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The job market paradox: Two measures, opposite trends, high stakes – The Globe and Mail

Feb. 17 2014

Too many people without jobs. And at the same time, too many jobs without people.

It’s a paradox that ripples through a 54-page analysis of the state of Canada’s labour market released with last week’s federal budget. It’s the first time such a paper has been published with the budget, offering insights into how the Conservative government views the current jobs market and future trends.

Skills shortages are a central concern as Ottawa expands its job training responsibilities and aims to steer more people into apprenticeships and skilled trades.

Few would dispute some skills shortages exist in Canada, though there is debate as to their extent. As evidence of growing shortages, the finance department published a job vacancy rate that shows it climbing since 2009. Its vacancy rate is based on its own calculations, using several data sources that can’t easily be replicated or checked by economists.

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