Keep a pulse on the Canadian Labour Market
By Sharon Graham.
The Canadian Labour Market may finally be poised for a modest turnaround. Despite all the recent difficulties for the US and Europe, the Canadian economy continues to moderately outperform many other countries. Of course, it is impossible to predict the future with complete certainty, but current trends suggest that certain Canadian career, employment, and business opportunities will be opening up soon.
This year, Statistics Canada is reporting that our economy is returning to modest growth. In the last year, Canadian employers opened up more than 300,000 new full-time jobs and our unemployment rate decreased from 7.5 to 7.1 per cent. Both the International Monetary Fund and CIBC World Markets are predicting economic growth over the next few years so we expect this trend to continue. This is not to say that we shouldn’t keep an eye on the rest of the world. If the global economy slows, then we will certainly be affected.
There is some danger in assuming that the jobs which are currently opening in the US will do the same here. Canada is very much like the US, but we’re also quite different. With about one tenth of the population dispersed across a vast country, our labour market has distinct challenges and opportunities. We might observe growth in some US positions, companies, and sectors, but this trend is not necessarily directly transferable to the Canadian labour market. Our economy thrives on small business, and most markets that are currently opening up in the US are within large organizations.
Although Canadian Labour Market trends may not be identical to those of other countries, they are influenced by global factors. According to predictions, Canadian industries that are likely to have the strongest employment growth are in the areas of natural resources, sustainability, and the environment. Keep an eye on these emerging opportunities within the Canadian labour market:
- Canada is resilient because of our natural resources where there has been growing interest from Asian investors. We are now seeing foreign competition for Canada’s oil and gas assets. Unconventional energy areas such as shale gas, tight oil, and the oil sands are also opening up. We will see large-scale business transactions, mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs in these areas.
- A wide range of sustainability careers are starting to emerge. Canada is a world leader in green innovation, and worldwide there is an increasing demand on natural systems and resources. Organizations are leveraging sustainability into operations to improve their market position. As a side benefit, companies that are perceived to be environmentally conscious are likely to see increases in both customer loyalty and employee retention.
- Environmental concerns, in general, are driving growth in technical sectors as well. For example, agriculture technicians and crop specialists using GPS and GIS technology are crucial to helping the farming industry. Environmental economists who help protect the environment by determining the economic impact of policy decisions relating to air, water, land, and renewable energy resources are also increasing in demand.
Compared to many other countries that are struggling through an economic crisis, Canada is a land of opportunity. It’s quite okay and important to keep an eye out on global changes. However, it is crucial to keep a pulse on the ever-evolving Canadian Labour Market in order to exploit emerging opportunities.
What are your thoughts about the current Canadian Labour Market? Do you feel that a positive change is on the horizon?
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