What does Victoria's labour shortage look like?

By 2031, the tail end of the baby boomer generation will reach the age of 65. People in this generation began retiring in earnest a few years ago, but the number leaving the workforce is only going to rise in the next decade. It’s been described as a demographic time bomb, especially in places like Europe and South Korea, where the average age is older than in Canada. Add to that shrinking birth rates and increased life expectancy, and some researchers worry that we won’t be prepared.

The question of whether or not Canada is approaching a labour shortage is something that has fascinated Susan McDaniel, UVic adjunct sociology professor and affiliate with the Institute for Aging and Lifelong Health. Six years ago, then director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy at Alberta's University of Lethbridge, McDaniel teamed up with a couple of colleagues, and dug through peer-reviewed French and English articles on labour, labour shortages, demographics, and immigration to get a better sense of what’s happening.