We’re missing jobs, not skills, Mr. Kenney

Jim Stanford, , Jul 19, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

On taking office as Minister for Employment & Social Development, Jason Kenney tweeted, "I will work hard to end the paradox of too many people without jobs in an economy that has too many jobs without people." Today, my former student newspaper colleague Jim Stanford responded, "the labour market almost never runs out of workers. The usual problem is a general, persistent inadequacy of employer demand for labour... there are more than six unemployed Canadians for each job vacancy." Both are right; both are wrong. Yes, there is a skills shortage, but we're not seeing industry take action to address this; it's being left to government. Yes, there are more workers than jobs, but as key labour shortages are eliminated the overall pool of jobs increases; each skilled job filled creates several new less-skilled jobs.

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