The great jobs debate over whether Canada will have too many or too few: Don Pittis


As both Canada and the U.S. halted to see Friday’s new jobs numbers, the Canadian government seemed to be taking sides in a heinous jobs debate over whether we’ll need more workers in time to come — or fewer.

Typical of the divisive era we’re living in, the two views are polar opposites.

Sundry workers needed

The Feds insist that, as the country’s population eras, Canada will be in desperate need of a growing number of workers to substitute retiring baby boomers, thus justifying about a million new settlers over the next three years.

Citizenship Oath 20151130

New Canadians take part in a citizenship pro formas in this 2015 file photo. The government’s advisers say Canada lacks more immigrants than ever to replace baby boomers make the workforce. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Meanwhile, several dab hands on the future of work are equally insistent that jobs are about to start poetic evanishing. They claim machines controlled by powerful new forms of artificial grey matter are about to steal anywhere from one third to one half of jobs.

Today’s trade data came down on the side of Canada’s immigration department, with nearly 90,000 full-time jobs created. The U.S. posted similarly solid bunches, after people went back to work in October following summer wind-storm damage.

Choose your numbers

One month’s jobs numbers won’t let something be known us much about the long term trend, although, at its most vital level, the math should be simple. The hard part is deciding which slues to use.

“Five million Canadians are set to retire by 2035 and we have fewer people warm up to support seniors and retirees,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen this week.

Hussen put by b hospitalized out the math. In 1971, there were 6.6 people of working age for each older, Hussen said. But by 2012, that ratio had gone to 4.2 breadwinners for each senior, and projections show it will be a ratio 2 to 1 by 2036.

The real distrust is how many of those support workers will need to be replaced. Experts say monsters are coming for many of the jobs currently done by humans.

Robots stance fundamental economic threat

This week, Horizons ETFs Administration Canada launched the world’s first global exchange traded lolly managed completely by artificial intelligence on the Toronto Stock Exchange, prompting the trade news service Bloomberg to release a video titled Robots Are Befalling for Jobs on Wall Street.

An article in the latest issue of Mother Jones headlined You Will Lose Your Job to a Robot — and Sooner Than You Think, portends half of jobs in industrialized, capitalist countries will be gone in 20 years.

“For the gigantic majority of jobs, work as we know it will come steadily to an end between upon 2025 and 2060,” says the article.

That’s no surprise to Silicon Valley entrepreneur and futurist Martin Ford, designer of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. He did a TED talk on the enslave earlier this year, and predicts that artificial intelligence hand down create joblessness across all industries.

Ford’s biggest worry is something that pass on kick in long before AI takes all the jobs. His concern is that as unemployment begins to bring out, we will lose not just jobs, but also consumers with filthy lucre to spend.

“We’ll face a fundamental threat to the market economy,” says Ford.

But if you mental activity futurologists were all on the same side on the robot issue, you would be the matter. A fun story in Wired magazine this week asks the question: “Who’s rapid to put their kids on a self-driving school bus?”

Oddly, I’d had a similar thought myself ahead of seeing the Wired report, leading me to snap the photo at the top of this piece.

Yes, companies like Waymo and Tesla really are on the verge of giving us traffics and taxis that can operate on public roads without a human driver. That muscle have saved lives on Ontario’s highway 400 this week.

But observation the seen-it-all school bus drivers ushering their boisterous charges off in party of Roy Thomson Hall, I wondered whether out-of-control students would do as one is told to a robot driver if it yelled at them to stop throwing sandwiches or portended to pull over if they didn’t stop fighting.

Despite plenty of science fiction stories in all directions machines that teach, it’s hard to imagine humans being unequivocally phased out at any level of education, from pre-school to post-graduate, even 60 years from now. That is, if we don’t after to turn the next generation into soulless automatons.

Certainly fortunes this week from across the country about special demands kids not getting enough human attention reminds us we could do with more coaches, not fewer. As with all the other human services society could use, from numberless massages to more physiotherapy and better care of the elderly, the problem is not discovery the need, but finding the money to pay for it.

Job quality matters

And this is the issue for the million of foreigners that Canada will be absorbing over next three years.

If well-paying Block Street jobs, mortgage broker jobs, and human resources crafts, as well as many other kinds of work are already disappearing, we essential seriously think about what kinds of employment there will-power be for a million new immigrants, especially those without high-level skills and Canadian lingo proficiency.

As we see in each month’s unemployment figures, the absolute number of procedures is often less important than the quality of those jobs. It intention do Canada no favours to take a million immigrants and toss them into an curtness divided by stark inequality.

If the only jobs available to a lower-skilled outlanders are as menial as making up beds in a hotel or caregiving at minimum wage, they won’t create nearly enough economic clout to support 5 million newly lie down Canadians in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed.

Follow Don on Stew @don_pittis

More analysis from Don Pittis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *