Researching the employment market: five steps to finding the right job

Business Impact: Researching the employment market: Five steps to finding the right job

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Career Services

Career & job market research.

This page is your hub for resources that will allow you to conduct research on the job market and careers that interest you. Remember that making a good career decision involves balancing knowledge of yourself with knowledge of the job market!

Sources of Information

Online sources of job market data, idaho department of labor.

  • Occupational and Industry Projections – Learn about Idaho’s top jobs, what industries are growing the fastest, and which are declining.
  • Occupational Employment and Wages – Find out how many people work in particular occupations in Idaho and how much they make.

Other States’ Labor Departments

US Department of Labor’s Index of Individual State’s Labor Departments – Plan to live elsewhere? Visit that state’s Labor Department website to find job market information.

Collegiate Employment Research Institute

Recruiting Trends Reports – Click on the latest Recruiting Trends Reports to learn about hiring outlook by industry and geographic region, in-demand degrees, and more.

Center on Education and the Workforce

  • Center on Education and the Workforce Reports – Find reports providing job market and educational requirement projections.
  • CEW State Reports – Find reports relevant to the state in which you want to live.

Career Information Databases

  • US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook – View lists of fastest growing or highest paying jobs, or look up occupations of interest for detailed information and employment statistics.
  • Career OneStop (Sponsored by the US Department of Labor) – Learn about what industries are growing or declining. Also a centralized place to look up occupations of interest and get job market data for whatever state you’re interested in.
  • O*NET (Sponsored by the US Department of Labor) – Find occupations that match your personality, abilities, or values and get summary occupational and job market info.
  • Idaho Department of Labor’s Idaho Career Information System – This Idaho-specific career information database lets you view employment statistics for specific occupations by region of the state, and also view lists of Idaho employers.

Other Sources of Career and Job Market Information

While reviewing data is important, it’s equally as important to talk to people in the field you plan to go into. Professionals working in the field can give you more of a real life perspective on the job market for that profession, as well as a better sense of what the job looks like day-to-day, and how well it really fits your criteria.

  • Informational Interviews – Sit down with someone working in your intended career field and ask questions about their job, the job market, and how to make yourself competitive.
  • Networking Events – Boise State and Career Services provide a variety of opportunities for you to connect with employers and professionals to ask questions.
  • Professional Organizations – Connect with relevant professional organizations for your career field to learn more and meet people who can help you achieve your goals.

Additional Resources

  • What Can I Do with This Major? – Learn about career paths pursued by others in your major, employers, and strategies.
  • Vault – Access industry guides, employer profiles, and internship information.
  • Boise State Graduates’ Employment Plans – Access data from prior surveys of students’ employment plans at the time of graduation.
  • UB Directory

research the job market

  • School of Management >
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Job Market and Research Tools

Use the resources below to identify and learn about target companies, industries and job functions.

Once you have identified companies in your geographic location of choice, you should research those companies before applying (or at least before interviewing). Do not rely on the job description alone for your research; there is so much more in depth research can uncover.

Company Example - Ralston Purina

Ralston Purina makes pet food, but did you know it also produces cereal for humans, owns a major tuna fish company, owns resorts and restaurants and makes Eveready batteries? You may be talking with a subsidiary of a larger company and not realize it if you don't do your research.

What to Research

·  Market share (size of organization in an industry) and competitors ·  Products and services ·  Potential growth ·  Annual sales growth, long term and short term ·  Organizational structure ·  Type of training program ·  Recent developments via news stories

Business and Company Research Tools

Company and Industry Information Access comprehensive information by industry and company, including industry guidebooks, company profiles and much more. The most recommended are Glassdoor and UB Career Connector.

Resources by Business Function Search these Web-based resources by business function or concentration (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.). Provides links to professional organizations, employment information and more.

UB Libraries' Business and Management Resources This includes Factiva, Mergent Intellect, IBISWorld, Standard and Poors, Wharton Research Data Services, journals, books, databases, company and industry information.

Job Market Research Tools

Salary, City and Relocation Information Information about cost of living, city journals, salaries and more. The most recommended are UB School of Management employment statistics, Glassdoor and the cost of living calculator on

Recent Recruiters Learn about the hundreds of employers who recruit UB School of Management student through campus visits, résumé referrals, Web postings, job fairs and off-campus programs.

Graduate and Professional Schools

  • Mergent Intellect
  • Standard and Poors 
  • Wharton Research Data Services

Quick Links

·   Career Checklists ·    Career Development     ·    Building Skills ·   Career Tools      ·   Résumé        ·   Cover Letter        ·   Interview        ·   Thank You    ·   Events ·   International Tools ·  Internships      ·  Search for internships       ·  Report My Internship   ·  Job Market Research Tools         ·   Concentration Resources        ·   Salary Resources ·   Report My Job ·  Working Professionals: Career Resources

Bizlink logo links to Bizlink student website.

