Canada’s “middle-skill” employment sector continues to erode alongside the growth of high-skill jobs, an indication that the labour market is splintering between well-paid, interesting, permanent jobs – and the rest.
Canada is not experiencing the same degree of employment polarization as the United States. But it’s not immune to global trends either, which show robust demand for some highly-skilled people and fading need for those in the middle, particularly as automation renders some jobs, such as secretaries and factory workers, obsolete.
“Automation is weighing on the middle,” said Derek Burleton, deputy chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Middle-skill jobs, such as administrators and operators, lost the greatest share of employment between 1999 and 2010, a TD paper in February found. Low-end jobs, such as cleaners, janitors and fast-food cooks, have lost a little ground, while those at the high end are gaining. Specifically, the share of people in high-skill jobs has risen 8.6 per cent in the past decade, while it’s fallen 4.7 per cent among middle-skill positions and 1.9 per cent at the low end. (Ontario’s the exception, where low-skill jobs are rising in numbers along with high-skill jobs, with a disappearance of the middle.)
Virtually all industrialized economies, including Canada, are experiencing various degrees of polarization, said Henry Siu, a labour economist at University of British Columbia who has studied the issue.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
The TD Report
The issue of job-market “polarization” has captured significant attention in the U.S. and other ad- vanced economies in recent years. This longer-term trend has been characterized by the relative decline of medium-skilled, medium-paid jobs against a backdrop of growing opportunities for both highly-skilled, highly-paid and low-skilled, low-paid employment. Indeed, a 2011 report by TD Economics … Continue reading »
“The supply of middle-skill workers will be constrained in the future” write Julia Dennett and Alicia Sasser Modestino in The Middle-Skills Gap: Ensuring an Adequate Supply of Skilled Labor in Northern and Southern New England, published by New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on bostonfed.org. Choosen excerpts by JMM … Continue reading»
It is those people who have not earned the minimum of a two-year degree that Scaglione says constitute a large population of our country who are stuck in low-skilled jobs that do not require any higher education. Low-skilled jobs that do not require a minimum of a two-year degree represent about 35 percent of all … Continue reading »
Skills Gap | Mismatch in the Labor Market: The Supply of and Demand for “Middle-Skill” Workers in New England
Alicia Sasser Modestino reports in the Journal of the NEW ENGLAND BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION a very common concern that concerned that the region’s slower population growth and loss of residents to other parts of the country will lead to a shortage of skilled labor—particularly when the baby boom generation retires. “Prior to the Great … Continue reading »