All Posts Tagged With: "unemployment"
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.
Unemployment rate at four-year low
The Canadian economy created 40,000 jobs in December — all of it in full-time work — and drove the unemployment rate to its lowest in four years, Statistics Canada said Friday.
Ontario accounted for about three-quarters of the jobs added across Canada in December and almost all of the other provinces either saw gains or stayed even. The only exception was Nova Scotia, which lost 5,000 jobs.
“We’ve seen pretty good numbers in four of the last five months, so it does look like there is a bit of strength percolating up late in 2012,” said Doug Porter, the Bank of Montreal’s deputy chief economist.
He noted the month-to-month moves in the overall number of jobs can be volatile.
But we’re doing better than Europe, U.S.
It’s a big number: 904,000 Canadians aged 15 to 29 were either unemployed or had opted out of the labour force in 2009, representing 13.3 per cent of people that age. The rest were split between school (44 per cent) and work (43 per cent), according to a Statistics Canada report.
Why care that so many young people weren’t working or in school? Well, Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training—NEETs for short—may become “discouraged, disengaged and socially excluded,” says StatsCan. Translation: they’re more likely up to no good.
Unions demand too much in era of high unemployment
How terribly drôle it must be for recent education graduates with a seat to the teacher contract disputes in Ontario and British Columbia.
In the province of Ontario, the teacher’s federation is busy expressing its “insult” at the latest government contract proposal to freeze their wages, which top out at around $95,000.
Meanwhile, as many as two-thirds of education grads in the province are under- or unemployed.
Summer unemployment remained high in 2011
Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley has shut down a program that provided in-person job search help for students each spring and summer, reports The Globe and Mail.
The Service Canada Centres for Youth cost $6.5-million per year. Finley said enhanced services are available on Youth.gc.ca, a federal website that students increasingly turn to for job help.
Roxanne Dubois, national chair of the Canadian Federation of Students, was critical of the move, citing high youth unemployment.
The unemployment rate for full-time students aged 20 to 24 grew from 6.9 per cent in Aug. 2008 to 10.9 per cent in Aug. 2009 and then fell somewhat to 10.1 per cent in Aug. 2011, according to Statistics Canada.
But it was a bad summer for student job hunters
Unemployment among university graduates in rich countries, including Canada, remained a low 4.4 per cent in 2009, the year of the global recession, according to a new study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. That same year, unemployment for those without higher education shot up from 8.7 per cent to 11.5 per cent. The OECD’s conclusion? Education is “a good employment insurance.”
But the organization is worried about falling public investment in education. Between 2000 and 2008, the share of private funding for post-secondary schools rose in 20 of the 26 countries studied. “Despite strained public budgets, governments must keep up their investment to maintain quality in education, especially for those most at risk,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
But some students fare better than others
Unemployment for 17 to 19 year-old students in Canada is 2.2 per cent lower this June than it was last June, down from 16.0 per cent to 13.8 per cent, reports Statistics Canada.
But older students, those 20 to 24 years old, aren’t having a much easier time finding jobs this summer than last summer. Their unemployment rate remains unchanged from twelve months earlier at 11.0 per cent.
Still, Canadian youth face much lower unemployment than other countries. As of last month, the youth unemployment rates were 29 per cent in Italy, 32 per cent in Ireland, 24 per cent in Sweden, 20 per cent in the United Kingdom and 44 per cent in Spain.
Statistics Canada collects data specifically about students who are planning to return to post-secondary studies in the fall in its Labour Force Survey from May to August.
Michael Ignatieff ignores the fact that there are already too many people with degrees
If you’ve been reading the funnies lately, and by that I mean the political pages, you know that the Liberals and Conservatives have been squabbling over the issue of corporate tax cuts.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his band of brothers set out Wednesday to peddle the merits of “tax relief for job creators,” while Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced his pledge to roll back corporate tax breaks to 2010 levels if elected and instead invest in education. “We think the way to create jobs is invest in post-secondary education and help small and medium enterprises to become more competitive and take on more workers,” he said during a scrum.
