Nearly 180k logistics jobs will need filling in west over next 10 years

by MM&D Online Staff

VANCOUVER, BC—In the next 10 years, more than 177,375 jobs will need to be filled in four transportation sectors across the four Western Canadian provinces, according to findings released from the Asia Pacific Gateway Corridor Labour Market Information Project, an initiative of the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table (the Skills Table).

The project examined future labour supply needs in 34 occupations in the Air, Logistics, Rail and Trucking sectors within the Asia Pacific Gateway Corridor consisting of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“As trade activity between North America and Asia will continue to drive the economy in the Asia Pacific Gateway Corridor and Canada it was essential that a project of this scope and broad regional labour market analysis was conducted,” said Krista Bax, executive director, Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table “The Corridor Labour Market Information Project is the first of its kind and unique to Canada’s transportation sector.”

The data indicate that employers in these four provinces will face hiring challenges as early as 2017, largely because many experienced workers are retiring and others are moving to other provinces.

The project provides a Hiring Difficulty Index, which summarizes hiring conditions and the level of difficulty employers will experience to find workers to fill the forecast job openings. The index uses aggregate metrics to summarize labour market tightness, immigration, mobility, worker experience and labour supply and pinpoints the years ahead when each province will struggle the most to find labour.

The project identifies that Alberta’s economic recovery will begin in 2017 at which time it will begin to experience some challenges sourcing workers, with increased difficulty fulfilling labour supply needs in 2018. Since Alberta will account for nearly half of the job growth in the Asia Pacific Gateway Corridor, it will also create challenges across the other three provinces.

Overall, British Columbia will experience steady growth but will be most affected by attrition due to retiring workers, and will rely substantially on international workers for its new supply. By contrast, a portion of Saskatchewan’s workers will return to their home countries to pursue employment outside of Canada. Saskatchewan will experience the slowest growth from the provinces and a low supply of workers.

Among the four provinces, Manitoba will face the most difficult hiring conditions as it is expected to lose the largest number of workers to other provinces.

The project highlights the importance of provinces working together to develop mitigation measures and a coordinated approach to address future labour supply challenges.

“The transportation industry recognizes that labour markets cross provincial boundaries,” said Oksana Exell, CEO of WESTAC and chair of the Corridor LMI Project Committee. “Cross-jurisdictional data provides industry with greater scope to plan their labour strategies.  It was encouraging to see the high degree of cooperation between industry and government in the four western provinces in creating this critical and unique labour market information.”

For new labour supply, the project anticipates a growth of 36,100 workers. More than half of the new supply will be newly trained workers who are also new to the workforce. Over time, workers entering the 34 occupations from other occupations become a slightly larger source of labour supply.

The project was managed by the Skills Table and funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.