All Posts Tagged With: "employment"
Graphic: employment outcomes for 10 disciplines
An annual survey by the Council of Ontario Universities asks new graduates what they took in school, whether they were employed full-time two years after graduation and how much money they made. The numbers are useful for tracking the demand for degrees. The trend isn’t looking good.
Chart 1 shows the percentage of grads reporting full-time work two years after university for 10 of the most common degrees. For nine out of 10, fewer class of 2010 grads were employed than class of 2008 grads with the same degrees. (The exception, oddly enough, was journalism.) This suggests things actually got worse for grads since the economy recovered from the 2009 recession.
Chart 2 shows average salaries of graduates two years post-graduation. The overall average has remained around $49,000 since the recession but there were winners and losers. The computer science class of 2010 averaged $5,050 more than the class of 2007. The engineering class of 2010 made $2,032 more. Journalism, however, was down by $2,099 and humanities dropped by $1,509.
Millennial workers are young and restless but essential
Jason Dorsey was at a conference for fast-food franchisees last week, when a restaurant owner told him about being berated by the parent of a young employee after giving that worker a poor performance review. As a keynote speaker, Dorsey asked how many other employers had dealt with interfering parents. Roughly 45 of the 300 attendees threw up their hands. “The franchisees in that room have been in this business a long time, and they were complaining because they’ve never seen anything like this,” says Dorsey, 35, a consultant based in Austin, Texas, who advises companies on retaining millennials—one of the kinder terms ascribed to the Generation Y cohort born during the early 1980s or later.
Gen Y has been described as “Generation Me” in a book by the same title. The New York Times labelled the group ““Generation Why Bother” in a harsh op-ed that criticized its members for staying home and checking Facebook instead of getting a driver’s licence and looking for work. A quick Google search also yields widely held stereotypes of millennials as coddled and entitled, shunning entry-level jobs, craving lots of vacation time and expecting to be CEOs within their first week at work.
Gains in natural resources, agriculture, finance, real estate
The Canadian economy created almost 12,000 net new jobs in September as fewer young people looking for work also helped slightly reduce the unemployment rate, Statistics Canada said Friday.
The unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent for the month, down 0.2 percentage points.
It was the first time since December 2008 that it has been below seven per cent.
“Amid all the to-ing and fro-ing in Canada’s headline job tally so far in 2013, the underlying picture that has emerged is one of moderate gains — certainly a bit cooler than in recent years, but enough to trim the jobless rate,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter wrote in a note.
The lacklustre jobs report followed a move by the Bank of Canada last week to lower its forecasts for economic growth in the second half of 2013 and possibly for next year.
Economy built on manufacturing now relies on housing
TORONTO – Two years after graduating from college with an accounting degree, Amanda Coombes expected to be working full-time in her field. Instead, she’s living with her mom and working at McDonald’s.
These days, in hard-hit Ontario, a job is a job.
“It’s hard for us,” Coombes, 23, said of the challenges she and her fellow graduates face in their search for work in their chosen field. Older applicants, some laid off after 25 years in the business, offer life and work experience that make them formidable rivals.
“We’re competing with people who have been trying to find work and have three times the amount of experience as we do.”
Coombes is among the casualties of Ontario’s precipitous decline from the country’s economic engine to its most populous have-not province.
See what sectors and regions have jobs
Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey for June is now out and it reveals some interesting trends that students and new graduates need to know about. Here are four things that stand out.
1. The student summer job situation is improving after a few bad post-recession years. Data from May and June show that the unemployment rate for students aged 20 to 24 was 11.4 per cent this June, down from 13 per cent a year earlier. The unemployment rate for 17- to 19-year-old students also fell, from 17.3 per cent to 15.7 per cent.
2. The survey shows there are more jobs in “professional, scientific and technical services,” up 27,000 in June and 63,000 year-over-year. Meanwhile, the accommodation and food services sector is down the most, dropping 20,000 in June. It seems likely that more post-secondary graduates would rather work in the former sector than the latter, so that’s good news for them.
An expert’s advice on when to stop at a bachelor’s
If you think the letters M.A. will help your resumé get picked out of the pile when applying for your first post-university job, you may be mistaken.
Newly-released data from the National Household Survey (the replacement for the Census) show that Canadians aged 25 to 44 with master’s degrees had higher unemployment in 2011, at 5.7 per cent, than those with only bachelor’s degrees (4.8 per cent). Meanwhile, a recent report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada showed a gap as high as four points in unemployment rates between those with bachelor’s degrees and those with graduate degrees.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem that those with more schooling have higher unemployment, it’s unsurprising to Lauren Friese. The founder of Talent Egg, a company that helps students and graduates launch their careers, has long suspected that most master’s programs (particularly arts and social sciences) not only fail to improve job prospects, but may indeed hurt them.
Still, the message isn’t getting through. A 2012 survey of 15,000 Canadian students in their final year of bachelor’s degrees showed 49 per cent planned on more schooling.
Tenth of Canadians aged 15 to 24 not employed or in school
Young Canadians are at risk of chronic unemployment as growing numbers are graduating well-educated, but with no work experience, a CIBC report suggests.
