Faced with a slumping economy and high unemployment rate back home, the number of French citizens in Montreal has soared in recent years, particularly among the 25-40 age demographic.
In recent times, the unmistakable accent of the Old Country echoes through the bars and cafés of the city’s trendy Plateau district. Specialty stores offering made-in-France delicacies and pubs that televise French rugby and soccer matches have also recently popped up.
By 2013, nearly 55,000 French citizens were registered at the French consulate in Montreal, a rise by about 45 per cent from 2005, according to the consulate. However, this number in reality is likely much higher. A consulate spokesman estimates only about half of the French in Canada register, putting the estimated number of French citizens in Montreal at about 110,000. Toronto and Quebec City are the next most popular destinations with each being home to about 10,000 registered French citizens.
The growing French presence in Montreal has even stirred up hints of resentment. A satirical song called ‘Y’a trop de Français sur le Plateau’, which takes jabs at the perceived snobbiness of the French and their love of cigarettes, has been viewed 143,000 times on YouTube. The tune was written by Fred Fresh, a musician who is a Frenchman himself.
Many still view Montreal as a place of opportunity but it’s unclear how many of these new arrivals will stay for the long haul. Over the past decade, 30,000 immigrants from France have gained permanent resident status in Quebec, according to the consulate, far below the total number here on temporary student and work-travel visas. But it’s still among the top immigrant countries of origin in Quebec, alongside Algeria, Morocco, China and Haiti.
Many immigrants feel less restricted by educational background in Canada and if stable employment is available here then the only other factor that could dissuade anyone from making Montreal home is the brutal Canadian winter.
Source: The Globe and Mail
Access to great talent can set a region apart and be the key to success for businesses and the communities they serve. Global electronic manufacturing services provider SMTC is a perfect example of this talent advantage.
Canada needs immigrants to fuel its economy. Statistics Canada predicts that by 2031, one in three workers will be born overseas. Despite this need, across the country we are not uniformly integrating immigrants into the labour market.
Unemployment rates among recent immigrants (those that have arrived in the last five years) with university degrees sits at 13% compared to just 3% for Canadian-born university degree holders. That is a lot of wasted potential, and it¹s not just detrimental to the immigrant, but to the country as a whole.
The problem is not a skills mismatch. Immigrants have many of the skills employers need. Rather, it is a failure to make the connections between employers and immigrants. Employers not only need to be connected, they need to want to be connected, to the available local talent — whether immigrants, youth or other underemployed groups — before they look elsewhere.
Employers have a responsibility to look for talent within Canada first and to integrate immigrants into their workforce. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and with the predicted changes in our demographics, it’s the necessary thing to do. As SMTC quickly realized, immigrants bring skills and experience that are extremely valuable to its workplace and are a key factor to its ongoing innovation and success in Markham.
Integrating skilled immigrants does not have to be difficult. There are numerous programs and resources that help employers simplify the process.
For example, learning resources, such as the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Campus and hireimmigrants.ca, can help employers create bias-free recruitment practices and build the cultural competency of their teams. Immigrant employment councils in cities across the country can help employers access targeted talent groups by making connections to: employment service providers that can help screen and identify the right talent; professional immigrant networks such as the Latin American MBA Alumni Network and the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada; and, bridge programs that help internationally trained professionals bridge into the Canadian job market.
Whatever their specific needs, there is a strategy and solution to fit every employer. For example, over the past eight years, Deloitte has actively encouraged its employees to mentor skilled immigrants in their professional fields. It is part of a strategy to equip its managers to lead in an increasingly diverse workforce and, in turn, has helped the company connect itself with the immigrant talent pool.
Mentoring also pays off for skilled immigrant participants as well. A recent study from Accenture and ALLIES Canada found that within 12 months of completing a mentoring program, the full-time earnings of participants increased from an average of $36,905 to $59,944.
Governments at all levels need to make sure their policies are responsive to the needs of the labour market and to the workforce that is already here. Every stakeholder — employers, government, community agencies, immigrants and the general public — needs to take responsibility to ensure that it is doing what needs to be done to integrate skilled immigrants into the workforce.
We will not be able to attract the best and the brightest workers to this country if we waste their potential when they get here. Canada stands to prosper by fully engaging the contributions of skilled immigrants.
Source: Financial Post
Thinking of living or working in Canada under a Canada work permit or securing Canadian permanent residence? The timing could not be more opportune.
Unemployment rate in the Saskatchewan province of Canada reached a historic low of 3.3% (seasonally adjusted) in July. The provincial government says this is the lowest unemployment rate on record for Saskatchewan since 1976 when Statistics Canada started recording employment data.
The previous all-time low figure for Saskatchewan’s unemployment was 3.4% in April 2014.
“Saskatchewan’s rate of unemployment is now lower than every other province in the nation, and 49 of 50 American states. Only North Dakota has a lower unemployment rate at 2.7%,” said Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart on behalf of Associate Minister of the Economy Jeremy Harrison.
The province also recorded other all-time high figures for full-time employment (488,100), male employment (315,100) and overall population (843,600). As per monthly records, employment stood at 570,200, with labour force totalling 591,600. Female employment was recorded at 255,100.
There was an increase of 6,100 people working in the province compared to last year. The employment growth rate of 1.1% in Saskatchewan was the second highest among provinces and above the national average of 0.6%.
“What these job numbers say to me is that our economy is on track. People who can work are finding skilled, good-paying, meaningful employment in communities across our province and that is great news,” said Stewart.
- Full-time employment increased by 9,900.
- Saskatchewan’s employment increased by 500 from last month. Growth rate was at 0.1%, ranking it at number four among provinces.
