OTTAWA — Don’t expect Canada’s employment picture to improve in any significant way soon.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty concedes that job creation in this country will be “modest” at best this year. But a spokesman for a major workforce consultancy group goes even further, saying the employment market is actually “flat-lining.”
Byrne Luft, vice-president of operations at Manpower Canada, blames poor productivity, a skills mismatch and high labour costs for many of our problems.
OTTAWA — Something is stirring in Canada’s manufacturing base.
The value of our dollar is down, and that has helped push employment up in a sector that dearly needs it.
However, there is more to the story: Regardless of currency fluctuations, companies that export their products to the United States, in particular, have been looking for more flexibility in the way they build market share and create jobs.
So far, and despite big job losses since the recession, that has been a slow process. But it appears to be paying off.
We've been hearing a lot about a "comeback" or even a "renaissance" in U.S. manufacturing this year. Is it real? Well, it depends on what you mean. So far, there hasn't been much of a revival in manufacturing jobs. Take a look at the chart of U.S. manufacturing payrolls — any gains will pale in comparison to where we once were:
Manufacturing firms are squeezing the more hours ever out of their employees than at any time since World War II. For Barclays' Cooper Howes, that means more hiring is around the corner for a sector that hasn't seen a whole lot of since the Great Recession. The average hourly workweek in manufacturing now averages 42, most since 1945. Chart:
Cross-posted on the NIST MEP blogUEMC, Inc., a woman-owned manufacturer located in San Antonio, Texas,
is now hiring. The company has over 50 years of experience in contract
sewing, screen printing and textile related manufacturing … and now
sustainable manufacturing practices.
In October 2009, UEMC, Inc. participated in a local Lean. Clean. Energy. program as part of a national manufacturing sustainable effort. Five Federal Government Agencies—Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, Small Business Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of The National Institute of Standards and Technology – have jointly created the E3 Initiative (Energy, Economy, Environment),
which is focused on helping manufacturers implement sustainable
manufacturing practices. The E3 program is designed to capture the
knowledge and tools of the five agencies to run effective sustainability
initiatives across the nation.
The E3 program benefits manufacturers throughout the country not only
with cost savings, but also by providing access to technical and
That’s exactly what UEMC, Inc. experienced. Linda Jordan, the CFO of
UEMC, was quick to agree that E3 is about much more than just saving the
company money and energy: