The Haves and Have Nots of Canada’s Labour Market

CIBC report suggests Canada’s economic prosperity is at risk due to a labour market split that sees high-demand positions go unfilled while lower-skilled workers languish in unemployment.

By Benjamin Tal, CIBC

An analysis of Canada’s job market shows there is a growing divide between have and have not occupations. On one hand, we are increasingly seeing jobs go unfilled  for long stretches due to a lack of skilled applicants. In fact, the Prime Minister recently described skills shortages in the Canadian labour market as “the biggest challenge our country faces”. But on the other end of the labour market spectrum, there is growing evidence that the size of the labour surplus pool is also on the rise. For a number of occupations,employment opportunities are increasingly disappearing.

Traditional occupations like butchers, bakers, tailors, labourers in manufacturing, office managers and clerks are showing signs of labour surplus. As are  secondary and elementary school teachers. The list of occupations with signs of skills shortages includes many positions in traditional health care roles, such as doctors, nurses and dentists . The health care list also includes optometrists, chiropractors, pharmacists, dietitians and nutritionists. Mining, engineering and science occupations are also facing skill

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