In recent years, federal, provincial and territorial governments, Statistics Canada and provincial and territorial statistical agencies and departments have heeded the call for more and better labour market information. Important strides have been made in the collection, analysis and distribution of a range of information to support Canadians. New surveys and programs have been introduced to gather better and more detailed labour market information, and progress towards improving the timeliness and relevance of labour market information has been made. At the same time, innovative ways to analyse existing data have been undertaken and all governments and agencies are taking a client-focused approach to distributing data in meaningful ways to Canadians. This has been complemented by private sector initiatives, educational and training institutions, career guidance practitioners and other stakeholders who have taken measures to address their own needs in the area of labour market information. However, a number of important gaps remain, notably for certain groups such as Indigenous peoples, and the world of work is shifting in ways that have elevated the importance of timely, relevant, reliable and accessible labour market information and insights.
What is the challenge?
Regardless of the prevailing economic conditions, some individuals are always looking for a job or on the lookout for a better one – one that supports their needs and the needs of their family, and matches their skills and expectations. Others are trying to gain the skills, competencies and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers and lives. Employers are persistently confronted with the challenge of finding and retaining the right people with the right skills to remain competitive and productive in an increasingly global market. Canada’s labour market and workplaces are evolving at an unprecedented pace. Key mega drivers – notably technological change, an ageing population, immigration, globalization and climate change – are placing increased uncertainty around the implications for employment, job quality, competitiveness, productivity, skill requirements and the ability to attract and retain talent, among other areas. Information itself, its availability, form, content and how it is consumed is changing at an equivalent rate. A growing challenge in this context is to ensure that Canadians have access to the right labour market information and are able to make sense of it in an informed, insightful and coherent way. In other words, the demands for more and better labour market information and insights are intensifying and Canadians increasingly need access to timely, reliable, relevant labour market information to help them navigate the evolving and changing nature of the world of work.