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The World of Work Now - Employment Brief

Friday, April 11, 2014
The World of Work Now Employment Brief

Jim Flaherty (1949-2014)

Original photo by Rocco Rossi. Modified image by Wikipedia. Former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty passed away yesterday, less than one month after he resigned from cabinet in March. He oversaw Canada’s finance ministry for 8 years under Harper’s conservative government. Flaherty was a strong proponent of helping to strengthen Canada’s labour market and was evidenced most recently in his launch of the Economic Action Plan which included a renegotiated annual Labour Market Development Agreement and the Canadian Job Grant program to provide training for workers directed by labour demands and employers' needs.

Original photo by Rocco Rossi. Modified image by Wikipedia.

A 2.5% job vacancy rate was reported at the end of 2013, meaning 296,000 jobs remain vacant across Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

Alberta is responsible for 87% of new job creation across Canada for a total of 82,300 jobs out of the 94,700 in the last 12 months. During that time, Alberta’s growth has occurred mostly in the construction sector with 25,000 new jobs and in the oil and gas industry, which created 21,000 jobs.

Record high employment for Canadians in the professional, scientific and services sectors as factory jobs continue to decline. According to the Globe and Mail, the new jobs pay better than those lost. This positive trend offers a chance for Canada to build national prosperity as long as a skill surplus does not emerge.

The Bank of Canada recently released a survey of 100 businesses showing company confidence in the economy is shifting to a more positive state. Good news for Canadian workers continues as the BoC went on to reveal that hiring intentions in March were the best in almost two years.

According to the Canadian Labour Congress, underemployment continues to be the biggest challenge for the labour market. Though the unemployment rate is 6.9%, the underemployment rate is higher at 15.1%.

A recent survey reported nearly half of Canadian workers are assigned required duties they did not anticipate from their job description or interview. Over 50% of young employees work in roles different from their expectations.

The government has already named several employers on a blacklist as it cracks down on abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Harper Government through 2014 Economic Action Plan set to help connect Canadians with available jobs and foster job creation. This includes an investment of $11 million over 2 years and $3.5 million per year ongoing to strengthen the LMO process, to ensure Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs.

Around the world auto makers spent $17.6-billion USD in 2013 to increase vehicle-making capacity, but no investments were made in Canada. Based on an annual study by the Office of Automotive and Vehicle Research at the University of Windsor, this is the third year in the past four that Canada has been passed over for such investments.

BMO: the Greater Toronto Area will generate around 230,000 jobs by 2017. The same report also provided an outlook for the economy, labour and housing markets in the GTA.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney is embarking on a cross-country tour to finalize labour agreements with provinces and territories. First stop was in Toronto to sign the Canada Job Grant, Labour market agreement for people with disabilities and another for older workers with the Ontario Liberals.

Talent mismatch costs $150-billion in the world’s economy, $130-billion of which is attributed to loss in productivity while another $19.8-billion is used in recruitment and turnover of candidates of the right match, according to a study sponsored by LinkedIn.

Canadian dollar strengthens to $1.0928 or 91.51 U.S. cents, the highest in about two months, due to recent positive economic data including employment reports.

Saskatchewan publishes a list of licensed immigration services providers under the Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act as a move to protect new immigrants from scams while they settle into the province.

The International Monetary Fund sees growth in Canada’s economy but believes there’s plenty to worry over, such as high debt loads and the cost of housing.

Bruce Heyman, the new U.S. ambassador to Canada and Chicago investment banker intends to help cross-border investments by pushing trade between premiers and U.S. governors.

CBC will cut 657 full-time jobs in the next two years, pulls away from professional sports broadcasting rights, and cancels expansion plans.

After a slow winter, the improving weather gives a boost to Canada’s residential real estate market, according to Royal LePage. The most recent House Price Survey, found that most regions showed healthy year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5% and 5.4%.