On Labour Day, celebrate labour, not unions

Unions harm workers more than they help. And they seek a bigger slice of the economic pie, even while shrinking the pie through productivity loss

On Labour Day, celebrate labour, not unionsLabour Day is a day, as its name suggests, to celebrate labour. This is entirely appropriate – labour is a necessary input for the production of goods and services on which our standards of living rely. We make a mistake, however, when the celebration is of labour unions instead of the workers who supply the…

Alberta labour market performance falls short: study

Index measures total employment, private-sector employment rate, unemployment rate and share of involuntary part-time workers

Alberta labour market performance falls short: studyA North American ranking of labour market performance places Alberta closer to the bottom of the list of all 10 Canadian provinces and 50 U.S. states. The study, Measuring Labour Markets in Canada and the United States, 2019 by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think-tank, ranked Alberta 53rd out of 60. All 10…

Finding responsible work in a time of climate crisis

What are the new jobs? How do you train for them? Every old-economy business needs to plan for next-economy transitions

Finding responsible work in a time of climate crisisHow does work change in an era of climate crisis? What skills will have value and how do we acquire them? What advice do we give young people entering the job market? How do we retrain those whose skills are no longer in demand? What roles do colleges and universities play in this workplace transition?…

Oil/gas provinces dominate Canadian labour productivity

Oil/gas provinces dominate Canadian labour productivityAlberta had the second highest level of labour productivity in 2018 among the provinces ($78.50 per hour) after Saskatchewan ($79.90) and just ahead of Newfoundland and Labrador ($76.90), according to ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team. Productivity for Canada as a whole was $59.40 per hour. In its daily economic update, The Owl, ATB said…

The future is not a straight line from the past

The march of technology is inevitable, but the way its proceeds are distributed is a matter of choice. Here are some options

The future is not a straight line from the pastThe RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has been exploring the future of work. Like many organizations, it begins with the assumption that some 35 to 40 per cent of jobs will be directly impacted by artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, blockchain, stem cells and other technologies.…

Take this job and … uh, love it?

A truly-bad-job phenomenon is gathering on the horizon, particularly for young people. What do we do about it?

Take this job and … uh, love it?Few jobs are uniformly good. But some are unrelentingly awful and you remember them as you would a bully’s fist. I remember the wretched May of 1981 when, at the untempered age of 20, I sold encyclopedias door-to-door in poor trailer parks that ringed the outskirts of Dartmouth, N.S. I remember the unemployed residents, drunk…

Artificial intelligence will kill jobs – and create them

Automation increases labour productivity and so raises the income levels of workers, who in turn acquire new skills to use and advance automation

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the automation of tasks once done by humans has raised fears about machines putting humans out of work and creating mass poverty. Happily, history has repeatedly proven the doomsayers wrong. While automation has certainly led to declines in entire industries (and employment in those industries), the relationship between automation and…

Tech-driven employment apocalypse just a myth

In fact, as demographics shift, Canada faces chronic labour shortages

Tech-driven employment apocalypse just a mythMedia reports often paint a dire picture of technological change and automation, spawning a future world of massive job loss and less employment. And yet, a labour shortage – not a glut due to mass unemployment – looms in Canada thanks to retiring baby boomers and our aging population. And history suggests that when technological…

Manpower helping to empower women in the trades

Heidi Brandley from Manpower talks about the success of the free government-funded pre-apprenticeship training program for women

Manpower helping to empower women in the tradesHeidi Brandley is director of workforce development at Manpower. What is emPOWER and what does it do? Brandley: Manpower’s emPOWER – Women In Trades is a free government-funded pre-apprenticeship training program for women who want to get into the trades. Manpower has partnered with SAIT for delivery of training in this program. In this 15-week…