Huma Committee Report: Labour Shortages, Working Conditions and the Care Economy
Report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
As Canada recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, labour is increasingly in demand. Record job vacancies reflect both pandemic-related challenges and long-standing structural factors such as population aging. While the effects of labour shortages are being felt across the Canadian economy, impacts have been particularly acute in the care economy—a sector including a wide range of caring professions, from health care to childcare to personal support work, which intersects with gender, race, and immigration status.
Over the course of six meetings, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (the committee) conducted a study on labour shortages and working conditions in the Canadian economy, including the care economy. It received testimony from government representatives, industry and labour organizations, advocacy groups, and researchers, as well as numerous written briefs. A variety of sectors were represented, from care economy sectors such as health care and long-term care, to other sectors such as aerospace, construction, food and beverage processing, and policing. This report outlines the findings of the study.
Through oral and written testimony, witnesses made recommendations on ways the federal government can address labour shortages in the Canadian economy, including the care economy, by investing in Canadian workers and employers, leveraging international talent, and improving working conditions. Witnesses also recommended actions to address labour challenges specifically in the care economy, including through centralized workforce planning strategies for care economy sectors, and a dedicated national body to oversee this work.
The committee heard that the impacts of the current labour crisis are being felt throughout Canada, and across economic sectors. Urgent action is required, both to address today’s labour challenges and to prepare for the future. The committee also recognizes the essential contributions of those who do care work. The current crisis presents an opportunity to strengthen the care economy, including through the creation of good jobs. In this report, the committee has made recommendations to the Government of Canada aimed at furthering these critical priorities.
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Mar 14, 2023
Robert J. Morrissey