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The World of Work Now - Employment Brief
Monday, April 28, 2014

The World of Work Now Employment Brief

Canadian Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced an immediate moratorium on the food services sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Service Canada will not process any new or pending labour market opinion applications related to the food services sector, and any unfilled positions tied to a previously approved LMO will be suspended.

New caps for job skill related immigrations programs announced in preparation for the launch of the Express Entry program in 2015. Affected programs include the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. With these changes, the number of eligible occupations will increase from 24 to 50.

The federal government is proposing a new type of benefits plan in which contributions would be adjusted over time based on financial performance. Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson announced Friday in Toronto that the Target Benefit Plan would allow employers and employees to share the financial risks associated with current benefits plans.

Canada’s employment rate ranks 5th out of the G7 countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, economists note that OECD’s data does not account for population differences, such as the population available to work in each country as compared to their respective employment rate.

Careerbuilder: 58% of Canadians feel that their job is “just a job”, rather than a career. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed plan to switch to a new job this year. The survey also reports that the top reasons employees are dissatisfied with their job include feeling they are not valued, and their salary.

Deloitte Canada: leadership and succession are now the most urgent and biggest challenges for business leaders. The study also notes that with frequent job-hopping being today’s norm, human resources should focus on development programs which bring a positive experience to their valued talent, and woo them to come back later on in their careers.

A $4.6-million survey commissioned by Statistics Canada on workplace demographics and future skills shortages was not published since 2012 due to lack of funding as businesses and educators are increasingly eager for more detailed and recent employment data.

Canada’s Department of Finance has reported a third consecutive monthly surplus. February’s surplus of $5.1 billion is largely due to higher personal and corporate income tax revenues. Many economists have said that Canada might see a 2014-2015 balanced fiscal year as the country’s current deficit of $5.4 billion represents half of last year’s deficit at the same time.

In a study last year, economists at the University of British Columbia and York University in Canada found that college graduates were more likely to be working in routine and manual work than were graduates in 2000; technology was eliminating some mid-level jobs that graduates used to take. The result is that many have had to compete for jobs that don't require much education.

HR reporter: 18% of workers aged 25 to 34 were considered overqualified for their jobs in 2011.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is supporting a new international trade study that will aid British and Irish trained tradespeople to assess their skills against Canadian criteria.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has declared that Canadians can expect low interest rates on loans for the years to come. Poloz added that the country might see an inflation rate of 2 per cent in early 2016 but that does not mean that the BoC will raise interest rates to counter inflation.

HR Reporter: employee engagement and retention, reduced absenteeism and productivity are some of the increasing benefits that many employers now see in employee volunteering. Some of recommended initiatives that employers can offer include recognizing employees’ volunteering in their annual performance review, reducing their workload by temporarily having it looked after by colleagues and paid time off.

The fluctuating loonie may actually have little impact on most Canadian businesses, suggests a new survey by the Bank of Montreal. About half (54 per cent) of business owners recently polled said changes in the dollar have no impact on them. While slightly more (55 per cent) of those who head small businesses, described as firms with less than 50 employees, said that held true for them as well.

A new survey says Canadian consumer confidence at the beginning of 2014 was higher than it was one year ago but slightly lower than at the end of 2013. The index tracks responses to consumer attitudes about what lies ahead for the economy and their own financial situation.

Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary have topped a survey that ranked 50 international cities according to their “resiliency.” Toronto came in first, with Vancouver and Calgary following in second and third place. No other Canadian cities were on the list. The cities were ranked by their “vulnerability” and “adaptability,” which led to an overall ranking of most resilient cities. The survey measured factors such as climate, environment, infrastructure, governance, predicted population growth and resources.

More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of Canadian executives believe the global economy is improving — up 24 per cent from October 2013, according to EY's latest Capital Confidence Barometer. Canadian Companies are still focusing on controlling costs to optimize capital over the next 12 months but they are also optimistic about corporate earnings, credit availability and short-term market stability.

The Canadian middle class is richer than their U.S. counterpart. According to the Luxembourg Income Study, after-tax median income of Canadians has surpassed that of the U.S., with western European countries placing close behind.

Robert Lerman – a respected American labour specialist, says governments, educators and employers should work together to boost the number of apprenticeships for young Canadians in a collaborative approach that should yield “significant payoffs”.