Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

An aging workforce and the future labour market in Canada

Document type Article
Author Wong, Lloyd L.
Author McDaniel, Susan A.
Author Watt, Bonnie
Journal Canadian Public Policy
Volume 41
Date 2015
ISSN 1911-9917
Pages 97-108


The aging workforce poses perplexing policy challenges, even in Canada, which is demographically young among comparable countries. We ask what the evidence shows about whether there are, or will be, labour or skills shortages as the workforce ages. Highlighting the challenges of measuring labour/skills shortages, we explore peer-reviewed research in the 2000–2013 period. No evidence is found of a national labour shortage in the foreseeable future. In fact, the workforce is predicted to grow for the coming two decades with less shrinkage than in the past as a result of retirements. Regional and occupational shortages occur at times, as well as underutilized skills.