The Importance Of Labour Stats To Hiring Managers

The labour market has always had complexities but statistics in Canada may now be at their most complicated. And a leading Canadian economist reckons that matters won’t get simpler any time soon. So, for professionals involved in the hiring process, now is the time to pay attention to all that is going on in global economics.

Unemployment statistics are about more than oil

Despite the fact that crude oil prices just took a step in the right direction, it seems like reports on Alberta’s recession just keep coming in. But that has not stopped Alberta from spending in line with its provincial peers. So, while most Albertans are cautious about the economy, many industries in the province are making it through the recession in ways that are better than expected.

It’s statistics like this that help to explain why medium- and high-skilled workers are persistently hard to come by in Canada. While some industries have haemorrhaged staff over the past four years, businesses that offer goods and services made by highly skilled workers are still thriving due to Canada’s spending power. High-skilled workers, it seems, have less to fret about in this recession. For that trend to continue, their employers must not become susceptible to labour shortages. That’s why economist Craig Alexander is pressing the Canadian government to ensure that the nation’s workforce has the skills it needs.

Skilled labour is not defined by age

In addition to retraining low-skilled EI recipients in new skills, Alexander wants to see Canada retain its current skilled workers. In particular, the economist questions the wisdom of the new Liberal government’s promise to drop Old Age Security eligibility from 67 to 65 years of age. Where is the sense in retiring skilled workers if there are too few youngsters trained to take their places? Encouraging folks in their 60s, who are often very highly skilled, to retire in the near future will simply put more pressure on Canadian industries that need their staff to perform well.

The Canadian economy wants to thrive

As the spending statistics in Alberta show, the Canadian economy has the potential to fight talk of a further recession. However, if Canadian firms are unable to hire workers, hiring managers may need to start thinking outside of the box. As such, many companies in Canada are training their existing staff to become more highly skilled. It does not make sense to pay severance packages to low-skilled workers in divisions that are struggling when they could be trained to perform high-skilled jobs within the same company.

Globalization is an important factor

It is also important to remember that many Canadian firms face stiff international competition from companies that have been developing highly-skilled workforces for years. Without highly-skilled staff that can compete, Canada may fall behind in markets where is has typically thrived. With all this in mind, hiring managers across Canada should be aware that any hiring of skilled workers might also be complemented with the up-training of lower-skilled staff and the retention of existing high-skilled workers.

More than ever, skilled workers, not oil, are Canada’s most precious resources.