Canada’s major metropolitan areas are facing many unique labor market challenges. In Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton, the population is growing rapidly while the workforce is not keeping pace. This has led to increased competition for jobs and higher unemployment rates.
Meanwhile, the challenge in Ottawa and Vancouver is the opposite: a shortage of qualified workers. As a result, these cities are seeing wages increase as businesses compete for talent. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at these challenges and what they mean for Canada‘s economy.
Demographic Growth and Labor Market: The Current Situation in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton
In Toronto, demographic growth is transforming the labor market. For instance, in Toronto, the population is increasing rapidly, but the workforce isn’t keeping up. This has led to a tight labor market, with employers struggling to find workers to fill positions.
The same situation is currently occurring in Montreal, where the population is also growing fast. Fréderic Tomesco explains that five groups and unions in Montreal are sounding the alarm over Quebec’s chronic labor shortage and urging the government to raise immigration to fill job positions.
In Calgary and Edmonton, the situation is actually very similar. Concerning Calgary, Adam McVicar described how labor shortage impacted the private sector, mainly recreation centers.
Also, according to the most recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, hotels and food services sectors face the impact of labor shortage, even after two years of uncertainty before the COVID-19 measures.
Lastly, Edmonton’s labor market shows signs of a skills gap and a labor shortage. Nicholas Frew explained a singular phenomenon: the silver tsunami.
The silver tsunami is a term coined to describe the aging population of baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1965. The oldest boomers are now in their late 70s, while the youngest boomers are in their mid- to late-50s. An aging population raises various concerns, such as higher health-care costs. Among them, too, is the large void the tsunami could create in Alberta’s labour force if the youngest boomers stop working by 65, the traditional retirement age, asserts Frew.
Consequently, experts affirm that government and employers in Edmonton must be prepared to retain the youngest boomers in the workforce to overcome the labor shortage crisis.
In this video, you can learn more about the tight labor market in Canada.
Small businesses in these cities face specific challenges associated with the labor market, including attracting and retaining talent. Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton are desirable cities to live in, but many workers are tempted to move to larger metropolitan areas in Vancouver or Ottawa. This situation makes it difficult for businesses to find and retain talented employees.
In addition, many workers in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton do not have the skills that employers and recruiters are looking for. Therefore, companies struggle to find workers who fit their needs well.
Likewise, the economies in these cities are growing rapidly, but the number of jobs is not growing as quickly, resulting in high levels of unemployment and underemployment.
Demographic Transformations, Skills Mismatch, and Cost of Living: Labor Market Challenges in Vancouver and Ottawa
Vancouver and Ottawa are facing some critical challenges in their labor markets. The large expense of living and the dearth of houses one can afford in Vancouver make it a tough place for workers to support themselves.
This is especially true for low-wage employees who are struggling to find decent housing that they can afford and also explains why employees are demanding increases in wages.
By watching this video, you’ll learn how employees are taking advantage of the tight labor market in Canada.
Meanwhile, Ottawa’s aging population and skills mismatch create challenges for employers and recruiters. They have difficulty finding remote workers with the right skills to fill open positions. And as the population ages, fewer workers will be available to replace those who retire.
The oil price decline is also impacting both metropolitan areas, as job losses in the oil and gas industry are causing ripple effects throughout the economy.
These challenges make it difficult for Vancouver and Ottawa to attract and retain talent and hurt the city’s ability to compete in the global economy.
To address these challenges, Vancouver and Ottawa need to focus on creating more affordable housing, attracting diverse workers from other parts of Canada, and diversifying their economies.
As Canada’s major cities continue to experience demographic growth and transformation, the labor market is becoming increasingly challenging. This is particularly evident in terms of skills mismatch and the cost of living.
In order to ensure that all residents can benefit from economic prosperity, it will be important for policymakers and businesses to closely monitor these trends and develop strategies that address the various challenges facing the labor market.