The Canadian job industry has been experiencing a shortage of unskilled workers, and the situation continues to worsen every year. Recent research by Manpower Group Inc. shows that nearly one-third (32%) of the Canadian employers cannot satisfy their need for unskilled workers due to the labor shortage
The shortage is mainly in the areas of drivers, farm workers, office support staff, assembly line factory workers, grocery clerks, and painters. While these jobs require little training, limited use of skills and can effectively be learned within 30 days, getting people who are willing to take the posts is the main challenge.
Canadian’s bases of higher education and high paying jobs have profoundly contributed to the shortage of unskilled workers. The situation has forced many Canadian companies to hire foreign nationals to counter the increasing labor shortage. However, the estimations show that by 2020, Canada will be having nearly 40,000 positions of unskilled occupations vacant.
The shortage of truck drivers has worsened for the past 18 months, and trucking companies are facing the hardest times than they have ever experienced. In some cases, trucking companies have loads in the truck terminals and lack drivers who can deliver them to customers.
A recent study prepared by transportation consultants for Canadian Truckers alliance states that the industry is facing a ‘demographic cliff’. The study reveals that the gap between demand and supply of drivers will continue widening and by 2024, drivers’ shortage will have risen to over 50,000 with demand being high in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia provinces. Despite the average hourly wage for truck drivers being $35 higher than the national average for all occupations, there is still an alarming shortage in the field. Another disadvantage that faces the industry is that the majority of drivers are in their 50s and 60s and many of them are set to retire. The shortage is felt deeply in long haul drivers who are required to work for long and spend more time away from home hence a need for more energetic young drivers. In 2016, Canada’s trucking industry produced more than $19 billion in GDP, and according to forecasts, the industry is expected to grow to produce nearly over $25 billion in 2024.