Attribute to Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada:
Canada’s unemployment rate stands at a record low, underscoring the extent to which labour shortages are holding back the country’s economic recovery and exacerbating inflation. As the Premiers prepare for next week’s Council of the Federation meeting in Victoria, we urge them to focus on measures that would expand Canada’s labour supply.
First and foremost, that means putting all necessary pressure on the federal government to address the significant backlog of immigration applications already in the system. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the immigration backlog in Canada stood at a record level of 2.4 million people as of mid-June.
Other priorities to address labour shortages include:
- improving the immigration system to increase the availability of skilled, qualified workers;
- enhancing Canada’s collective capacity and ability to recognize foreign credentials;
- eliminating barriers to labour mobility, such as interprovincial differences in professional requirements for a given job; and
- increasing labour force participation among older people and other under-represented groups.
Canada’s economy suffers when employers cannot find the people they need to operate their businesses. Labour shortages hurt all Canadians by driving up prices, reducing essential services, and curtailing investment.
As they meet face-to-face for the first time since 2019, Canada’s Premiers have an opportunity to show leadership in building a stronger economy that benefits all Canadians.
September 21, 2023