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The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada: World’s Next Superpower? Only If We Stop Relying On Temporary Foreign Workers

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Disney, that most iconic of American companies, moved to displace all its home grown techies with low-cost foreign temporary workers, But the company had to beat a hasty retreat in the face of an outpouring of criticism.

Amid the deluge of commentary this story triggered about where . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada: World’s Next Superpower? Only If We Stop Relying On Temporary Foreign Workers

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Myth of STEM Degrees: STEM as the Canary in the Coal Mine

What follow is a guest blog post from Glenn Burley:

If Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and professional fields like medicine, law, and dentistry are the so-called golden ticket to a good job in today’s labour market, what does that say about the current and future health of our economy?

The myth of . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Myth of STEM Degrees: STEM as the Canary in the Coal Mine

The Progressive Economics Forum: Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

This morning the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation released a new report about “motivational interviewing” for welfare recipients. The link to the full report is here, and the link to the executive summary is here.

Authored by Reuben Ford, Jenn Dixon, Shek-wai Hui, Isaac Kwakye and Danielle Patry, the study reports on a recent randomized . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Women’s Work

My mother says that when she graduated from high school in 1972, she had two occupational choices: nurse or teacher. Nurse and teacher are still the most popular choices for women entering the workforce. Statistics Canada said that more than 20% of all female university graduates in 2011 were teachers or nurses, unchanged from 1991.

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Women’s Work

The Progressive Economics Forum: Alex Usher on Jason Kenney’s Enthusiasm for German Apprenticeships

Alex Usher, one of Canada’s most well-known post-secondary education pundits, has just written a blog post offering some sober second thought on Minister Kenney’s recent enthusiasm for Germany’s apprenticeship system.

Mr. Usher’s blog post can be accessed here.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Where the jobs at?

Mark it in your calendars folks, today, March 25, 2014 is the day that the Canadian labour shortage** myth officially died. (It may, of course, be resurrected as a zombie).

Responding to a Parliamentary Budget Office report that refutes the existence of a labour shortage or skills mismatch in Canada, Jason . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Where the jobs at?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fewer Jobs Without People In 2013

The most recent Jobs Vacancy statistics are out, and the trend for 2013 so far has been a reduction in the number of job vacancies reported by businesses compared to 2012. The number of job vacancies reported by businesses fell by 41,000 between September 2012 and September 2013, so that even though there were fewer . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Fewer Jobs Without People In 2013

The Progressive Economics Forum: Raise Wages, Train Workers

I have been hard on our new Employment and Social Development Minister, Jason Kenney, for buying into a widespread myth about labour shortages and skill mismatches in Canada. So, to give credit where credit is due, it appears Minister Kenney has been listening to the growing chorus of voices disputing the existence of a labour . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Raise Wages, Train Workers

The Progressive Economics Forum: Social Assistance in Canada

This week I am attending a conference entitled “Welfare Reform in Canada: Provincial Social Assistance in Comparative Perspective,” organized by Professor Daniel Béland.

The focus of the conference is “social assistance,” which typically encompasses both last-resort social assistance (i.e. ‘welfare’) and disability benefits. In Ontario, the former is known as Ontario Works and the latter . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Social Assistance in Canada

The Progressive Economics Forum: Unemployment is higher than you think.

Every month, Statistics Canada comes out with the unemployment rate, and every month it gets a lot of attention. But the unemployment rate provides quite limited information about the actual health of the labour market.

The addition of two other pieces of information nearly doubles the unemployment rate: the proportion of the labour market employed . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Unemployment is higher than you think.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Crowley’s Red Hot Labour Market

Brian Lee Crowley’s latest column shows he’s a glass-half-full kinda guy. We shouldn’t be worried about unemployment because a) it’s old-fashioned, b) Boomers had it worse (and now they’re getting old) c) we’re doing better than the U.S., and d) it’s really only young people and immigrants that are unemployed.

This is a relief.

So . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Crowley’s Red Hot Labour Market

The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Market still weak: Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada released their January 2013 Monetary Policy Report. Of note, the Bank downgraded its growth expectation for 2013 to 2.0% from 2.3%, and expects the Canadian economy will not reach full potential until late 2014.

Several key points in the January MPR reinforce what progressive economists have been saying about the Canadian . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Market still weak: Bank of Canada

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Budget, Employment Insurance and the Unemployed

Following are the notes on which I based presentations to the Senate National Finance Committee on June 6 and the House of Commons Finance Committee on May 29. They summarize key CLC concerns with the Budget Implementation Bill.

Lack of Consultation

The significant changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program proposed in Budget 2012 should . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Budget, Employment Insurance and the Unemployed

The Progressive Economics Forum: Who’s a bigger drag on Canada’s future? The old or the young?

This is my latest column for Canadian Business magazine.

Giorgio, a hard-working, smart-as-a-whip University of Toronto student, asked me a great question after a recent guest lecture: What if the biggest challenge facing Canadian businesses and governments in the coming years isn’t an aging society but the economic and fiscal drag of hundreds of . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Who’s a bigger drag on Canada’s future? The old or the young?

The Progressive Economics Forum: New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity

<em>This guest blog was written by Mike Marin and Anouk Dey. It originally appeared in the Toronto Star on February 24. The authors are part of a team that produced the report Prospering Together (in English http://bit.ly/z4GQx5 and in French http://bit.ly/yabiK2) </em>

<em></em>What do the Occupy Movement and Canadian software giant OpenText have in common? . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity