Digging through the data

If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the BC economy you could do a lot worse than to check in weekly with the BC Stats infoline publication. BC Stats provides some concrete data and analysis that puts the province’s economy and labour market in clear focus.

This week’s issue(10 pp. pdf) has some analysis on productivity but also has some interesting things to say about labour shortages.

Together with the rest of Canada, BC’s population is ageing. In 2007, just over 15% of the labour force (those who are either working, or looking for work) was 55 or older. The proportion of older workers has been climbing steadily since the early 1990s, as growing numbers of baby boomers are approaching retirement age. As these individuals leave the workforce, the supply of available labour will be educed since there are proportionally fewer younger workers to replace them. This means that employers could be facing demographically-driven labour shortages in the future, regardless of prevailing economic conditions.

Bottom line: According to BC Stats it doesn’t matter what direction the economy is heading. Ongoing labour shortages will be a persistent theme as the BC economy moves forward.

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