If you ask the Conservatives, reducing corporate taxes will stimulate business investment, thereby encouraging growth and competition. According to Jack Mintz, head of the public policy school at the University of Calgary, the tax cut from 16.5 per cent to 15 per cent will generate an estimated $30-billion in investment funds and 102,500 new jobs over seven years. However, according to the Liberals and some labour economists, Canada’s corporate tax rates are already internationally competitive. They argue that the cut will hurt Ottawa’s bottom line and will not necessarily amount to real long term benefits–which is a fair point, in my opinion.
But while Ignatieff’s pledge might spawn warm fuzzies in the hearts of students and professors, it is misleading in several ways.
The idea that pumping more money into post-secondary education is a way to create more jobs ignores a fundamental condition of unemployment among new grads in Canada. While American president, Barack Obama pitched the same idea during his State of the Union address, the educational barriers in this country aren’t nearly as dire as they are the U.S. in terms of financial responsibility. Contrary to what some blue-in-the-face placard-pumpers might tell you, if you want a post-secondary education in Canada and you’re bright enough to pass a few tests, you can probably get one. The number of university enrollments has been steadily increasing over the past several years, meaning more and more individuals are getting post-secondary degrees. Therefore, the problem in Canada is not a poorly-funded system resulting in a lack of access, but rather, a surplus of educated people.
This surplus means that there is increased competition for jobs. A Statistics Canada study looked at university graduates in 2001 and found that nearly one in five worked a job that required a high school education at most. Many other grads nowadays still struggle to find work in their fields. Take teaching, for example. In 2010, the Globe and Mail reported that while about 6,500 new jobs for teachers becomes available in Ontario annually, the Ontario College of Teachers certified 12,774 new teachers in 2008, and another 9,100 in 2009. That’s a lot of competition for a few coveted positions.
Jobless rate for immigrants with degrees 4 times the national average
A new report is highlighting how tough it can be for university-educated immigrants to find employment in Canada. The unemployment rate for that group of immigrants was almost 14 per cent last year compared to 3.4 per cent for Canadian-born workers with a degree, said the report released Tuesday by the Community Foundations of Canada. It cites unpublished estimates from the Statistics Canada Labour Force survey.
The jobs situation got worse for university-educated immigrants compared to 2006, while their Canadian-born counterparts held their own, said Monica Patten, president and CEO of the group that released Canada’s Vital Signs 2010, an annual report looking at quality of life in this country. She said it’s “disheartening” to see the gap. “As our data tells us, and as our report says, the more education you have, the harder in fact it is,” Patten said from Ottawa. “It’s easy to get a job in trades or in services, so immigrants get scooped up for those kinds of jobs . . . (It’s) much, much more challenging to get a job in Canada in a profession for which you were trained outside of Canada.”
Cristina Popescu, 34, is in that situation after arriving in Canada almost 2 1/2 years ago. She was a math teacher in Romania for about 12 years, and was equipped with a master’s degree in mathematics. Now, she’s working toward credentials that would allow her to teach in the public school system in Calgary, where she lives with her husband. She was told she needed to acquire 40 credits — about 13 courses, each one worth three credits.
Patten points out that programs such as the Immigrant Access Fund of Alberta can help by providing small low-interest loans to these educated immigrants to help them acquire needed accreditation and training to allow them to work in Canada. Popescu applied for and received a $5,000 loan, which enabled her to start taking required post-secondary classes, she said. “It was crucial because at that time, my husband — the company that he worked (for) at that time — went bankrupt,” she said, adding that the loan was the only way she could obtain money to take her courses.
And although she wishes she could be a teacher in the public system in Canada without taking additional courses, she’s not complaining. “We know we have to work hard to prove newcomers are worth it to be employed,” she said. Popescu’s husband, also from Romania, is employed again, creating computer software for an insurance company. He was to be sworn in as a Canadian citizen on Monday, she said.
Patten said the loan repayment success rate is very high for the Immigrant Access Fund and she’s calling for versions of the fund to be started in other parts of the country. She noted that on average, Canada accepts more than 240,000 immigrants a year, and these people often don’t have networks to help them find work. “And then you have the absence of accreditation … That’s very challenging, and we believe we can turn that around, this country can turn that around.”
Community Foundations of Canada is an umbrella organization for 170 community foundations that support charities, and provided $140 million to local organizations last year.
