Canada: Unemployment on the Rise Due to Retail Job Cuts

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The hiring market outlook is more positive in North America, than in South or Central America, for the first time since the economic downturn nearly a decade ago. Impacting both resource planning and cost allocation, in conjunction with ACA and Health Exchange markets, are an increasing number of markets initiating localized minimum wage regulations across the United States. There have been multiple changes to the temporary foreign workers program in Canada, which include a limit on the number of foreign workers that large and medium-sized companies are permitted to hire. There are new more severe penalties, for companies found to be in violation of the new rules, as well as on-site audits and inspections to guard against abuse of the policies.

Recent elections in Canada are expected to shift the balance of power and the dynamics of labor law across the country, regardless of provincial regulations. In addition to the ongoing strength in the oil and gas and financial services sectors, recent investments into Canada’s technology sector are expected to mitigate the increasing migration of skilled labor and stimulate high-tech job growth. However, the new Democratic Party victory may hurt Canada’s oil and gas industry hiring, as the party ends an era of loose regulations and low taxes, in favor of subsidizing government job creation.

Canada’s manufacturing sector added 10,400 new jobs in April, as the cheaper Canadian dollar helped manufacturers increase export sales. ManpowerGroup’s Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) reports the anticipation of continued hiring into the third quarter. While it’s been reported that a decline of over 20,000 retail jobs, in the first quarter of 2015, was due to a number of large retailers closing multiple locations across the region. The trend of decreased retail hiring is expected to continue through the third quarter, as store closings continue to exceed new store openings.

A shortage of skilled workers will temper Canada’s future economic success, suggests a recent employment study. The construction, mining and petroleum sectors are expected to face the most serious shortages of skilled workers over the next decade, should the skill level of workers not improve. It’s estimated that one million skilled trade workers will be needed by 2020. However, the majority of technology and financial sectors will escape any potential skills shortages, or the increase in wages needed to hire skilled workers, should the skilled talent shortage trend continue across this region.