Strong college sector and highly educated immigrants bolster talent pool
The labour market is tight and recruitment a challenge but Statistics Canada’s latest study has revealed some encouraging news – the country has the most educated workforce among the G7 nations.
The latest release of 2021 census data shows Canada leads the G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States, thanks to its strong college sector and highly educated immigrants.
Over 57 per cent of workers aged 25 to 64 have a college or university credential, while almost one in four working-age people had a college certificate or diploma or similar credential in 2021, more than any other G7 country.
Almost one-third of the working-age population, or 6.4 million people, reported having a bachelor's degree or higher in 2021, which is up 4.3 percentage points over 2016.
Immigrants make up nearly half of that growth, but are still more likely to be overqualified for the jobs they have. The report said that highly educated workers with a bachelor's degree or higher were more capable of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, as they often worked in sectors that were more suited to remote work.
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada also revealed a change – albeit an expected one – in people’s workday habits, with 2.8 million fewer commuters in 2021 than in 2016. The federal agency says COVID-19 altered commuting patterns for Canadian workers with fewer people driving, taking transit, or walking and bicycling in 2021 compared to five years before.
By May 2022, the number of car commuters was back to 2016 levels, but the number of people taking public transit was still lower than it was six years ago. A million Canadians took transit to work in 2021, which is less than the 1.2 million who took the train or bus in 1996.