The Canadian Press
With stiff competition for school related work, many students are forced to look elsewhere to pay the bills
At the start of her summer, Rebecca Eves packed up her white pickup truck with all her belongings and drove west from Ottawa, where she’s studying restaurant and hotel management at Algonquin College, to Red Lake, Ontario. Every student is looking for the perfect summer job, and for Eves, it means living in a bunkhouse, eating out of a pack and fighting forest fires.
While experts predict the recession is turning around, students continue to think outside the box on how to land their idea of the perfect summer job. Despite the appeal of desk chairs and business suits, some students are donning overalls and aprons and getting their hands dirty, literally.
Eves said she chose to fight fires with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for the unique experience, even though it has nothing to do with her field of study. “I thrive off that feeling of satisfaction from being sore and dirty from working hard outside all day,” she said via text message from her remote base in Red Lake.
With the labour market lacking entry-level summer positions, many students are scrambling to find summer jobs related to their field of study.
Matt Wood, the executive director for the Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres said the reality is students are searching longer and harder for career-related work. “I think with the recession in particular, but as is always the case, students are realizing that the labour market is more competitive and that they have to put some notches in their belt in career related jobs if they’re going to pursue their own vision for what their career is,” Wood said.
Wood said the transition between students graduating and landing a full-time job in their field is getting longer. While it doesn’t mean some students aren’t able to jump into their careers shortly after graduation, in the post-recession world Wood estimates for that making the leap into the career students have been preparing could be as long as 10 years. And, he said, post-recession, once coveted internships are increasingly lower paid or unpaid.
According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate of full-time Canadian students between the ages of 15 and 24-years-old ranged from 16.4 per cent in August 2009 to 21.1 per cent in May 2009. That rate increased significantly from the pre-recession data from 2008, which ranged from 11.4 per cent to 17.1 per cent.
With that in mind, Wood said students should expect, not only during the transition, but also during the summers ahead to explore all kinds of job options. “Everyone’s trying to get by until everything clicks,” he said. “They have to see that 10 year transition as an adventure.” For some students, summer means just that — a chance to pack away the pens and notebooks and look for a change of scenery. While many student jobs may not be career-advancing, Wood said these “McJobs” still pay the bills.
The Manitoba Conservation Fire Program also hires seasonal employees to man four to five member attack crews, similar to how Eves will spend her summer. Crews are dropped off by helicopter in a remote region suffering from wild or human-caused fires.
Fire Control Officer Jim Martinuk said students who fight with their crews find the job both “arduous” and “challenging.” Crews can expect to be on location for at least three days, he said. But in some cases the job can exceed two weeks. First-time students are provided with extensive fire and safety training before being sent to their first fire, and are required to pass a fitness test and have their First Aid and CPR certification.
Students are perfect candidates for fighting fires because they spend the school year retaining lots of important information in a short period of time. “Usually university students are more apt to pick up on the training, because they’re in that environment of learning. They adapt very well to picking up new skills.”
Students can also expect to make a decent chunk of cash. The program pays just over $16 per hour, plus several benefits such as weekend premiums, overtime pay and an allowance while on remote location.
Fighting fires isn’t the only forest-related work that tends to draw in students every summer. Tree planting across the country has been a popular student option for years. Those looking to get a tan, but avoid the beach, will find outdoor work and a decent income working for established companies such as Brinkman & Associates Reforestation Ltd. “We’re actually turning a lot of people away right now,” operations manager and coast coordinator Timo Scheiber said. The biggest draw he said simply is: “It’s fun.”
Scheiber said students can expect to make an average of $150 per day their first summer, at five cents to just over twenty cents per tree planted depending on the area. Staying in a remote location where financial pressures like rent, food and entertainment are non-existent, students can put their money in the bank for upcoming school year.
But beyond financial concerns, Scheiber said students learn valuable life skills on the job that are sure to impress future employers. “From a company perspective, when you’re hiring people to work in your organization, what you can’t quantify is their character. It’s the extras that make the difference,” he said
Moving across the country to work in the bush is not the only option for skill-building summer jobs. Often students choose to stay closer to home and work as summer camp counsellors, lifeguards, tutors, landscapers and a whole host of other positions.