- Youth unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) was 6.6%, lowest among the provinces, and below the national rate of 13.2%.
- After seasonal adjustments, Regina’s unemployment rate was recorded at 3.4%, down from 3.6% last month and from 3.6% a year ago. Saskatoon’s unemployment rate was at 3.6%, down from 3.8% in June this year and from 4% a year back. Among all Census Metropolitan Areas, Regina had the lowest unemployment rate, and Saskatoon the second lowest.
- On a year-over-year basis, construction had the largest number of job gains (6,000) among 16 major industries and showed a 12% increase from a year ago. This is six consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Educational services (3,200) and agriculture (3,100) ranked second and third for the largest employment gains.
The business community strongly feels that there is a labour shortage in Canada. Every major business organization identifies labour shortages as one of the biggest challenge.
Economists are more sceptical about labour shortages, reflecting their seeming absence in data on job vacancies and wages. More generally, economists are suspicious of forecasts of shortages based on demographic trends, which have a poor forecasting record.
Firms and economists hold very different views. Most data shows increasing shortages in parts of the Canadian economy and while not as severe as in 2008, they still exist. One reason shortages are less severe today is that employers have adopted several strategies to expand their labour supply, using their pre-recession experience. These include encouraging employees to stay beyond the usual retirement age, extending their hours of work and selectively using the Temporary Foreign Workers program.
Using all these tools to increase labour supply, employers have capped conventional measures of shortages and their wage bill, a display of their adaptability faced with the reality of current and future shortages. An emphasis is placed on expanding the supply of labour, especially of the most valuable workers, as the solution, which goes against the idea that restricting hours worked would aid the economy.
However, employers know that many of these tactics can’t be sustained, which is why they are concerned about shortages now and in the near future. Economists look for evidence of shortages in past data while firms approach the question looking towards the future, knowing they will soon have to replace their oldest workers with new sources of labour.
The future supply of labour is a cause for concern for many employers. One of the most striking divides in today’s labour market is the large gap between unemployed adults and youths. Adult unemployment is at a record low, and remains high among youths. Ontario’s youth unemployment rate of 16% is nearly three times as high as for adults. High unemployment among youths creates the statistical illusion that there is a large pool of labour available to work, raising doubts about labour shortages. However, this calculation is misleading because employers cannot hire youths, especially teenagers, to replace their best workers who are approaching retirement. This increases the need for employers to encourage their older workers to stay in the labour force, often working very long hours. A further complication is that almost half of full-time students are looking for work, but their studies obviously limit the time they can devote to work. For employers, this rules out many full-time students as a viable job candidate. For all these reasons, employers do not regard most youths as viable substitutes for their seasoned employees.
Another reason many firms do not evaluate young people highly is that today’s youth has acquired different skills. As the share of youths in community colleges declines and those in university increase, a mismatch has been created between the skills possessed by youths and the skills demanded by employers. Measured by unemployment rates, high school students who go on to acquire a certificate or diploma fare significantly better than university graduates. One implication is that Canada’s education system must produce graduates with the skills employers want. However, these patterns have not existed long enough to be reflected in wages and it appears lucrative for students to pursue a university education.
Cutbacks to in-house training by firms occurred when Canada’s education system expanded significantly, especially universities. The result, from a global perspective, is a substitution of education done in our public sector for the private sector. Not surprisingly, the functioning of Canada’s labour markets have been harmed. It would be beneficial to have the private sector more involved in education and training.
It is often asked why wage increases have not increased significantly. Part of the answer is the drag from central Canada’s weak labour markets, which mask a clear acceleration of wages in some provinces and industries. Simultaneously, if raise wages to attract new workers, they will have to raise wages for all their workers. This is especially true for one-industry towns, commonplace in the resource sector. So there is an incentive for employers to use a variety of non-wage incentives to attract new workers. These incentives include everything from paying for moving expenses to signing bonuses, but do not show up in conventional measures of wages.
Source: Financial Post
The unemployment rate in June rose by 0.1 percentage points to 7.1% as more people were searching for work in Canada.
Compared to last year, employment increased by 72,000 or 0.4%. It was the lowest yearly growth rate since February 2010. Little changed in the number of hours worked in the past 12 months.
Among youths aged 15-24, employment declined by 44,000. However, their unemployment rate was not affected much and stood at 13.4% as fewer youths participated in the labour market.
In age group 25-54, employment declined by 26,000, mostly among women. The unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 6.1%.
Employment increased by 60,000 among people aged 55 and over, bringing their unemployment rate down 0.4 percentage points to 5.8%.
In Ontario, employment fell by 34,000, raising the unemployment rate for the province by 0.2 percentage points to 7.5%. In Newfoundland and Labrador, employment fell by 2,900 in June. It increased by 3,800 in Manitoba and by 2,700 in New Brunswick.
From the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014, employment in Yukon was little changed and the unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 4.3%. During the same period, employment in the Northwest Territories declined by 1,500 and the unemployment rate increased from 7.3% to 9.6%. In Nunavut, employment was little changed and the unemployment rate was also unchanged at 13.6%.
Employment declined in business, building and other support services by 27,000 in June, but was little changed on a year-over-year basis. There were 15,000 fewer people working in agriculture in June.
The number of construction workers rose by 32,000 and by 21,000 in ‘other services,’ such as civic and social organizations and private household services.
There was minimal change in the number of private and public sector employees as well as the self-employed. All growth was seen among private sector employees.
After adjusting to the concepts used in the United States, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.1%, the same as the rate in the US. The employment rate in Canada in June (adjusted to US concepts) was 62.0%, compared with 59.0% in the United States.