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The World of Work Now - Employment Brief
Bill 146: Clients & agencies will share liability


Friday, January 31, 2014
The World of Work Now Employment Brief


According to a poll released by the USA Today newspaper, 56% of Americans approve of the Keystone pipeline, which would deliver crude oil from Alberta to the Southern U.S. The U.S. State department raised no environmental objections today to the pipeline, which may be approved by Obama.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is lowering its forecast for inflation, which has been persistently below the desired target, but keeping its key interest rate unchanged at 1.0 per cent.

Canada's economy has hedged ahead for 5 straight months. GDP grew by 0.2 percent in November led by oil and gas production and to a lesser extent by utilities.

The Canadian dollar hit a 4-1/2-year low, falling to 89.24 U.S. cents. A lower exchange rate against the US dollar would stimulate manufacturing, exports to the US, and employment in this sector.

Ed Clark of TD Bank warns the US economy may surpass the Canadian economy due to rising household debt, home prices, and consumers having “fragile” spending power in the next 3-4 years.

Statistics Canada announced that households spent an average of $56,279 on goods and services in 2012, up 2.0 per cent from 2011. Shelter costs accounted for the largest share of this spending, at 28.1 per cent while Transportation took 19.9 per cent of the total, with food just behind at 13.8 per cent.

Average weekly earnings increased by 2.5% during the 12 months to the end of November 2013, led by the wholesale sector and the healthcare and social assistance sector. However, Statistics Canada also reports a loss of 27,600 jobs in the same month, followed by another 46,000 jobs lost in December 2013.

Ontario's minimum wage has been raised to $11 from $10.25, tying Ontario with Nunavut for the highest in the country. 500,000 people in Ontario will see their earnings increase. However, full-time minimum wage workers will still fall below the poverty line of $23,000 per year.

Bill 146 introduced in December 2013 would hold clients of temporary agencies jointly liable for unpaid wages and injuries to temporary workers. The bill would also broaden protections to all foreign workers, a legislation once limited to caregivers.

Provinces offer counter-proposal over Canada Job Grant. They want to be able to choose if they want to participate and the non-priority programs to withdraw funding money from.

According to Jim Flaherty, Canada has the strongest job-creation record in the G7. In fact, over one million net new jobs have been created in Canada since July 2009, since the end of the recession.

A survey by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives announced that 100 major Canadian companies plan to hire more than 700,000 workers over the next five years.

Over the next 25 years, Canada's oil sands could create over 800,000 new jobs across Canada.

145,000 workers must be hired in the Canadian mining sector over the next decade according to the Mining Association of Canada's latest Facts & Figures 2013 report. Jobs will be created due to retirement and new positions.

A Bank of Montreal survey found that 34% of respondents hope to finance their retirement through the lottery, 31% would rely heavily on the CPP or the Quebec Pension Plan. New Ontario Pension rules are expected to be announced by the minority Liberal government this spring.

Most older workers who leave career jobs return to work within a decade according to Statistics Canada.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada says that it plans to work with more than 25 employers on a 3-year research project.

The majority of Canadian executives believe there is a skills gap but views are spilt on how to deal with it. 43% say employers should provide training, 43% believe potential employees should be better prepared and 13% believe the solution combines both.

Employment and Social Development Canada considering tackling youth unemployment via gamification. Proposal of an online game, which guides youth to make career decisions using real-time labour statistics, is weighed against reopening Service Canada youth centres closed last year.

A survey of 500 executives shows that seven out of 10 executives say they have trouble finding employees with the right skills. Those in the manufacturing, health-care and public administration sectors have the most difficulty and the problem is most acute in Quebec and Western Canada.

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