CGA-Canada finds aging population has minor impact in specific trades
VANCOUVER, July 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Labour shortages continue to exist
across Canada, but they are sporadic and short-lived, according to the
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) that
today released its report Labour Shortages in Skilled Trades - The Best Guestimate. The report explores skilled labour shortages in five trades in five
Canadian provinces - Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Québec, and
Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 2011, 9.7 per cent of the entire Canadian labour force was engaged in
trade occupations; down from the 11.3 per cent experienced in 1987.
"Our assessment shows that labour shortages occurred occasionally
within different regions and typically lasted not more than one year at
a time over the past decade," says Anthony Ariganello, CGA-Canada's
president and CEO. "The recent shortages are not unexpected as the
labour force tends to decline during and shortly after the recession as
less employment opportunities are available and workers adapt."
In Ontario, a brief episode of labour shortages was experienced in
telecommunication occupations and electrical trades in 2010. Likewise,
the motor vehicle mechanics trade experienced a tight market in 2006
and 2011 in Ontario, and in 2003, 2005, and 2010 in Québec. Brief
labour shortages of carpenters and cabinetmakers, electrical trades and
metal forming, shaping and erecting trades were also observed in
Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008 and 2011. In Alberta and
Saskatchewan, the assessment of labour shortages is limited due to lack
of information on unemployment at the occupational level.
The report also found that 64 per cent of skilled trades have relatively
young age structures, comprising of more workers in the early stages of
their careers than those nearing retirement.
"Each province and occupation ages at a different pace," says Rock
Lefebvre, vice-president of Research and Standards and co-author of the
report. "This indicates that the impact of the retiring baby boomer
population on shortages of skilled trade workers may be marginal in
In 2011, young workers exceeded the number of those close to retirement
in many skilled trades, including: plumbers, pipefitters and gas
fitters; electrical trades; carpenters and cabinetmakers, other
construction trades; and other installers and repairers experienced a
higher ratio of young workers to those retiring. However, data on
machinists and related occupations, heavy equipment operators, and
machinery and transportation equipment mechanics reflect the opposite.
"Short-term labour shortages of this nature are best dealt with through
short-term solutions that can generate positive outcomes for Canadian
employees and businesses," adds Lefebvre.
Brief labour shortages may have certain benefits. For example, tighter
labour markets may encourage professional development and growth
opportunities for employees, and better align wages with growth in
productivity. Businesses may likewise optimize their organizational and
operational structure, invest in machinery and equipment and improve
CGA-Canada looked at the five largest trade groups which account for
more than one-third of the total labour force engaged in skilled trades
and include: carpenters; automotive service technicians, truck and bus
mechanics and mechanical repairers; welders and related machine
operators; construction millwrights and industrial mechanics; and
electricians. Respectively, these trades account for 10.1 per cent, 9.6
per cent, 6.6 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.7 per cent of all skilled
For more information, including provincial highlights visit our website.
Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
serves 75,000 Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and
more than 100 countries. Respected accounting and financial management
professionals, CGAs work in industry, finance, government and public
practice. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification
requirements and professional standards, offers professional
development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs
nationally and internationally.
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