Across the globe: Immigration used to fill job shortages, despite so many jobless citizens.
February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
According to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 34% of corporations now regard “shortage of skilled labour” as their main business constraint. This is the case although Canada now has an unemployment rate of 7.8%, which means that there are 1.5 million Canadians actively seeking work, officially. Several million more have simply stopped looking for work and have dropped out of the labour force. There’s no easy way to shift the ever-growing heap of workers into the bottomless pit of job opportunities. As a result, Canadian businesses, both large and small, are lobbying hard to increase immigration numbers above the current rate of more than 280,000 per year. Canada is far from alone in this paradox. The German government recently concluded that its shortfall of immigrant workers is costing the economy 20 billion euros a year, leading to a strong push from business to push immigration above its current level of 600,000 per year, even though there are officially 3 million jobless Germans (or 6.6%). A study by the Marshall School of Business projects that the US will still be short 35 million workers by 2030; Europe, despite its generous decent minimum wages, will need 80 million. The most direct and politically feasible solution, the one most governments will continue to use to square the circle and fill the hole, will remain immigration. (excerpts from globe and mail)