Frank L. Ciminelli Family Career Resource Center School of Management University at Buffalo 308 Alfiero Center Buffalo, NY 14260-4010

Tel: 716-645-3232 Fax: 716-645-3231 [email protected]

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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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research the job market

  • A-Z INDEX |

    Occupational Outlook Handbook

Market Research Analysts

What they do, work environment, how to become one, job outlook, state & area data, similar occupations.

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What Market Research Analysts Do

Market research analysts study consumer preferences, business conditions, and other factors to assess potential sales of a product or service.

Because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy. Most analysts work full time during regular business hours.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree. Some employers require or prefer that job candidates have a master’s degree.

The median annual wage for market research analysts was $68,230 in May 2022.

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 13 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 94,600 openings for market research analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for market research analysts.

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of market research analysts with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about market research analysts by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Market Research Analysts Do About this section

Market research analysts

Market research analysts study consumer preferences, business conditions, and other factors to assess potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

Market research analysts typically do the following:

  • Monitor and forecast marketing and sales trends
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies
  • Devise and evaluate methods for collecting data, such as surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls
  • Gather data on consumers, competitors, and market conditions
  • Analyze data using statistical software
  • Convert data and findings into tables, graphs, and written reports
  • Prepare reports and present results to clients and management

Market research analysts gather data and study other information to help a company promote its products or services. They gather data on consumer buying habits, demographics, needs, and preferences. They collect data and information using a variety of methods, such as focus groups, interviews, literature reviews, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, and questionnaires.

Analysts help determine a company’s position in the marketplace by researching their competitors and studying their marketing methods, prices, and sales. Using this information, analysts may determine potential markets, product demand, and pricing. Their knowledge of the targeted consumer enables analysts to develop advertising brochures and commercials, product promotions, and sales plans.

Market research analysts evaluate data using statistical techniques and software. They must interpret what the data mean for their client, and they may forecast future trends. They often make charts, graphs, infographics, and other visual aids to present the results of their research.

Workers who design and conduct surveys that market research analysts use are  survey researchers .

Work Environment About this section

Market research analysts

Market research analysts held about 868,600 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of market research analysts were as follows:

Because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy.

Market research analysts work individually or as part of a team, collecting, analyzing, and presenting data. For example, some analysts work with graphic designers and artists to create charts, graphs, and infographics summarizing their research and findings.

Work Schedules

Most market research analysts work full time during regular business hours.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst About this section

Market research analysts

Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree. Some employers require or prefer that job candidates have a master’s degree. Strong research and analytical skills are essential.

Market research analysts typically need a bachelor's degree in market research or a related business , communications , or social science  field.

Courses in statistics, research methods, and marketing are important for prospective analysts. Courses in communications and social sciences, such as economics or consumer behavior, are also helpful.

Some employers of market research analysts require or prefer a master’s degree. Several schools offer graduate programs in marketing research, but analysts may choose to complete a bachelor’s degree in another field, such as statistics and marketing, and earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). A master’s degree is often required for leadership positions or positions that perform more technical research.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Analysts may pursue certification, which is voluntary, to demonstrate a level of professional competency. The Insights Association offers several certifications for market research analysts, including the IPC Principal and the IPC Masters. Candidates qualify based on industry experience and passing an exam.

Other Experience

Completing an internship while in school may be helpful. Prospective analysts also may gain experience by volunteering for an organization and helping with market research or related projects.

Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have experience in other positions that require collecting and analyzing data or writing reports to summarize research. 

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Market research analysts must evaluate large amounts of data and information related to market conditions.

Communication skills. Market research analysts must be able to clearly convey information when gathering material, interpreting data, and presenting results to clients.

Critical-thinking skills. To determine which marketing strategies would work best for a company, market research analysts must assess all available information.

Detail oriented. Market research analysts must pay attention to minutiae to evaluate data.

Pay About this section

Median annual wages, May 2022

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

The median annual wage for market research analysts was $68,230 in May 2022. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $131,850.

In May 2022, the median annual wages for market research analysts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Job Outlook About this section

Percent change in employment, projected 2022-32

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment growth will be driven by an increasing use of data and market research across many industries. These workers will be needed to help understand the needs and wants of customers, measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies, and identify the factors affecting product demand.

The increase in the collection and analyses of big data—extremely large sets of information, such as social media comments or online product reviews—can provide insight on consumer behaviors and preferences. Businesses will need market research analysts to conduct analyses of the data and information.

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational employment and wage statistics (oews).

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at . Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.


CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of market research analysts.

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about market research analysts, visit

Insights Association

For resources and information about qualitative research, visit

Qualitative Research Consultants Association  (QRCA)

For a career video on market research analysts, visit

Market research analysts

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Search Marketing Strategists

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook , Market Research Analysts, at (visited November 26, 2023 ).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2022 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2022, the median annual wage for all workers was $46,310.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2022

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2022, which is the base year of the 2022-32 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2022-32

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032. The average growth rate for all occupations is 3 percent.

Employment Change, 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Employment Change, projected 2022-32

Growth rate (projected).

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Number of New Jobs

Projected growth rate.

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

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