Ottawa, May 21, 2015 — Good information is the basis of good decisions, but when it comes to information about Canada’s labour market, the federal government is delivering a poor performance. Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released How good is Canada’s labour market information?, a report card rating the federal government performance on labour market information. It shows a series of mostly C grades on the information Canadian business, educators and job seekers rely on to understand the labour market of today and the future.
"Despite the millions of dollars spent by government on labour market information, employers cannot get answers to simple questions to help them find workers with the skills they need," says Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber. "Students, their parents, educators and employers are making critical decisions without the best information to inform them. That has to change."
Don Drummond, economist and chair of a national advisory panel on labour market information six years ago, participated in the design of the report card, which grades the key surveys, data and reports available at the national level. He also reviewed the results of a panel of LMI users who reflect the views of large employers, industry analysts, economists, post-secondary educational institutions and a student association. In addition to Chamber members, panelists included a representative of Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and Tyler Meredith of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
"In recent years there have been suggestions there aren't enough people with the skills and attributes employers seek," says Professor Drummond, who is on the faculty at Queen’s University. "Labour market information is often not available or is sometimes not readily accessible to those who could most benefit. The Canadian Chamber's efforts to evaluate labour market information will hopefully lead to improvements."
Although the government has recently invested in two surveys and will launch a new national portal for information, other important reports have been discontinued or are only available as data files without analysis. A new government portal called Career Tool is meant "to inform young people about fields of study that are in demand," according to Budget 2015. So far, the panel found it "very complicated" and "not accurate or useful."
Based on the results of this report card, the Canadian Chamber urges the federal government to consider where investments in labour market information are most needed, when the Forum of Labour Market Ministers meets in early summer.
Click here to download the infographic.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
G.Will Dubreuil Director,
Public Affairs and Media Relations
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce