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Edward Poirier, a press and finishing operator does some teaching at Eva's Phoenix, a shelter for homeless and at risk youth on the edge of downtown Toronto's west end.
Edward Poirier, a press and finishing operator does some teaching at Eva's Phoenix, a shelter for homeless and at risk youth on the edge of downtown Toronto's west end.
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Finance spins a skills-mismatch fairy tale

Ottawa wanted to tell a story about the serious and worrisome mismatches between available jobs and workers’ skills in Canada’s labour market. Unfortunately, in an effort to make it compelling, the government produced a work of fiction.

Last month’s federal budget included a 56-page “Jobs Report” outlining at some length the “misalignment between the skills of the unemployed and those required by employers.” It trotted out statistics to support its case – most notably, that the country has a job vacancy rate (unfilled jobs as a proportion of total jobs) of 4.2 per cent, even though unemployment is still at a relatively high 7 per cent.