Alberta had the highest rate of unfilled jobs in the country in the third quarter of this year, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. In a new report, the group said 66,700 positions in the private sector were unfilled in the quarter, for a job vacancy rate of 3.9 per cent. Saskatchewan’s vacancy rate was second highest in the country, at 3.7 per cent, while the national average was 2.7 per cent.
Nationally, an estimated 322,000 private sector jobs were awaiting qualified employees.
According to the CFIB, nationwide openings in full, part-time and temporary positions increased by 7,000 jobs compared with the second quarter, the largest quarterly increase measured by CFIB in the past two years.
“A tightening labour market means that employers have a harder time finding the qualified employees they need; especially small businesses,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist. “Generally, businesses with fewer than 20 employees are reporting vacancy rates more than double that of businesses employing 50 or more.”
The CFIB said that in the past five years, the vacancy rate has climbed from a low of 1.7 per cent in late 2009 and early 2010, rising to 2.6 per cent by 2012. It added that prior to the recession, the rate of private sector job vacancies reached a maximum of three per cent through late 2007 and early 2008.
Despite fewer vacancies in agriculture, wholesale trade, business services and hospitality, the CFIB said there were fractional increases in unfilled jobs in oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and financial services. “Alberta’s private sector job vacancy rate remains the highest in the country and has been on a slow, steady climb. The new breakdown by census division also clearly confirms hiring difficulties have been severe for employers across most of the province for the past couple of years,” said Richard Truscott, the CFIB’s Alberta director.
Source: Calgary Herald
Canada’s employment Minister has announced a new plan to partner “underemployed” immigrants with employers in the manufacturing sector.
Speaking at an Ontario manufacturing company last week, Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced new government funding and initiative partnerships with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters group. The main initiative hopes to address worker shortages through newcomers whose skills in engineering and technology are not being properly utilized.
“The single biggest frustration I had … was seeing brilliant people who left behind a high standard of living in their countries of origin, coming to Canada with their education and experience, only to find themselves unemployed or underemployed and too often stuck at the bottom of the labour market … because their degrees, their education, or their experience (was) not being recognized,” said Minister Kenney upon announcing the initiatives.
Over $4 million in government funding will go into the various programs to help manufacturers train, certify and hire the workers they need to keep pace with economic growth.
“The skills challenge for manufacturers is acute,” said Jason Myers, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters’ CEO and president. “Over 50% of companies across this country say they can’t find the people with the skills that they require to grow their businesses … This challenge is too big for the governments to handle on their own. It’s too big for businesses to handle on their own. It requires partnership.”
As a part of the partnership, the government also aims to develop a “skills forum” that will allow various stakeholders to come together to strategize on these efforts.
Source: Toronto Sun
The Ontario Nurses’ Association says that the province is facing a “chaotic” shortage in nursing if drastic changes are not made.
Speaking on behalf of the association at a rally in Toronto last week, ONA first vice-president Vicky McKenna warned that Ontario is already lagging behind the other provinces, and would need 18,000 nurses immediately just to catch up. Ontario, one of Canada’s most populous provinces, has one of the lowest nurse-to-population ratios in the country.
“The reality is that we are an aging workforce,” said McKenna, pointing out that nurses in the province are, on average, 49 years old. “These nurses are going to retire and we are not graduating enough new nurses into the system.”
The nurses that are graduating, however, are facing their own discouraging challenges, says McKenna. With recent budget cuts, full-time nursing positions are getting harder and harder to find, making some wonder if a nursing career is really worth it.
“Everyone that has seniority over you gets it [full-time work] first,” said recent nursing graduate Teirsa St-Jean. “I don’t worry, because I am 22 and I don’t have children, but if I did have kids, it might be a problem.”
The lack of full-time positions not only discourages new graduates, but also places additional burdens on hospitals and staff. Overworked nurses can lead to fatigue, sickness, and can even put patients in danger, according to a recent study in The Lancet.
For each 1,000 residents, Ontario has seven nurses, according to the ONA.
Source: Metro News
Despite the recent recession and resultant slowdown in job growth across the country, one province is still looking to hire more workers.
For several years, Alberta has been leading the country economically, spurring job growth and fuelling recovery across Canada. The latest statistics show that February was no different, with the province adding approximately 18,000 new jobs while most other regions saw losses.
In fact, a vast majority – about 87 percent – of jobs created over the past year were in Alberta. Experts are pleased with the numbers, but are concerned over the disparity among other provinces.
“I know this is not a new story but it’s becoming extreme,” said BMO economist Doug Porter. “In the last 12 months, Alberta is the only province that’s seen meaningful growth. They’ve had job gains of nearly four per cent and meanwhile six provinces have seen declines and one’s been flat.”
Ontario and Saskatchewan were the only other provinces to report gains in February. Industries which have traditionally propelled growth in Central Canada – manufacturing, construction and public service – have recently been in decline. Though governments in the Central region have been experimenting with stimulus spending, experts say that more needs to be done to balance economies across the country.
Continued global demand for exports has driven Western resource-based economies to the forefront and this trend appears to hold strong for the foreseeable future.
Source: CTV News