Labour market concerns are shifting from a concern over the supply of ‘good’ jobs over the last five years, to a likely difficult finding enough ‘good’ workers for new jobs in the next five years, according to the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada.
Tiff Macklem said in a speech yesterday (4 October) to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce: “In the five years since the start of the financial crisis, the most significant labour market challenge has been creating enough good jobs for workers. Over the next five years, the most important challenge is more likely to be finding enough good workers for jobs.”
She added that in the most recent SME survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the shortage of skilled labour has moved ahead of insufficient customer demand as the top business constraint facing their members.
Addressing this challenge requires work in three separate areas, she went on to say. The first is expansion of the labour force by allowing and incentivising more older workers to stay in work, as well as the country aiming to “redouble our efforts to address unemployment among Aboriginal people [ie. native American Indians]” and attracting foreign migrants as well as “tearing down the barriers that keep educated and skilled immigrants from contributing to their full potential”.
The inter-connected second and third measures are improving efficiency of the labour market and productivity of those people in work, with a number of measures including better skills, better machinery and equipment, and greater ease of internal migration advocated by Macklem.
“Continued labour-market health will depend increasingly on reducing barriers to work, connecting workers with jobs, and facilitating a more mobile and more productive workforce,” she concluded.