OAYEC’s Wood said there are also opportunities for students to learn entrepreneurial skills in the summer by running their own businesses. Student Works, which operates in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, has students form crews of painters, including a student crew chief, who contract and complete their own jobs under the banner of the trusted company name.
These types of jobs force students to develop problem-solving skills and marketing knowledge in a real work environment, while making some money.
Last summer, Matt Scriven, a 19-year-old Carleton University student, created job search site Studentopolis.ca to help students find work. The site currently hosts nearly 70,000 listings. He said while some students are focused on finding a career job, some students are less concerned with finding a job in their field. “I think the main thing for students is to find something fun and interesting, but also to make some money,” Scriven said.
Scriven said his site has lots of postings for typical students job opportunities like cooking, and labourer positions.
Students, he said, are often looking for work close to where they’ll be staying for the summer, which is why his site features an embedded Google Map for students to find jobs in their area. “Everyone’s strategy is a little different,” he said. While some aspire to their career dream jobs, some just look to get by for the summer, he said. “There are lots of jobs out there. It’s just a matter of what they want.”
If grads can’t land jobs in their field within six months, school will pay for year of courses
Guarantees usually come when you buy things like a TV or maybe a car, but a Saskatchewan university is offering one for something different – an education.
The University of Regina has launched a guarantee program for students who can’t find a job in their field within six months of graduation. Under the plan, students can take another year of courses and the school will foot the bill for tuition.
The university says the guarantee is the first program of its kind at a Canadian university.
“It almost seems like a free insurance policy. You don’t have to pay anything into it and you’re guaranteed to get something out of it,” says Kyle Addison, a business administration student and president of the University of Regina Students’ Union.
The program will officially be up and running next September, but any student who started university this fall can apply for it.
Like any guarantee, there are rules that apply.
Barb Pollock, vice-president of external relations at the U of R, says among other things, students will have to maintain a 70 per cent average, take an active role in campus life and get career counselling to prepare for the job market.
“The whole idea is to not only help you maintain a successful path in your academics but to expose you and make you marketable, employable,” says Pollock.
“It also, there’s no doubt, could have a beneficial effect for us in recruitment. But the reason for it for us is the idea about getting students involved and engaged in the university from the get-go, the minute they walk in the door, so that they have a greater chance for success at the end of their program.”
At Dal, number of students applying for need-based awards increased by 62 per cent
With summer jobs in short supply, many university and college students now face the prospect of trying to get through the school year on less money or looking for other sources of cash.
So it may not be surprising that along with the spike in the jobless rate, there’s been a corresponding rise in traffic to websites offering information on scholarships and bursaries.
At Studentawards.com, a free scholarship search service, the cumulative increase in registration was 15 per cent in July compared to last year, said Suzanne Tyson, president of Studentawards Inc., the company behind the website.
Parents’ RRSPs and the education savings plans they set up for their children have probably taken a hit amid the economic turmoil of the last year, she noted.
“(Parents) may be losing their jobs and their children aren’t finding jobs, it is leading us to believe that this fall will be difficult financially for a number of students,” she said.
The student unemployment rate was 20.9 per cent in July, according to Statistics Canada.
Matt Scriven is one of the lucky ones.
The 19-year-old was able to find work this summer, but says one of his friends in Vancouver handed out between 30 and 40 resumes and received one or two calls – and didn’t get a job. Another friend in Ottawa handed out 20 or 30 resumes, and got a job that gave him five to 10 hours a week – not really enough to help with his expenses in the coming school year, he said.
Scriven found his own eventual job as web designer for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association through a listing at Studentopolis.ca – the student jobs website he founded.
The Carleton University student started developing his website after speaking with a friend who said he wasn’t able to find an easy source to access student job listings online.
“A lot of adult workers were laid off their other jobs and now people will do pretty much any job to try and supplement their income because they’ve got families and such, so a lot of students are displaced from positions that they would otherwise have,” Scriven said from Ottawa.
For students 20 to 24, unemployment hits 14 per cent, the highest rate since 1997
In this story, published today, The Globe and Mail’s Elizabeth Church has some great anecdotes about students who are struggling in summer 2009′s tough job market.
