Private Sector Job Openings

Statistics Canada released their Job Vacancy Change Survey for Q1 2019 as compared to Q1 2018 in June.

The Job Vacancy Rate is determined by the presence of three specific factors:

  1. There is a specific job;
  2. The work could start within 30 days, and;
  3. The employer is actively seeking employees from outside the company.

The Private Sector which employs roughly two-thirds of Canadians refers to organizations that are privately owned and Public Sector jobs refer to jobs that are “owned and operated by the government (public bodies or public authorities).

Job Vacancies were down in that period for Alberta – specifically in the following regions:

  • Red Deer (- 1,000 jobs)
  • Wood-Buffalo-Cold Lake (-500 jobs)
  • Camrose-Drumheller (-300 jobs)
  • Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River (-1000)

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/190618/dq190618b-eng.htm

At the end of March 2019 Alberta’s Labour Force (18,900 people), Unemployment (15,600 people), and Employment (4,600 people) were up.  The gap between the Labour Force and the combination of unemployed and employed people (1300 people) is the number of people who are no longer included in the employed or unemployed groups.  They are people who are not on EI, not working,  or not working in the visible labour market.

Job Vacancy rates do not rise and fall consistently with Unemployment Rates. Unemployment can rise at the same time as Job Vacancies increase.  Job Vacancy Rates can also go up when employment numbers increase as more jobs are created and when new skills are required.

Questions or comments?  Please contact me at anne@annehoward.com

Posted in Insight, News

Job Vacancies in Alberta

The Job Vacancy Rate is determined by the presence of three specific factors:

  1. There is a specific job;
  2. The work could start within 30 days, and;
  3. The employer is actively seeking employees from outside the company.

Statistics Canada maintains longer-term data on labour demand, job vacancies and the vacancy rate for Canada and the provinces.  The following table provides the total labour demand by year, with the green portion of the column showing met labour demand, the blue showing unmet (or vacant positions) demand, with the yellow showing the vacancy rate.

Chart1

StatsCan Table 14-10-0225-01, Job Vacancies, Labour Demand and Job Vacancy Rate, Annual

In Canada overall and in every province, Job Vacancies are higher in skilled occupations than they are in semi or unskilled occupations.

Where are the Jobs?

The Goods Producing Sector employed 25.4% of the Alberta labour force and the Services Sector 74.6% in July 2019.

The Goods Producing Sector jobs include Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Mining, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Construction, and Manufacturing.

  • Agriculture and Manufacturing jobs are down from last month (a combined total of 500 jobs) and up from July of 2018 (1700 and 5900 respectively:
  • Forestry, Fishing, Mining, Oil & Gas are down from June 2019 (7200 jobs) and July last year (11,800 jobs)
  • Construction is up from last month (4,600 jobs) and down from last year (2200 jobs)
  • Utilities are up this year by 200 jobs, July over June, as well as (800 jobs) over July 2018

Overall, The Goods Producing Sector is down a total of 5700 jobs this July as compared to last July.

Employment in the Service Producing Sector is up by 24,900 jobs in July this year as compared to July 2018.

Only 3 of the 14 Service Sector Industries, (Educational Services, Information, Culture & Recreation, and Accommodation & Food Services) have lost jobsThe highest demand in the Services Sector is in the Personal Services industries, which includes things like daycare, accounting, counselling and rehabilitation, legal, laundry, auto repair, lawn maintenance, and funeral services.

Of those Service Sector Industries that lost jobs in July 2019, the one with the lowest average weekly earnings is the Accommodation & Food Services Industry which at January 2019 was $451.78 and is the lowest of all industries.

Chart2

Questions or comments?  Please contact me at anne@annehoward.com

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Mystique of Culture

Canadian culture is frequently seen in comparison to the US.  It is described as a more polite version of the American culture due to our penchant for saying I’m sorry, having some oddities to our language including the use of the words “toque” and “Eh”, again in comparison to the Americans, and being otherwise very similar, though generally quieter and gentler than our southern neighbors.

While all of those things are descriptors of components of culture they don’t really provide a solid understanding of culture and how it is formed.  The sociological definition in the Oxford Dictionary begins, “culture refers to the symbolic element of social life …”  which is a bit esoteric.  We typically describe culture as the shared values, beliefs, goals, underlying assumptions, attitudes, and behaviours shared by a group of people.  That group can be small – like a nuclear family, larger – like an organization, or even larger – ike a country.

Culture is dynamic.  Culture influences peoples’ values, beliefs, goals, assumptions,  attitudes, and behaviours.  As people internalize the norms of culture we are changed.  As we change we cause our culture to change, and then we change again as we adapt.  People and culture are mutually constituting.

Culture will form as a result of what we do and do not do.  If we establish a set of rules (like stopping for red lights) and hold people accountable for conforming to those rules the culture will establish those behaviours as norms of the society.   When we permit bad behaviour (like accepting lateness for meetings or ignoring derogatory comments) we are accepting incivility and discrimination as societal norms.

What are some of the cultural artifacts that make us Canadian and different than Americans?

 

 

What differences would you add?

Want to learn more about culture changes in the workplace?

There is still space in our Culture Management Session on September 25th.  The purpose of our session is to discuss changes that have recently taken place in the regulatory and social environments and share ideas about their implications for organizations and the people who work in them.

