Media Releases Jul 09, 2021

Today’s job numbers: Jobs begin rebound “honeymoon” phase, but opportunities from labour market churn not yet felt


(OTTAWA) – July 9, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist and Senior VP of Policy, Trevin Stratton, issued the following statement regarding today’s Labour Force Survey numbers.

“Today’s job numbers matched a widely expected rebound as lockdown restrictions continue to ease in key labour markets. This rebound phase could last well into the fall as vaccination percentages rise and restrictions unwind.

This is the honeymoon period for the labour market, where the businesses that made it through will look to bring back employees as pent up consumer demand has Canada in a spending mood and our economic activity gradually returns to normal. It’s going to be a good summer for the economy, and this is particularly good news for the students and youth who experienced high unemployment last year.

At the same time, employers are increasingly looking for skilled workers that are in short supply in a tight labour market. Opportunities arising from labour market churn, where we see the movement of workers and jobs across employers and sectors, has not yet been felt.  Addressing this gap will go a long way to ensuring that Canadians do not experience lingering labour market scars. In order to do that effectively, Canada needs more labour market assessments to figure out what the looming skills mismatch is and how we can best address it.

The bottom line is: we won’t fix this long-term scarring with policies that made sense pre-COVID. Like so much of our lives and the world around us, our labour market is irreparably disrupted. We need to create much closer alignment between business needs, the labour market, and education and training. We’ll also need to look at the use of financial incentives to provide flexible learning options that meet market demand while allowing workers to re-skill or upskill.

For the coming months, the honeymoon period in the labour market will feel wonderful after the devastating impacts of pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. When the shine wears off, we’ll still have a significant labour market gap to address.”

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