Her article is timely, considering two studies that were recently released.
In Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey, the agency found that compared with June 2008, employment was down 43,000 for students aged 20 to 24 in June 2009. That means their unemployment jumped 4.8 percentage points to 14 per cent, which is the highest June unemployment rate for these students since 1997.
StatsCan also found that the labour market for 17 to 19-year-old students is slumping. Employment for this age group was down 50,000 between June of 2008 and 2009. That brings their unemployment rate to 18.1 per cent, the highest since June 1998.
In another report released last February, the Educational Policy Institute predicted rising youth unemployment will add more than 105,000 new borrowers to the Canada Student Loan Program in the next three years. The study found that a one per cent rise in youth unemployment increases the demand for student loans by about six per cent.
Offers graduates up to $20,000 if they relocate and stay for at least seven years
Premier Dalton McGuinty shrugged off concerns Tuesday that Saskatchewan’s cash-infused efforts to lure graduates west will exacerbate Ontario’s economic woes by poaching its best and brightest.
McGuinty insisted that Ontario still has 100,000 jobs it can’t fill, even though the province has lost about 160,000 jobs since October and its unemployment rate is at a 12-year high.
“My competition is not the rest of Canada,” he said. “My competition is New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, even California. And we are not going to take our eye off that ball.”
McGuinty seemed unconcerned that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is headed to Ontario next week to offer college and university graduates up to $20,000 if they move to his province and stay for at least seven years.
The offer is being made to graduates across Canada, but Wall is making the pitch himself in Toronto – his second Ontario recruitment drive in seven months.
Wall hasn’t been shy about his efforts to storm Ontario for skilled labour.
Earlier this month, he hosted a lunch for 86 Ontario families who moved to Saskatchewan following his government’s recruitment push last fall.
Last summer, his ministers led two delegations of Saskatchewan employers to London, Ont., and Windsor – a city where the jobless rate sits at a painful 12.6 per cent.
Manitoba is also setting its sights on Ontario and other hard-hit provinces this spring with a $2-million TV ad campaign to entice disheartened workers to relocate.
Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba have managed to escape the worst effects of the recession and are among the few provinces expected to see growth this year.
Despite rising unemployment, the class of 2009 shouldn’t lose hope. Yet.
Originally published in The Fulcrum
Despite a rising national unemployment rate and a recent surge in layoffs, the class of 2009 shouldn’t lose hope about their job prospects just yet.
“There will be jobs,” assures Anne Markey, executive director of the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers. “Will they be easy to find? Will they be exactly what graduating students want, or will it be in the location they want? Maybe not, but there will be jobs.”
With 71,000 Canadian jobs cut in November—66,000 in Ontario alone—many upcoming graduates have been left wondering whether or not they can find a place in today’s job market.
Recruitment agencies in Ontario have seen an increase of new applications following massive job cuts in both the manufacturing and the service sectors.
“Absolutely there has been an increase in the number of candidates looking for something else,” says Pierrette Brousseau, owner of the Ottawa franchise of Hunt Personnel, a national permanent and temporary employment agency.
However, she says they get very few applications from recent post-secondary graduates. “A lot of students end up getting jobs in their fields, so they don’t require our services,” she says.
Even before the global financial crisis, which gained forceful momentum in September 2008, companies have consistently hired recent graduates, explains David Rodas-Wright, coordinator of employer relations at the Student Academic Success Service (SASS) career centre at the University of Ottawa.
“There are companies out there, especially some of the big companies, [for whom] it’s not as much money to hire new talent as it is to maintain senior talent,” he says. “So they continue to look for new graduates.”
Hiring young people also serves as a way to refresh and renew the face of a corporation, according to Rodas-Wright.
Companies across the country seem to be confirming that assertion—despite economic difficulties, many have maintained or even increased hiring rates.
“We’re not cutting back at all on hiring,” says Louisa Testa, executive assistant at Ottawa’s Investors Group, a financial planning company. “Actually, we’ve hired more in the last few years than in the past.”
The Public Service Commission, the federal government branch that supervises post-secondary recruitment, has also recently increased hiring of recent graduates.