About 420,000 youth aged 15 to 24 — or nearly one in 10 young Canadians — are neither employed nor enrolled in school, the report found.
The economic reality for young Canadians today is very different than that of previous generations, said CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal, the report’s author.
“They are basically on the sidelines doing nothing,” he said in an interview. “They will not be able to penetrate this very competitive labour market.”
Ontario has similar employment rules
A federal court in New York has ruled that “interns” who worked for Fox Searchlight Pictures on the film Black Swan should have been paid employees because their work didn’t have an educational component. NPR news says, “the decision may have broad implications for students.”
Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman did things like filing, tracking purchase orders and making copies. The judge’s ruling is notable because it says the educational requirement must be independent of school credits or job experience.
The judge considered the U.S. Department of Labor’s position on what may constitute a legal unpaid internship in the private sector. All six of the following criteria must be met for it to be legal:
Unemployment slides to 7.1 per cent
Canada’s economy finally came out of hibernation last month, pumping out a whopping 95,000 new jobs — the vast majority full-time — in the biggest month of employment growth in more than a decade.
The massive gain was the first major improvement of 2013 and many times greater than economists had expected, dropping the unemployment rate one-tenth of a point to 7.1 per cent.
The impact on the unemployment rate would had been greater but for an almost as large increase in the number of Canadians looking for work.
But there was little to quibble about in the uniformly strong May report, where Statistics Canada saw positives across the board with few exceptions.
All the new jobs came in the private sector and in the employee class — rather than the less desirable self-employment category — and 76,700 of them were full-time.
Canada’s labour market had been seen as struggling in 2013, with the first four months producing a net loss of 13,000 jobs, attributed to the poor economic performance during the second half of last year.
New statistics counter the popular narrative
Since the recession, so the story goes, almost all 27-year-old university graduates are sitting in mom’s or dad’s basement playing Guitar Hero, firing off job applications and ranting on Facebook about how they’d be better off as plumbers.
This has become such accepted wisdom that when Allan Rock, president of the University of Ottawa, argued in a speech last week that it is, in fact, a myth, the Ottawa Citizen saw it as news.
Newly-released Statistics Canada charts of unemployment rates by education among 25 to 29-year-olds back up Rock’s point. Last year, university graduates were more likely than anyone else in that age group to be employed and just as likely to be working as the same age group was back in 2005 when no one fretted about jobs.
Policy paper challenges benefits of working while in school
It is well known that many students are required to work in-study (while in school) to pay for post-secondary education. As the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s recently released Student Employment paper points out, the in-study employment rate has gradually risen over time. Labour force participation rates for current university students have increased by more than 10 per cent since 1976.
Curiously, not everyone agrees that this is a problem. Some point out that the National Survey on Student Engagement has shown some in-study employment can be correlated to increased levels of active and collaborative learning. This should surprise no one. Real world employment opportunities have always been helpful to student learning, which is why nearly every university wants to offer more experiential learning.
However, it must also be recognized that not every in-study experience is particularly useful. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the scientists of the future describing their tenure at Starbucks as particularly fundamental to their training. Unfortunately, this type of in-study employment is all too typical.
Employment drops in six of 10 provinces
Canada experienced the worst jobs performance in almost four years last month as 54,500 full time, private sector positions disappeared — an unexpectedly big drop that erased a gain in February.
The loss was the biggest since February 2009, and along with a small retreat in the number of Canadians looking for work, helped lift the unemployment rate two-tenths of a point to 7.2 per cent.
Economists had expected a weak March to even out the above-trend gains of February, but few saw such massive bleeding, leaving the country with about 26,000 fewer jobs than at the beginning of the year.
To make matters worse, all the pay-back was in the full-time category.
The losses in the economically important private sector were mammoth — with 85,400 workers joining the ranks of the unemployed.
Skills mismatch may mean 1.5 million vacancies by 2016
On a recent February evening, Karl Eve received an emergency call from a restaurant owner in Canmore, Alta. The busy eatery had suddenly found itself with no hot water, even though the basement hot water tanks appeared to be working fine. A plumber with 10 years’ experience, Eve eventually traced the problem to a malfunctioning dishwasher and got the hot water flowing again—much to the owner’s relief.
It’s the sort of detective work Eve says he loves about his job. He also likes that his plumbing business, which he runs with his wife in nearby Exshaw, provides his family with a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. But it was a career he very nearly missed. Never a fan of textbooks, Eve ended up toiling in a southern Ontario gypsum mine after high school. It was only after moving to Alberta years later that he considered a career in the trades. A chance meeting at a church potluck led to a ride-along with a local plumber and, ultimately, an apprenticeship. “I discovered there was a lot to learn, especially when it came to math,” Eve says of his four years of training, which included eight weeks a year in a classroom. “The amount of education was very surprising to me, but in a positive way. I grasped it with both hands, so to speak.”
Eve’s story is more rare than it should be in Canada. Many consider the trades to be low-paying, go-nowhere jobs, if they consider them at all. But it’s a perception not grounded in reality, as Eve’s healthy hourly rate of $90 to $135 suggests. Nor is it one Canada can afford to maintain. Numerous studies warn Canada is facing a massive shortage of skilled workers over the next few decades as millions of baby boomers hit retirement age and exit the workforce.
