Canada Staffing Shortage in 2022 – Update

It is no longer news that there is a deficit in staffing all over Canada. Since the Covid19 era, every province in the country has experienced downsizing, early retirements, relocation, and upgrade of labor. But how bad is the situation? What is the current status of the labor challenge and what is being done about it? This article hopes to keep you abreast of the current situation.  

Recent data shows that employers across all industries in Canada are looking to fill up a deficit of workforce up to the tune of a million people80% higher than in the pre-Covid era. Over 39% of vacancies exist across all industries, the most affected industries being construction (49.5%), manufacturing (47.4%), and accommodation and food services (46.3%).  

What is causing the labor challenge? 

Canada has mostly been dependent on immigration to drive its labor force. However, since the emergence of covid19 and consequent restrictions on economic activities and international travel, there has been a decreased influx of people into the country. The regular express entry program was even suspended at some point alongside other immigration routes such as education. These changes further led to the inability of employers to fill up opening spaces as people got promoted from one level to another. It has also been suggested that the Covid era allowed many people to undergo an upgrade in their careers through online education programs and exams they undertook within the time they had to be at home. And as the lockdown was lifted, there appeared to be a massive shift in promotions and resignations for better jobs. Thirdly, the growing aging population in Canada has led to many retiring, further opening up spaces with fewer people to fill them up. 

What is being done about the labor challenge? 

The growing labor challenge is true of great concern because a consistent drop in the workforce population can significantly affect the GDP of the Canadian economy, causing rippling economic effects in the long run. As a result, measures are being explored to curb the problem. Some of the measures explored include the following : 

  • Favorable immigration policies

The first quarter of 2022 has seen the highest recorded number of acceptance of people through the express entry pathway (about 113,700). These numbers are expected to further increase because there is currently a backlog of applications due to the earlier suspension of the program. However, the government of Canada has taken steps to fasttrack the review of these applications by hiring more staff in recent months. 

  • Rise in wages

Because of the massive shortage of workers, employers will have to find means to attract workers to their businesses. This healthy competition will see a rise in wages and salaries across the different sectors and industries. These attractive packages will see more people considering filling up these positions faster. 

  • Provincial control of immigration 

Different Canadian provinces have peculiar labor needs which may differ from their neighbors. As a result, there is a constant policy reform push by Canadian provinces to have more autonomy in deciding who and how to accept immigrants. This is expected there will be changes in provincial nomination programs across Canada, changes that will of course be more favorable for labor force growth.  

  • An overlook of direct experience by hiring firms

Many firms are beginning to give waivers to employees who have trained adequately but lack direct on-the-job experience. Others have reduced the required minimum experience, and compensated for the deficit by providing training post-employment. 

Top demand jobs to look out for  

  1. Key accountant manager 
  2. Software developers 
  3. Market manager 
  4. Registered nurse
  5. Delivery truck driver 
  6. Customer service representative 
  7. Welder 
  8. Engineer
  9. Accountant 
  10. Project managers 

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