A job fair held at Loyalist College this week had a big turnout from employers who were looking for workers. It was a visible sign of a changing job market, says an organizer.
Warren Gee, director of Ontario Employment programs at the college, says a national shortage of workers is being felt here, too.
“Bancroft very much has the same type of labour shortage that we’re seeing across the province. In this community we’re seeing labour shortages. The amount of people in the working population that are choosing to work is less than the amount of available positions.”
Gee says the labour shortage is being driven by retirements in the baby-boom demographic. And the pandemic likely prompted many baby boomers to stop working earlier than they had planned.
He adds that immigration, which slowed during the pandemic, could play a key role in returning the job market to normal. In the meantime, he says the good news is that, if you’re looking for a job, there’s plenty of opportunity.
“From a job seeker’s perspective, now’s a tremendous time to be looking for work. For those people, there’s an opportunity to say, ‘now’s my chance to get that job I want.’”
While the market is great for employees now, Gee cautions that the shortage could impact the economy. He says there’s currently both a labour shortage and a skilled labour shortage, meaning some employees are struggling to replace highly trained workers who are retiring.