Jobs in Canada: Navigating changing local labour markets

December 2, 2022

Over several decades, the Canadian labour force has been shaped by many long-term demographic and social trends. The aging of the baby boom generation has contributed directly to declines in the proportion of adults participating in the labour force, raising questions about the future supply of labour and living standards. Given the need to ensure that there are enough workers with the right skills to fill the spaces left by retirements, education has played an increasingly important role in shaping employment opportunities, especially for higher-paying jobs.

In parallel with population aging, several decades of changing social norms have contributed to a closing of the gap in the labour force participation of core-age (25 to 54 years) women and men. Similarly, labour force participation has increased for many diverse groups, including Indigenous people and racialized groups.

With a record number of Canadians approaching retirement age, governments and employers have relied on increased immigration levels to help address labour shortages now and in the future. Immigrants, for their part, have contributed their skills and talents to the labour market, while seeking to overcome barriers to full participation in society.

With these demographic and social changes as a backdrop, technological change, international competition and the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed the extent to which some groups of workers are positioned to benefit from the future of work and the opportunities of tomorrow, while others are more vulnerable to short-term economic downturns and long-term structural changes.

Source: Statistics Canada