Job vacancies gap is getting ‘wider and wider’

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To work or not to work, this is a question to be asked in the face of current work situations.

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Stacie Fiddler has been looking at work trends for years.

Fiddler leads the labor market group that assesses the labor situation in the North Bay and Parry Sound areas.

Fiddler knows the pandemic has affected society in many ways, with employment being one of the areas affected.

Shortages in the hospitality sector have been making headlines for months, says Fiddler, this sector is not the only one to lack employees.

“During the pandemic, the hospitality industry, along with many other industries, has become very innovative. They had to adapt to maintain profitability and that meant, in some cases, fewer employees.

Fiddler can’t put his finger on where the industry and workforce will go.

“During the pandemic, a lot of people have had a lot of time to reflect. Depending on where they were in their lives, some made important personal choices. Some people have decided to go back to school to retrain. Some people who thought about retirement ended up retiring. A lot of people have left the job market, maybe they have moved away.

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She says the time spent has made many think it’s time to quit their jobs and not return.

“If you work a lot of shifts, in a stressful industry that requires a lot of time and energy and is less flexible (in terms of schedules), some people have realized that this is an environment in which you didn’t want to stay and made people look for other work environments.

Working from home has become an important choice that has continued even with the full reopening of most businesses.

“In some industries it was never a choice, if you had a particular skill set, before Covid you might have had a job that required you to work in a building. Maybe now, with the same skill set, you can work from home.

These changes complicate the analysis of the data by the Labor Market Group.

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“We don’t have a crystal ball; we don’t know what the future holds. We follow trends and we have seen a massive labor exodus in recent years. Even before Covid, we were facing a huge increase in an aging (demographic) population. Now, with all these people thinking during Covid, the number of people leaving the workforce has increased tenfold. »

Fiddler says that means there are even more jobs available in many sectors.

“You feel it even more in a small rural community. There are not enough workers to fill the vacancies. »

Trades are still a place where there are many jobs.

“These jobs are usually filled by older workers who have worked in the industry for many years. Just like many other industries, they represented a lot of people in the job market. They have all aged and as they come out there are not enough people coming in to replace them. This gap is getting bigger and bigger,” Fiddler said.

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