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The Great Resignation never actually happened in Canada

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Data Shows Canadian Job Change Rates Near Pre-pandemic Levels

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A year after the pandemic, Dave Edwards quit his corporate job after nearly 20 years at a major bank to pursue his “passion project” at a startup in Toronto.

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Months of remote work led Edwards to make this “financially risky” decision. “I couldn’t imagine myself spending eight to 10 hours a day in WebEx meetings staring at a screen with a pile of emails,” he said. “It’s become pretty clear to me that it’s never going to be possible to stay the same as before.”

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Currently, Edwards is Operations Director, Nurbi (pronounced “nearby”) is a logistics startup that uses electric cargo bikes to provide deliveries to local businesses in Toronto.

“I have long been interested in moving away from this kind of mobility in cities, cars,” he said. “So I combined reaching my mid-40s and moving to the online world with a job I didn’t quite love. I thought it was time to take a chance.”

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Stories like this became so prevalent during the pandemic that they spawned a larger narrative. big resignation, A term coined by American scholar Anthony Klotz Between Interview with Bloomberg reporter Spring 2021. Wikipedia When Dictionary.com.

Klotz built his theory on four observations.mass burnoutthe theory that when faced with death, people tend to ponder what is really important to them. And the unexpected freedom of working from home. KlotzAt the time, an associate professor at Texas A&M University predicted a “big resignation” before the data showed. But U.S. government statisticians caught up and eventually recorded an increase in turnover.

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Canadian anecdotes abound, such as Edwards quitting his job during the pandemic, but the similarities to the US end there. The data show that Canadian turnover rates are about the same as pre-pandemic levels, indicating a “return to normal” rather than an increase in retirees.

according to Statistics CanadaThere is little evidence that concerns about job quality, such as tight labor markets or job locations, have led to an increase in voluntary turnover or job changes. The number of “turnovers” in February 2022 is lower than his February 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic. The number is actually on the decline from 2020 to 2021, when he hit a record low in April 2021.

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There is little indication that tighter labor markets and concerns about job quality, such as location, have led to an increase in voluntary turnover and job changes.
There is little indication that tighter labor markets and concerns about job quality, such as location, have led to an increase in voluntary turnover and job changes. Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto

“This may indicate that factors associated with voluntary job separation, such as confidence in finding a new job and likelihood of relocating, remain different than they were pre-pandemic,” the agency said. said in the report.

In both June and July, 0.6% of workers who remained employed changed jobs, according to a federal labor force survey. This rate is comparable to the turnover rate from 2016 to 2019, with an average of 0.7% and a range of 0.6% to 0.8%. The most recent peak he reached in January 2022 was 0.8%.

“While this suggests that the labor market is normalizing, job hopping is not really surging,” says Toronto-based economist Brendon Barnard. that’s righta recruitment site owned by Recruit Holdings in Japan.

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This came as a surprise to Bernard. In the early days of the pandemic, job changes virtually stopped in both Canada and the United States. Barnard thought Canada might eventually see people catching up on career changes they would have been doing if the world hadn’t turned upside down. Instead, the labor market just returned to normal turnover.By contrast, smoking cessation rates in the United States continued to increase well above pre-pandemic levels after the early pandemic’s small bouts declined.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported record high There will be 4.5 million people leaving the workforce in November 2021, or 3% of the total workforce.

Admittedly, the Canadian turnover rate and the U.S. turnover rate are measured differently, so it’s not possible to make an accurate side-by-side comparison of the two metrics. And as noted by his economist Avery Shenfeld, chief of CIBC World Markets, the US labor market is tighter and more inflationary than Canada’s. “The idea that people gave up working is all about the United States, and[the country]is starting to turn around,” he said.

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At least according to the data, Canadians are accepting jobs more than ever, rather than fleeing the traditional job market. Labor force participation rates — the number of people who report working or actively looking for work — are high, levels of self-employment are unusually low, and wages are higher for workers than for being their own boss. is selected.

It’s not a great resignation, it’s a great rethink, the kind of work people want to do.

David Collette

“If anything, more Canadians are working or looking for work than ever before,” said Shenfeld. Job openings are at record levels“As the pandemic subsided and we reached a state where everyone was working, employment surged. Those positions,” he said.

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A survey by Ottawa-based Abacus Data found that 34% of employed Canadians felt “burned out,” but this did not lead to mass retirements.

David Coletto, founder and CEO of the research firm, said:

Many people in certain sectors, especially those who have been forced to quit their jobs amid massive layoffs during lockdowns due to the pandemic, are questioning whether they feel they are being fairly compensated. It may have forced you to rethink whether it was meaningful and fulfilling work, or whether certain types of work were more stressful. Not worth it, Colette said. “It’s not so much that people are out of work, it’s that they don’t want to come back,” he said.

So while there are anecdotes of Canadian job leavers like Dave Edwards, who saw the pandemic as an avenue for career change, this doesn’t necessarily mean a larger trend has taken hold in the country’s labor market. There is none.

“[In my experience]it wasn’t what people typically talk about when they talk about what’s going on. It’s not burnout. It’s not about more money,” Edwards said, adding that he He added that he simply saw it as an opportunity to enter an industry that he believes can make a difference.

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