Skip to main content

In Canada, more companies, particularly in the Alberta oil patch, are reporting skills shortages.Nexen

Last week, we wrote about growing reports of a skills mismatch in Canada between job seekers and employers.

On Monday, CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal added details on just which occupations he is seeing the greatest amount of skills shortages and surpluses.

The study comes amid debate in the United States over the degree to which its labour market is facing structural unemployment (or joblessness sparked by shifts in demand that cause skills mismatches). Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago president Charles Evans told The Globe last week there's "not a lot of evidence" of structural unemployment, though some skills in areas such as engineering may be a little harder to find.

In Canada, more companies, particularly in Alberta, are reporting skills shortages.

Across the country, traditional occupations "like butchers, bakers, tailors, labourers in manufacturing, office managers and clerks are showing signs of labour surplus," along with elementary and secondary school teachers, the CIBC analysis shows.

Meantime, job areas that are showing signs of skills shortages include "many positions in traditional health care roles, such as doctors, nurses and dentists," along with optometrists and chiropractors. Other areas include mining, engineering and science.

Mr. Tal produced the list of shortages by looking at the occupations that are seeing both rapidly rising wages and low or falling jobless rates. These occupations comprise 21 per cent of employment in Canada. He produced the list of jobs with surpluses by examining occupations that have decelerating wage growth and high or rising jobless rates. This pool accounts for 16 per cent of total unemployment.

A report last week by Hays Canada found skills shortages in the country are not acute. By its measure – which looks at wage pressures and labour market flexibility -- Canada scores 5.6 on a 10-point scale. A score above the mid-point of 5 suggests employers are having difficulties finding the key skills they need, while a score below 5 shows a slack labour market in which there are no major constraints on the supply of skilled labour.


Here is CIBC's full list of 25 occupations showing signs of a skills shortage:

Managers in engineering, architecture, science & info systems

Managers in health, education, social and community services

Managers in construction and transportation

Auditors, accountants and investment professionals

Human resources and business service professionals

Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences

Physical science professionals

Life science professionals

Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical Engineers

Other Engineers

Professional occupations in health

Physicians, dentists and veterinarians

Optometrists, chiropractors and other health diagnosing and treating professionals

Pharmacists, dietitians and nutritionists

Therapy and assessment professionals

Nurse supervisors and registered nurses

Technical and related occupations in health

Medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)

Technical occupations in dental health care

Other technical occupations in health care (except dental)

Psychologists, social workers, counsellors, clergy and probation officers

Supervisors, mining, oil and gas

Underground miners, oil and gas drillers and related workers

Supervisors in manufacturing

Supervisors, processing occupations

20 occupations showing signs of labour surplus

Managers in manufacturing and utilities

Clerical supervisors

Clerical occupations

Clerical occupations, general office skills

Office equipment operators

Finance and insurance clerks

Mail and message distribution occupations

Secondary & elementary teachers and counsellors

Sales and service supervisors


Occupations in food and beverage services

Tour & recreational guides and amusement occupations

Other attendants in travel, accommodation and recreation

Technical occupations in personal service

Other occupations in personal service

Butchers & bakers

Upholsterers, Tailors, Shoe Repairers, Jewellers and Related


Fishing vessel masters and skippers and fishermen/women

Machine operators & related workers in metal and mineral products processing

Machine operators & related workers in pulp & paper production and wood processing

Follow Tavia Grant on Twitter: @taviagrantOpens in a new window

Report an error

Editorial code of conduct

Tickers mentioned in this story

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow the author of this article:

Check Following for new articles

Interact with The Globe