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Canada’s changing labour force: Where will we be in 20 years?

By August 18, 2011Uncategorized

In a hot-off-the-press study from Statistics Canada, a number of “projection scenarios” were used to get a glimpse of the Canadian labour force – twenty years into the future.

The first projection suggested that our labour force will grow slowly, to between 20.5 and 22.5 million by 2031 (from approximately 18.5 million, currently). The reason for this sluggish growth is the inevitable retirement of baby boomers. Overall “participation rate” (% of total population that is in the labour force) is actually expected to decline.

The study also predicts that within ten years, a record-setting one in four workers will be 55 years of age or older.

Cultural diversity is also expected to increase, according to Stats Can. By 2031, a third of our labour force may be “foreign born.”

So, what does this mean for employers?

Quite simply, it means that change is on the horizon, and Canadian employers that consider the trends in their strategic planning will be best prepared to compete in this increasingly dynamic and global market.

The data makes a great case for employing youth. Investing in entry level talent today can help foster the middle management and senior leaders of tomorrow. Twenty years from now, today’s Career Edge interns will represent skilled and experienced workers that will play a crucial role in filling the gap created by a mass baby boomer exodus.
Trends towards an increasingly foreign labour force means that employers that are not adequately equipped to recruit and retain internationally qualified professionals will be missing out on a third of Canada’s available talent.

Time will only tell whether the images conjured in Stats Canada’s crystal ball will come to life. In the mean time, Career Edge Organization’s host employers are getting proactive, drawing upon our tools, resources and top talent to address both short-term and long-term needs.

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