Prof. Pettigrew says it isn’t a lack of skills training
Earlier this month, student Mercedes Mueller caught my eye with this provocative open letter to Canadian university presidents, accusing them of having failed students by not paying enough attention to their “career ambitions.”
Here’s the key bit:
Universities pride themselves on teaching students critical thinking and reasoning skills. Yet upon entering the workforce, many grads have little to offer employers in terms of “skills.” Skills, primarily associated with the hands-on learning done at colleges, are a severely lacking component of university curricula. When one considers that the majority of BA graduates would like to enter the workforce without having to obtain further degrees, learning a skill or two in undergrad isn’t asking a lot.
Students come to university to get a job, she explains, and thus deserve to have “degrees worth more than the paper they are printed on.”
Colleges create programs in response to industry demand
Amy Gordon was in the middle of completing her second university degree when she decided to go to college instead. Gordon already had a degree in biology from the University of Alberta, and was studying chemical engineering at the University of Calgary. “I was getting really tired of learning lecture-style theory. I had an itch to get more hands-on and learn more,” says the 29-year-old.
So she left U of C, and is now nearing the end of a two-year diploma program in instrumentation engineering at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton. Gordon has been getting the hands-on training she wanted in labs supported by—and named after—Spartan Controls Ltd. The company has poured about $8-million worth of equipment into the program since 2007, essentially creating labs that replicate what it’s like to work in a refinery, giving students access to training on new technology.
Ryerson supports startups with Digital Media Zone
Phil Jacobson thought getting a business degree would help open doors on Bay Street.
He didn’t expect it would also help him become a big wig on Main Street.
“I figured, out of all the undergrad possibilities that were out there, a business degree would position me as the most well-rounded coming out of school,” said the 22-year-old president and co-founder of mobile app PumpUp.
“So I could either start something or get a great job and just have those good skills.”
After graduating last summer from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., Jacobson decided that his dream wasn’t to get poached by a big financial firm. Instead, he wanted to continue working for himself.
And he’s not alone.
Fifth of employers plan to add workers
Canadian employers expect the hiring climate to hold steady in the second quarter, dipping slightly from the previous quarter, according to an employment survey by Manpower Inc.
The poll of 1,900 employers from various sectors found that 20 per cent plan to hire workers in the three-month period from April to June.
Five per cent said they anticipate cutbacks to hiring, while 75 per cent said they will keep existing staffing levels.
Overall, the poll found that the net employment outlook was 12 per cent, a small decline of one percentage point from the first quarter of 2013.
Ontario and B.C. show biggest gains
Canada’s economy showed signs it may be ready to bust out of its half-year funk by churning out a surprisingly strong 50,700 new jobs in February, most of them full-time, in the private sector and in Ontario.
The outsized gain was enough to keep the unemployment rate at the four year low of 7.0 per cent despite the fact over 60,000 Canadians joined the labour force in the month, another good signal for the economy.
Regionally, Ontario was the biggest generator of new jobs, adding 35,300, followed by British Columbia with an increase of 19,800. Quebec had the biggest drop in employment, shedding 13,100 jobs.
Economists had expected a second weak month in February given that most indicators have been pointing to modest growth and January saw an outright loss of nearly 22,000 jobs. The forecast had been for about 8,000 new jobs.
But instead the labour market reversed all the negative signals sent out in January, and then some. Not only did job gains swamp the previous month’s losses, but Canadians who had exited the labour force returned with a vengeance.
Why a generation of well-educated Canadians has no future
Melanie Cullins is no pipe dreamer. She chose a vocation that, by unanimous opinion, represented a path to steady employment—teaching English as a second language to the thousands of immigrants pouring into B.C., a good many of whom, the experts predicted, would be making their way to Victoria, where she grew up and wished to make a home. That was back in the early 2000s, when opportunities for the young and industrious appeared unlimited. A rewarding career seemed within reach for all.
Cullins’s degree in applied linguistics was the gold standard of ESL qualifications. But she graduated in the thick of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the entry-level position she imagined would launch her career never materialized. Governments cut back on language transition programs. Resumés piled up in recruitment offices. Her calls to program directors went unanswered. “For me, that was a huge blow,” she says. “I had almost perfect performance reviews from my practicums, but I couldn’t even get an interview. You start to wonder: what’s wrong with me?”
But numbers are increasing
Well-paid jobs are luring more women to the rigs and vessels that draw oil from the ocean floor more than 300 kilometres east of St. John’s, N.L., but life offshore is still very much a man’s world.
At any given time there are more than 700 workers toiling in all kinds of weather at the major Hibernia, Terra Nova and SeaRose sites. Only about five per cent of them are women, and even fewer hold jobs outside of housekeeping or the kitchens, says the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
And while government and industry efforts to boost those numbers have seen more women enter training that could lead them offshore, there are persistent barriers. They include the stark reality that many women with young children can’t see themselves working a schedule of three weeks on, three weeks off that takes them away from home for six months of the year.