The aging of Canada’s workforce is fast becoming more of a concern for employers across the country.
New analysis shows that, as early as 2016, the number of people entering the workforce may not be enough to match the number leaving, which will cause labour shortages across the country.
Statistics show that by 2031, one-quarter of Canada’s population will be over 65 years old – what used to be the mandatory retirement age. Now, it is not unusual to see workers continue on well past this age, and better health than ever before is helping them do so.
Canadian employers may not have much choice in the matter, as long-standing predictions about a massive worker shortage are on the verge of fruition. Older workers are probably not the solution that most Canadian companies are hoping for.
“We don’t see or hear as well,” says ergonomist Peter Goyert in a recent article about injury in the workplace. “Our colour perception deteriorates. Our reflexes slow down and we don’t sleep as well. We’re less flexible and our range of motion shrinks. Our bones thin, our balance declines, and we lose muscle and respiratory and cardiovascular function.”
Though immigration is a major way to help ease the shortages, it will most likely not be enough, given current levels. Older workers are going to become a more common feature in Canadian workplaces, and both workers and employers will have to pay the price.
Source: Vancouver Sun
The City of Calgary is predicted to experience not only a recovery but also economic growth in 2011, according to a new report.
The economic report, compiled and released semi-annually by Calgary Economic Development, says that although recovery will not be immediate, it is on the horizon, thanks to forecasts of growth in employment and consumer confidence, as well as labour income.
Calgary had been sustaining remarkable growth in recent years leading up to the recession. In 2006, the city’s growth was at 7.6 percent in Gross Domestic Product, one of the highest numbers in the country.
“In comparison to the real heady days of 2006 and 2007, it’s [the recovery] is going to look a lot milder,” says Calgary Economic Development president and CEO Bruce Graham. “But it’s also more sustainable and it’s a reflection we’re coming out of a difficult economic period and there’s going to be in all likelihood a few more bumps along the way.”
However, Calgary Economic Development is not alone in their predictions. Last fall a report from the Conference Board of Canada predicated Calgary to come back as Canada’s top city for economic growth from 2011 to 2014.
The Conference Board predicts growth at 3.8 percent, while Calgary Economic Development predicts a 3.3. percent growth in GDP.
Source: Calgary Herald
The province of Saskatchewan has undergone a lot of growth in recent years, resulting in record immigration levels and a more diverse population than ever before.
A recent survey on attitudes toward immigrants in Saskatchewan found that the majority of residents (65 percent) see immigrants as working hard and contributing to the province’s economy. Furthermore, 61 percent of respondents agreed that more should be done to help improve the lives of minority groups in the province.
In the last quarter of 2010, immigration accounted for 60 percent of Saskatchewan’s population growth. Over 12,000 immigrants are estimated to arrive in the province in the coming year. The vast majority of those immigrants will come through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, which allows employers to nominate workers whose skills are most needed.
“As the economy started to take off in Saskatchewan, we started to see specific skilled labour shortages… and that’s really been the driving force behind the rapid recent growth in the [Immigrant Nominee] program,” said an official with Saskatchewan’s immigration department. “If you’re bringing people directly into jobs where they’re immediately making a contribution in terms of taxes and payroll deductions and so forth into the Canadian economy and, of course, have the means to support their families – that is a tremendously good thing in my view.”
Not only are more and more immigrants arriving in Saskatchewan, but they are also more likely to stay there than ever before. The province’s retention rate has gone up to approximately 86 percent.
These statistics can be illustrated across the province. Immigrants are opening up specialty ethnic grocery stores and restaurants where before there were none. There are talks of starting community newspapers in such languages as Urdu and Pashto. Over 150 countries are represented across Saskatchewan today, and it is quickly becoming an extremely popular choice for new arrivals to the country.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
While the Canadian government cuts back on settlement funding in Ontario, the province of Alberta will continue to receive steady financing to assist newcomers upon arrival.
Last week, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the leadership of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, announced that it would be reducing settlement funds to the province of Ontario, Canada’s most popular destination for new arrivals. The cuts would amount to approximately $53-million.
“We have seen a shift in where immigrants are settling in Canada,” said Minister Kenney upon announcing the funding cuts. “It used to be that Ontario received, by far, the largest share of immigrants.”
Over the past five years the number of new immigrants settling in Ontario dropped from about 145,000 to 106,000. Until now, funding for resettlement assistance in Ontario amounted to about $3,400 per immigrant, while in the rest of the country immigrants receive approximately $2,900 per head. The government says that it is now time to correct that discrepancy.
Kenney says that the settlement funds not only should go to provinces which already have a large number of immigrants, but should also go toward places that need to attract more immigrants.
Alberta is one province that will benefit from the government re-allocation, receiving more funds for 2011 than in the year prior.
However, advocates in Ontario are not happy about the reduction, and vow to fight the government. Other critics assert that the government should re-distribute funds even further, to ensure that an even amount is given across the country.
“The funding should be reflective of what you call a voucher system – the dollars should be following the immigrant,” said Alberta Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, noting that Ontario immigrants will still receive more money than those in other provinces.
Source: Calgary Herald