In our 2021-22 Labour Market Report, we provided insights on a number of local trends including population and migration changes, employment trends, local job demand, and insights from both employers and the local workforce. Alongside these trends, we also highlighted some key “Trends to Consider” which emphasize where multiple workforce-related factors converge:
- The interplay between migration trends throughout 2020, household income, and changes in Niagara’s housing market. Migration trends between 2019-2020 showed a net-increase of individuals aged 25 to 44 moving to Niagara. While little to-date is known about the demographics of individuals moving to Niagara, 2021 Census data will help shed light on the changing skill sets and experiences, and employment expertise of our local labour force. Alongside these demographic shifts, the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Niagara Association of Realtors recently reported that the MLS Home Price Index (composite benchmark price) in Niagara increased 33.4% between January 2021 and January 2022. It will be important to examine how potential changes in Niagara’s labour force intersect with local housing affordability.
- The pandemic’s impact on employment for women and youth, given that these cohorts were particularly hard hit. While we have continued to examine trends for men, women, and youth in Niagara, we expanded this work to dive into barriers to and in employment, and what local initiatives would help support employment and training. We aim to continue this work and expand the representation of individuals whose stories shed light in this area.
- The phenomenon of employer-identified labour shortages alongside an elevated unemployment rate. Last year, we had the opportunity to explore barriers to employment from a job seeker’s perspective, and collaborated with Trusted Time Inc. and the South Niagara Chamber of Commerce to examine employee attraction and retention strategies. Alongside this local work have been conversations around changes in the “world of work” particularly around work and well-being – the pandemic has shifted the way employers and employees operate. Thus, collaborating locally to examine shifts in remote working, the perceived labour shortage, and the integration of work and life are key.
Our consultations over the past year highlighted the need to dive into the above issues more deeply. Over the next year, we plan to continue investigating these priorities through a series of partnership projects which include:
- Women and work
- Youth employment
- Work and well-being
- Investigating Niagara’s “labour shortage”
Over the next two months, we will be sharing more about these projects. Stay tuned for more insights, and if you are interested in discussing any of these projects with us – or see alignment with your own work – please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]