Canadian Labour Market Information

Jobs and Canada’s economy

While talk about the labour market might seem useful only for economists, there’s actually a lot we can learn about our own work future by paying attention to example to British Columbia’s labour market and the trends underway there.


British Columbia-along with the rest of Canada and much of the developed world-is already facing growing labour shortages. Between 2005 and 2015, 1.1 million jobs will need to be filled in B.C., including new jobs as well as openings resulting from retirements and deaths. Assuming that all 542,000 in the K to 12 education system during this period enter the labour market, the gap will be reduced to 558,000 job openings. However, taking into account additional factors, including migration and participation rates, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that there will be a shortage of 160,000 workers to fill these jobs. The labour shortage is forecast to intensify beyond 2015.

The Conference Board has undertaken an analysis of B.C.’s labour shortage and related challenges, and has examined best practices that are helping to alleviate shortages in B.C. and other jurisdictions across Canada. A resulting report, calle “The Future of Work: Confronting B.C.’s Labour Shortage Challenge” brings together evidence of the province’s labour shortages and provides insights, strategies and recommendations for addressing them.

The report looks at the implications for employers facing major challenges associated with labour shortages. These challenges include wage inflation, demand for new skills, increased capital investment, recruitment and retention, and the risk of foregone opportunities. The study explores strategies for harnessing valuable sources of talent to address labour shortages-including six groups that are under-represented in today’s labour force: youth, immigrants, women, mature workers, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities.

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