OECD Employment Outlook 2013: How does Canada Compare?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warns that long-term unemployment is still a major challenge in Canada. A recent report from the organization, OECD Employment Outlook 2013: How does CANADA Compare?, examines how different labour markets have fared since the recession. While Canada has fared significantly better than many other OECD countries, we still have a long way to go – particularly for our most vulnerable citizens.

Of particular significance is that jobs lost during the recession particularly affected youth and low-skilled workers.
• The unemployment rate of youth (ages 16-24) was more than double that of prime-aged workers (ages 25-54) - 13.8% as compared to 5.9% in the first quarter of 2013.
• The unemployment rate for low-skilled workers (those without a high school diploma) was also 13.8%, significantly higher than the 6.3% rate for medium-skilled workers (those with a high school diploma but not a post-secondary degree) and the 5.4% rate for high-skilled workers (those with at least a Bachelor’s degree).

The report argues that it is more important than ever as we prepare for the retirement of the baby boom cohort that we improve the labour market outcomes of these individuals, as this shift poses a threat to weaken the economy. For Canada in particular, the report indicates that we should also reduce barriers to geographical and occupational mobility, for example by promoting greater cross-provincial recognition of vocational qualifications.

Essential Skills Ontario is working on a number of potential initiatives to find innovative solutions to challenges facing vulnerable adults and their ability to find and keep work. For example, Essential Skills Ontario is currently exploring Career Ladders, a promising new approach that uses a series of sequential education and training programs that explicitly enable lower-skilled individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector, and how it might work in Ontario. To learn more about Career Ladders please visit http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/career-ladders

To read OECD Employment Outlook 2013: How does CANADA Compare?, please visit http://www.oecd.org/els/emp/Country%20Notes-CANADA.pdf

To read the entire report please visit http://www.oecd.org/els/emp/oecdemploymentoutlook.htm

News Date: 
Tuesday, July 16, 2013