What is a median wage?

The median wage is the midpoint of wage earners in a given occupation. Half of workers will earn less than the median and half of workers will earn more. Median wages are often used instead of average wages, which can be susceptible to being skewed by large wage gaps. 

What is a wage percentile?

Wage percentiles refer to where wages fall on a wage band. The difference in wages can be attributed to the employee’s level of experience, education, or specific job duties. A worker new to the field will likely earn wages around the 25th percentile or below, while workers with many years of experience will likely earn wages around the 75th percentile or above.

What are Economic Regions, Census Divisions, Census Subdivisions, Census Metropolitan Areas, Census Agglomerates, and Economic Regions?

A Census Division (CD) is a geographic region that has statistical data that is available for analysis purposes. Census Divisions in the WDB catchment area include:

  • Peterborough, City and County
  • Kawartha Lakes
  • Northumberland County
  • Haliburton County

Census Subdivision (CSD) is the municipal level of geography.

A Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is an area of at least 100,000 people situated around an urban core of which 50,000 or more live in the core.

A Census Agglomerate (CA) is an area situated around an urban core of at least 10,000 people. The CAs in WDB’s catchment area are Cobourg, Port Hope, and Kawartha Lakes.

An Economic Region (ER) is a collection of Census Divisions. The Muskoka-Kawarthas Economic Region includes Peterborough (City and County), Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, Haliburton, and the District Municipality of Muskoka.

How is the labour force calculated?

The labour force is the population over the age of 15 who are working or are currently looking for work.

How is the participation rate calculated?

Participation Rate = # of people in the labour force / # of people over the age of 15

How is the unemployment rate calculated?

Unemployment Rate = # of people looking for work / number of people in the labour force

How is the employment rate calculated?

Employment Rate = # of people working / population over the age of 15

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