My colleague, Kellie Donohue and I will be talking about change factors, the priorities for organizations, and will also touch on managing risk including from the perspective of supervisors in a world where they are accountable for psychological safety on the job.  You can register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/corporate-civility-your-bottom-line-tickets-48928404174

Posted in Insight | Tagged , , , ,

“The Times They Are A-Changin”

When thinking about this blog I googled this iconic 1960’s song because it seemed to be relevant for today.  It turns out Bob Dylan thought so too.  He has written a 2018 version.


Lately I’ve been working with my friend and colleague, Kellie Donohue, on a culture management session we are holding in September.  The purpose of our session is to discuss changes that have recently taken place in the regulatory and social environments and share ideas about their implications for organizations and the people who work in them.

We think our session is important because the changes taking place establish a different expectation for physical, social and psychological well-being at work.  At the individual level, it means incorporating new expectations into our thinking and action.  At the organizational level, it is a clear signal for seeing culture management as a key strategic priority with the same level of risk management as all the other major operational priorities.

Kellie and I will be talking about change factors, the priorities for organizations, and will also touch on managing risk including from the perspective of supervisors in a world where they are accountable for psychological safety on the job.  You can register for our breakfast seminar at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/corporate-civility-your-bottom-line-tickets-48928404174

P.S.  Curious about the original version of Dylan’s song?    https://youtu.be/e7qQ6_RV4VQ

Posted in Uncategorized

Minimum Wage Rates 2016

pic-3

In 1914 Henry Ford, a known anti-socialist, anti-union industrialist did the unthinkable.  Henry doubled the wages paid to his auto manufacturing company employees.

Henry Ford did that for two reasons: turnover was a problem in the industry and he needed to increase the size of his market.   Henry’s plan worked.  By driving up pay for production workers, he increased their buying power and made the cars they were making affordable for them.  The middle class in the US grew substantially and the standard of living improved for the entire country.  Henry Ford’s company did grow and he became much, much wealthier.

This fall in Canada, minimum wage rates are increasing in a number of provinces – though not quite like Henry Ford’s 1914 increase –  with lots of public backlash.   The biggest argument against doing so is that our economy is struggling, unemployment is high and paying people more will make things worse.   That ‘feels’ like it makes sense and many people argue it does.  Henry Ford disagreed and so does research on the creation of healthy economies and societies.

According to the Stats Canada Labour Force survey data (2014) about 7.2%[1] (1.5 million people) of Canada’s workforce earns minimum wage.  About 60% of those are women, approximately 45% are 25 years old and older and about 45% work for companies with more than 500 employees.  In Canada, minimum wage is lower than the living wage for every major city for which data is available.

Following is information on the Minimum Wage Rates and the Living Wage Rates [2].

table

  1. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2014001/article/14035-eng.htm
  2. To learn more about living wage rates:
    http://www.livingwageforfamilies.ca/what_is_living_wage
    http://livingwagecanada.ca/files/2714/6678/4253/EdmontonLivingWageReport2016.pdf

 

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The Talent Era

There are more than 50 million articles that include Talent in their search terms according to Google.  The articles include definitions and information about attracting, retaining and rewarding and, of course, the importance of engagement in maximizing the contribution Talent makes to organizational success.

Blog Image June 2016Why add another voice to this already overwhelming amount of material?

In my research into workforce talent and in particular Key Talent – those people critical to the achievement of organizational success –  I didn’t find what I was looking for.  I wanted something that goes beyond theory and statistics about what is important.  I wanted innovative practical ideas and examples for today’s complex environment where:

  • profitability is dependent on attracting and retaining, and obtaining maximum return from each individual;
  • the extent of the individual’s capacity isn’t easily discerned, and
  • subjective factors like engagement, satisfaction, and appreciation impact motivation and productivity.

Because I didn’t find what I wanted I went to work on creating it.

Over the next few weeks, I will share some of my thinking about human resource management in the Talent Era in a series of white papers.  The first one, which can be accessed through the following link, provides background and sets the stage for the practical approaches provided in the following papers.

The Talent Era

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Remote Work and Productivity

In December a Financial Post Workplace Law column on Absenteeism indicated that Working From Home, Smoke Breaks and Stress Leave were, in the opinion of the writer, the three leading causes of lost productivity in 2015.

Having Working From Home on that list surprised me so I did a bit of checking to see what others had to say about it.  Harvard Business Review (January-February 2014)  ran an article about a research study on working from home – it is entitled “To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work From Home”.

A study on the effectiveness of telecommuting reported on in the Psychological Science in the Public Interest (Vol 16, #2,  2015) found that it reduces stress, increases worker satisfaction and organizational commitment and improves overall performance.

Yahoo made headlines last year when their CEO decided to eliminate remote working in order to improve productivity and collaboration.

My quick check on remote work was a good reminder – in order to achieve good productivity in remote work situations a number of factors must be in place:

  • The job needs to be suitable for remote work
  • The person must be comfortable with and capable of the remote work relationship
  • Managers have to have the managerial skills and confidence necessary to manage people they ‘can’t see’
  • Good working conditions (space, equipment, etc.) and a positive work environment(healthy organizational culture with clear expectations and good communication channels) and appropriate and effective work processes all need to exist
  • Remote workers should be involved in workplace activities and be physically present in the workplace on a regular basis.

I am inclined to believe that, whether the person is a remote worker or an on-site worker, productivity is affected most by whether or not the individual believes their work is meaningful and their effort and results are appreciated and matter.  I am also inclined to believe that if that is true, absenteeism isn’t a problem.

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