Hennessy‘s Index: April 2014

The Skills Gap Trope

Hennessy's Index

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index

  • #1

Canada has more workers with post-secondary training than any other industrialized country. More than half of Canadians aged 25-34 have a post-secondary diploma or certificate; 28.9 per cent held a university degree in 2006 – up from 14.9 per cent in 1981. [Source 1, 2

  • Half

Number of Canadian university students who complete at least one co-op placement, practicum, internship or field placement during the course of their degree. [Source]

  • 23

Percentage of Canadians aged 15-29 who are estimated to have been underemployed in 2013. About a third of young Canadians work in part-time jobs, many of which are low paying and temporary. [Source

  • 12.1

Percentage of very recent immigrants to Canada, aged 25-54, who were among the unemployed in 2012. If there was a true labour shortage, newcomers would rapidly find work. [Source

  • 24.6

Percentage of Canadian youth armed with a university degree who were employed full-time, year-round in 2005 performing duties that did not require a degree. [Source

  • 26

Percentage of employers who told a Bank of Canada survey in the last quarter of 2013 that they face a labour shortage that restricts their ability to meet demand. That’s lower than at any time between 1997 and mid-2008, when recession struck. [Source

  • 20

Canada’s job creation ranking among 34 OECD countries (cumulative change in employment rate between 2008 and 2012). Net job creation lags 1.4 points behind population growth. [Source

  • 40

Percentage drop in the amount of money Canadian businesses spent on employee training (per employee) in 2013 compared to 1993. [Source

  • 10th

Canada’s ranking in informal job-related education – that’s a drop since 2003. [Source

  • 49

Number of hours of informal job-related education Canadian adults received in 2009, compared to the OECD average of 59 hours. In Denmark, adults get 105 hours of informal work-related education. [Source

  • Kijiji

Highly fallible data source the federal government partially relied upon when it trumped up claims of a skills gap in Canada. [Source

  • 0

The conclusion based on a review of the “best peer-reviewed research in Canada” is that there “is no evidence of a national labour shortage at present or in the foreseeable future”. [Source]  

  • Zombie

The word Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman ascribes to the skills gap myth in that country, saying it’s time to ‘kill this zombie’. [Source

April 1, 2014