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In a tight labour market, this is where Canadian workers are going

5 charts show what’s behind the shifting landscape — and why the worker shortage will persist

A cellist who trained to become a coder. A teacher who transitioned to sales. A hotel worker who moved to the public service. Stories of people changing career paths during the pandemic have been well documented.

So, too, has the dire shortage of workers in some sectors, with help wanted signs posted in the windows of countless restaurants and grocery stores.

Statistics Canada data analyzed by CBC News bears this out, showing a migration among workers between sectors — from jobs in the service and food industries, to potentially more lucrative positions in fields such as tech, finance and real estate.

Amanda Ryan, who lives in Moncton, N.B., had her own cleaning business until last year, when she made the decision to become a realtor.

« I had a cleaning business for a long time and my body was starting to feel the effects of cleaning all the time, » said Ryan, a mother of two.

« I was trying to create something I’d be able to do when I couldn’t clean anymore and I figured, with knowing about houses and being able to build my own business, that doing real estate would probably be successful. »

One year in, Ryan said the job has been challenging — but rewarding, too. And better paying.

Such career changes have taken place in the midst of a tightening labour market, resulting in staff shortages in the sectors workers have left behind. Overall, Canada’s jobless rate remains at 4.9 per cent — the lowest level since 1970.

An examination of the data also reveals a longer term shift in the country’s labour market, spurred not just by the transformative past two years, but by demographic shifts that have been underway for decades.

Here are five charts that help illustrate Canada’s shifting labour landscape:

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Source: CBC, Benjamin ShinglerGraeme Bruce , 23 août 2022

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