In the News, Politics & Policies

Job Market in Canada – Stephen Harper’s theory doesn’t fit the facts

Reality, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is discovering, can poke holes in the most elegant of theories. In this case, the theory is the Conservative view of how Canada’s economy works, a view that goes Capture d’écran 2014-03-27 à 12.41.31something like this:

Yes, the country suffered an economic recession but that’s over.

Yes, there is still high unemployment — but its causes are structural.

Specifically (the theory goes), there are plenty of jobs around. It’s just that the unemployed are either too lazy to search them out or don’t have the right skills to do fill them.

The government calls this a skills mismatch. Its solution (along with cutbacks to employment insurance) is to encourage retraining.

Hence and presto: the controversial Canada Job Grant aimed at subsidizing employers who bother to train their workers.

At one level, this is an attractive theory. Training is generally thought to be a good thing. There are always anecdotal stories of skills mismatches — of the unemployable journalism graduate, for instance, who now yearns to be an electrician.

In some cases, these anecdotes are real.

But the problem is that, as a way to explain the travails of the Canadian economy, this very attractive theory doesn’t fit the facts. That’s the significance of a report released by the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer Tuesday.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Why Stephen Harper’s unemployment solutions don’t work: Walkom | Toronto Star.



  1. Pingback: Canada – Lies, Damn Lies and Jobs Numbers | Job Market Monitor - March 28, 2014

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