Secondary Data Research Project
September 22, 2007
The Aging Workforce
Prepared by: Mitch Minken
The Aging Workforce in Canada and its Implications
There is a looming labour crisis on the near horizon for Canadian employers. As Canada's demographics change and the baby boomers move through their lifecycle employers may be facing major labour shortages. This paper examines some of the key points of Canada's aging workforce. The Aging Population
Canada's population is aging due to declining birth rates and lower elderly mortality leading to increased life expectancies. According to Statistics Canada, the 2006 census data shows the population of Canadians over 65 has grown by 11.5% in the past five years while those under 15 have declined by 2.5%. The over 65 group now makes up 13.7% (Saskatchewan has the highest at 15.4%) and the under 15 is 17.7% of the total population, records in both directions. (1) While the total population remains fairly stable the average age will be increasing in the future. The following charts show the aging of baby boomers and Canada's population in general. (2)
Source: HRDC Challenges of an Aging Workforce
Impacts on the Workforce
These trends will have profound effects on Canada's workforce. In 1991 29% of the workforce was between the ages of 45 to 64, it is estimated that in 2011 that number will be 41% and stabilize into the future. With a growing economy the national unemployment rate is at a 33 year low of 6%. To satisfy the demand for workers, employers are hiring older workers. In fact in August 2007 most of the employment growth for adults came from the over 55 group. (3) The Conference Board of Canada's Industrial Relations Outlook for 2007 cites the dual problems of an aging labour force and labour shortages as heavily influencing changes in composition and structure of Canada's labour market. By 2010 retirements will increase dramatically and the labour supply will...
References: (1) Martel L, Malenfant É C. Portrait of the Canadian Population in 2006, by Age and Sex, 2006 Census. 2007 July 2007;97-551-XIE.
(2) HRDC. Challenges of an Aging Workforce. 2002; Available at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/lp/spila/wlb/pdf/overview-aging-workforce-challenges-en.pdf. Accessed 09/20, 2007.
(3) Statistics Canada. Latest Release from the Labour Force Survey. 2007; Available at: http://www.statcan.ca/english/Subjects/Labour/LFS/lfs.pdf. Accessed 09/20, 2007.
(4) Hallamore C. Industrial Relations Outlook 2007: Finding Common Ground Through the War for Workers. 2007.
(5) Marshall K, Ferrao V. Participation of Older Workers. Perspectives on Labour and Income 2007 August 2007;8(8):5-11.
(6) Parker RO. Too Few People, Too Little Time - The Employee Challenge of an Aging Workforce. 2006 July 2006.
(7) Armstrong-Stassen M, Templer AJ. The Response of Canadian Public and Private Sector Human Resources Professionals to the Challenge of the Aging Workforce. Public Personnel Management 2006;35(3):247-260.
(8) McMullin JA, Cooke M, Downie R. Labour Force Ageing and Skill Shortage in Canada and Ontario. 2004 August 2004;W-092.
(9) Munson H. Vauling Experience, How to Motivate and Retain Mature Workers. 2003 January 2003;R-1329-03-RR.
(10) Pyper W. Aging, Health and Work. Perspectives on Labour and Income 2006 February 2006;7(2):5-15.
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