Skills gap not the crisis some fear

October 22, 2013

Canada’s skills shortage, often referred to as the skills gap, is not as dismal as we have been led to believe, according to a new report by TD Economics. Jobs in Canada “debunk[s] the notion that Canada is facing an imminent skills crisis” using employment data from various sources. The report finds that in some occupations widely thought to be in shortage, such as trades, engineering and health care, unemployment rates were considerably lower than average, while the rate of unfilled jobs was only moderately higher. In addition, recent university graduates — even those with liberal arts degrees — were finding relevant jobs (although some do take longer than others). The report also finds that in provinces that are growing quickly and rich in resources, and that are experiencing skills shortages, wages in the occupations in need have not risen as much as expected. “From an economy-wide perspective, it is hard to make the case that widespread labour shortages currently exist,” says Derek Burleton, co-author of the report. Toronto Star | Globe and Mail | Full Report