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Technological Change and the Future of Work in Canada

The growing importance of technology and digitization is perhaps the most important trend facing modern economies today.

Many suggest the world is entering a fourth industrial revolution, marked by new technologies that will reshape the organization of the global economy in coming decades. Going forward, the pace of technological change is likely to accelerate and will continue to spawn new disruptive technologies that have broad-ranging implications for every industry, in every economy, around the world. As technological change impacts our day to day lives at a fundamental level, many workers are likely to experience significant disruption to their jobs.

A group of people brainstorming and huddled over a laptop screen.

At the same time, demographic change is having a profound impact on the quantity and quality of labour on offer. For example, the number of young people graduating from school is currently shrinking, and retirement rates are accelerating as the Baby Boom generation is reaching peak retirement age. The combination of these two trends has already led to imbalances between the supply and demand for labour in the Canadian workforce with short and long-term consequences for the Canadian economy.

The purpose of this research is three-fold:

  1. Assess the impact of technological adoption on labour demand and generate forecasts of occupational demand for a wide range of occupations in Canada.
  2. Evaluate how factors such as growing retirements, fewer school graduates, urbanization, and immigration policies will impact the future supply of labour available to Canadian employers.
  3. Determine where imbalances exist between the demand and supply of labour and identify potential solutions that will mitigate the effects of labour shortages on the Canadian economy.

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