Shannon Baikie, regional manager, community and labour market services with NIEFS, says there are more jobs out there right now than there are qualified people to fill them, leading to an almost 25 per cent increase in job postings last quarter over the same period last year. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

NIEFS: More jobs than people to fill them creates new set of issues

Summer labour market study shows almost 25 per cent increase in postings over same time last year

The North Island Emplyment Foundations Society (NIEFS) has released its most recent set of jobs numbers, showing an almost 25 per cent increase in postings over the same period last year due, in part, to the fact that there seem to be more jobs out there than there are qualified people to fill them.

From July 1 through Sept. 30 of this year, NIEFS posted 1,028 jobs on its job board, up 244 from last summer. This increases the total number of postings for the year through the end of September to be up 870 from 2016 and up over 1,000 over 2015 numbers.

The report also shows that over 60 per cent of the job postings during the summer period were categorized as “full-time,” with 24 per cent being listed as “part time,” six per cent being categorized as “seasonal,” four per cent “casual” and three per cent “contract.”

Regional manager of community and labour market services with NIEFS, Shannon Baikie, who prepared the report, says that summer-over-summer increase is huge.

“I had to expand my charts,” Baikie says with a laugh. “I think, overall, we’re seeing a pretty strong economy across the province, across the Island and certainly here in Campbell River we’ve been seeing very strong economic indicators over the past couple of years.”

And while Baikie says industries like forestry and natural resources, as usual, are showing very strong numbers, the growth is happening elsewhere, as well.

“Really, the interesting thing is that it’s not any one particular industry, it’s across most industries that we’re seeing that increase,” Baikie says.

But while that may be good news for those looking for work, the same can’t be said for businesses or organizations looking for employees.

“When you’ve got a hot labour market such as ours, you see employers struggling to find qualified employees to fill their positions,” Baikie says. “Certainly the service sector is feeling that pinch, but other industries are, as well.”

One of the solutions for that, Baikie suggests, is that employers look at their recruitment, training and retention strategies and see if those strategies are “progressive” enough.

“The employers that are weathering that recruitment struggle successfully have progressive human resources practices and do a really good job of recruiting, training and retaining their staff,” Baikie says. “When you have shifting demographics and more opportunities than there are people to fill those opportunities – which often goes hand-in-hand with growth – along with mismatches in terms of skills within the community versus what those opportunities might be…we also need to listen to employers in the community in terms of what types of skills they’re looking for so that when we’re working with clients we can provide them with that labour market information that supports training decisions to hopefully be able to connect them to the kind of work that is available within the community.”

For anyone looking for work, Baikie says, it’s out there and NIEFS’ upcoming career fair would be a great place to go looking for it.

“We’ve got our big career fair coming up on Oct. 24 at the Community Centre where, again, there’s going to be over 40 exhibitors – employers who are going to be on-site actively recruiting – from a range of industries, from tourism to natural resources to some of the training institutions, so it’ll be quite diverse,” Baikie says.

In terms of whether this trend will continue, that’s not something Baikie is willing to speculate on.

“We’ll have to see,” she says. “It’s certainly been a trend that has been ongoing over the past few years, and we’ll continue to monitor what those trends look like. There’s a lot of continued activity with the mine re-opening and around some of the technology and film opportunities developing. It’s a very exciting time for Campbell River. Anecdotally, we’ve seen a lot of people coming through our doors who are new to the area and many are coming mid-career … so there has to be, for many of those folks and families, there need to be career opportunities, and what we’re seeing is that those opportunities exist.”

Just Posted

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Transitioning back into the world

Courtenay man had been living outdoors before starting Sally Ann program

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

The fair with 1,000 stories

Tibetan carpets, Ugandan bags and scarves from the Peruvian Andes were among… Continue reading

Search for contaminant continues at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

Island company ‘blown away’ by support after E. coli recall of Qualicum Spice cheese

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

The fair with 1,000 stories

Tibetan carpets, Ugandan bags and scarves from the Peruvian Andes were among… Continue reading

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

Most Read