Media Releases Apr 08, 2022

Monthly job number commentary: 830,000 jobs unfilled means monumental EI reform unavoidable says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

(OTTAWA) – April 8, 2022 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, Leah Nord, issued the following statement today on the state of Canada’s labour market.

“It seems like every survey shows businesses laser-focused on two issues limiting their recovery and posing the most significant barrier to economic growth: supply chain disruptions and labour shortages. Most businesses believe supply chain disruptions are with us for another year, maybe two, but our members see no end to Canada’s labour shortage crisis.

The fact that one out of every 20 jobs is currently unfilled should give us serious pause. The impact to Canada’s recovery and long-term growth is significant.

While there is no silver bullet to fix this fundamental economic challenge, one critical ingredient of a multi-faceted recipe labour market reform is the modernization of Employment Insurance. Canada’s EI system has not been reviewed for 70 years, and we now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to crack this stale nut wide open as the Government of Canada continues to engage in consultations on the EI program.

Simply put, EI needs to evolve towards becoming a talent development process that responds to the regional and sectoral labour market needs, supporting individuals through temporary job loss with financial and training resources. In order to achieve this however, we need a mechanism wherein all parties – business, labour and government – can engage in a meaningful and sustained way.

If Canadian businesses can’t find the talent they need to sustain or grow their operations, our economy risks stagnation at a time when growth is a necessity. If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it’s that half-measures make things worse. Canada needs a labour market that can help fuel growth, not suffocate it, and that’s unlikely without a comprehensive overhaul of Canada’s EI programs.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — The Future of Business Success

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 businesses of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance. 

– 30 –


Phil Taylor
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
E-mail: (fastest response time)