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Atlantic Canada’s labour market is undergoing significant structural change

Press Release

April 28, 2022

HALIFAX – Demographic, technology and sustainability are among several shifts changing the jobs, skills and work arrangements that will be needed in the future, according to latest research from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC). The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many of these changes and brought new labour force issues to the forefront.

The current pool of available labour in the Atlantic region is expected to shrink over the coming decades due to population aging.For every 10 retirees in our region, there are only seven younger workers entering the job market, according to APEC’s report.

“We project thatover 400,000 positions will need to be filled in Atlantic Canada between now and 2030,” says Lana Asaff, APEC’s Senior Economist. “About three out of four of these positions will be due to the retirement of existing workers.”

Labour shortages are already widespread across provinces and industries. Finding and retaining the right people for these jobs will require a multi-faceted human resources approach. This includes hiring workers from outside the Atlantic region,improveaccess for underrepresented groups, and a greater focus on training.

“Automation and digitalization can play an important role in addressing labour shortages while increasing productivity,” says Asaff. “These advances also change the demand for certain skills while a shift towards remote work is altering the traditional office environment and business practices.”

The move to a greener economy will lead to growth of green jobs while eliminating some jobs in carbon-intensive industries.

“The interactions between these trends are generatingsubstantialchange in our economy,” says Asaff. “Governments, businesses, and education institutions need to work together tomanage these shifts and develop training models that are responsive tooccupational needs.”

This report is the fourth in a series examining the labour skills challenge in the region.

Download this report [English][French]

To arrange an interview with Lana Asaff, please contact:

Erica Parrill
Communications Manager, APEC
Mobile: 902.877.2159 / E-mail: [email protected]

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