There are always two sides to every story – three, even, depending on whom you ask – and this is no exception. Although there have been great strides lately in the Canadian job market and new jobs have steadily been added over the last five years, some experts believe that now the job market is a bit too good and workers are not qualified for many of the openings that are available. When compared to the U.S employment rate and jobs lost in our southern neighbor's financial recession in the past four years, the Canadian job market doesn't seem so bad.
In contrast, it seems pretty amazing. However, the unemployment rate remains above 7 percent and is well above the average set before the financial crisis.
More about the country's new jobs
Tiff Macklem, the senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, says that the labor market is still strong enough to not require raised interest rates, and the higher unemployment rate can even prevent accelerated inflation.
The 430,000 jobs that were lost have since been filled, plus 339,000 added positions on top of it. So far, the most active industry has been in healthcare (206,000 of the 770,000 jobs created since July 2009), which pays its workers an average hourly wage of $24.03 compared to the average national wage of $22.85. In fact, 90 percent of the jobs created have been in industries that pay above average wages, according to an article by The Globe and Mail.
The disappointing news, however, is that there just aren't enough qualified workers to fill all of the open jobs in Canada, leaving businesses to suffer and not doing any favors to the country's unemployment rate. This may be attributed to the fact that one-third of Canadian managers graduated from university, and only one-third of Canadian adult workers receive job education and training.
The effect on young Canadians
High unemployment numbers aren't doing any favors for Canada's youth, but paired with high credit card debt and student loans, the numbers are quite depressing.
According to an article in The Ottawa Citizen, the average debt for Canadian students is between $20,000 and $30,000, and one in three university graduates age 25 to 29 is not working at his or her potential. Instead, they are employed in jobs requiring lower skills, likely having to take the first job that comes their way because the Canadian youth unemployment rate is currently at 14.8 percent.
"Whereas a previous generation would have come through their younger years with little debt and significant opportunities for work built out of their access to education, what we see now is quite the opposite," Ian Bird, president and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada, said in the article.
A possible solution for many unemployed Canadians
Not all job-seekers are sitting around waiting for just the right opportunity; instead, they are choosing to create their own ideal job and position as small business owners.
A recent CIBC report revealed that more than 500,000 Canadians were busy creating their own small businesses in June – many of whom left jobs to pursue their entrepreneurial passion – and many more are expected to join the trend.
So many, in fact, that experts are predicting a sort of startup business boom. The hottest markets to start a business are in Western Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and and Saskatchewan. Many of the small businesses created are given work by well-established local and foreign multinational corporations.
What is the most surprising trend? Many would say the emergence of a "seniorpreneur," a baby boomer over the age of 50 starting a small business and running with it. Retirement? Who needs it when there are small businesses to create!