Media Releases Dec 03, 2021

The jobs conundrum: 1 million vacancies, 1.2 million unemployed and no change in sight says Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – December 3, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Leah Nord, Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, issued the following statement after the release of today’s job numbers.

“Now clear of the impacts of support programs to individuals, our labour market’s structural problem is laid bare: an entrenched misalignment between the skills employers are looking for and job seekers are offering.  

With 1 million vacancies and 1.2 million unemployed and no means of meaningfully connecting the two, we are no better off today than where we were before the pandemic. Looking forward, we know between 33% and 55% of businesses are planning to hire in the next few months and expect significant challenges in doing so. Our labour market pains are about to go from bad to worse through early 2022.

The financial well-being of every Canadian, employed or not, depends on a well-functioning labour market. Without labour productivity increasing, our economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns will be suppressed, if not completely stalled. At the same time, a tight labour market will continue to see wage growth push inflation higher, with a multitude of negative effects. We should all be concerned there’s no end in sight for this labour market failure.

The missing piece of the puzzle in all of this is a focus on the demand side from the business sector. Whether through top-to-bottom EI reform, demand side labour market planning or new government programs to support the development of business side of workforce planning, Canada’s economic health will depend on its ability to quickly get businesses and government working together to fix this skills mismatch. What this labour market needs is a talent pipeline, and we have no time to waste.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
ptaylor@chamber.ca