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Canada / The myth of the skills shortage

Canada’s federal politicians are fond of trumpeting that Canada’s economy has performed better than almost any other jurisdiction, and that we should be thankful for their “prudent economic management.” In actual fact, however, the hard numbers indicate that Canada’s jobs performance has been ho-hum at best — and isn’t getting any better.

Part of the confusion stems from how labour market performance is measured. The government emphasizes absolute growth (or growth rates) in total employment. They boast that Canada has created over a million net new jobs since the worst of the recession: a statement that is correct, but misleading. Remember, any economy with a growing population must create many jobs each year just to keep up with population growth. In Canada’s case, our working-age population grows relatively rapidly: by over 350,000 persons per year (one of the fastest growth rates in the OECD). In other countries (like Germany or Japan), population is stable; hence the labour market can attain a much stronger balance between demand and supply with little or no absolute growth in the total number of jobs. Any increase in absolute employment levels must be considered relative to the supply of available potential workers.

The best way to measure labour market performance, therefore, is to measure employment as a proportion of the working-age population.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

Capture d’écran 2014-01-08 à 08.55.46

via The myth of the skills shortage in Canada’s labour market | rabble.ca.

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