TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - While the Canadian labour market has shown great resilience since the last recession and is nearly back to normal, important weaknesses remain for youth and the long-term unemployed, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In "Still Standing in Line: Addressing a Mismatch of Skills and Jobs in the Canadian Labour Market," author Philippe Bergevin recommends broad policies to enhance labour mobility and emphasize skills training to help ensure unemployed Canadians have the right skill sets to integrate into the workforce.
"While unemployment rates, overall, are nearly back to the normal," says Philippe Bergevin, "long-term and youth unemployment still stand at obstinately high levels - despite a recent growth in job vacancies. The best way to address that is by getting rid of barriers to job mobility and emphasizing skills training."
The Canadian labour market suffered a severe blow during the last recession, with more than 430,000 persons losing their jobs and the unemployment rate reaching levels unseen since the latter half of the 1990s, notes the author. Subsequently, the labour market has shown great resilience, and there are now 900,000 more Canadians employed since the beginning of the recovery. Important weaknesses remain however: unemployment rates remain high for younger workers and the long-term unemployed.
While many commentators have focussed on an increase in precarious, part-time jobs, Bergevin finds that while it is true that the percentage of employees working part-time is high according to historical standards, the proportion of those that are in this situation for involuntary reasons is much lower and not far from levels seen prior to the recession.
Bergevin calls for better education and skills training programs, as well as looser entry restrictions into skilled trades, to help ensure unemployed Canadians have the right skill sets to integrate into the workforce. He also calls for improved data and information on Canada's labour market that can help with the matching of people and jobs, and for the removal of systemic obstacles that limit job mobility between provinces.
SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute