LinkedIn’s first-ever Toronto Workforce Report shows construction-related skills are among the most needed in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
"It’s a really good time to be in Toronto if you’re looking for a job because everything is booming, construction is benefiting and we’re seeing demand for skills in construction increasing," explained Joseph Roualdes, group manager for LinkedIn corporate communications. "If you are in construction in other areas of Canada and you are having a hard time finding a gig, you might want to consider Toronto."
The report aims to equip workers with insights to help navigate their careers and illustrates the region’s hiring rate, while also examining the hiring rate of 13 of the city’s industries.
It measures the GTA’s skills gap or the mismatch between the skills workers have (supply) and the skills employers need (demand) and highlights the cities Toronto is gaining the most workers from and losing the most workers to.
"When we looked at the skills that Toronto needs most — the skills that employers need most and the skills that the workforce has least — we found that some construction related skills were needed," said Roualdes. "Construction was number five and green building construction and design was number seven. The reason that we think that’s happening is as Toronto’s economy is growing, as the workforce is growing and the economy is becoming stronger, typically what we see happen is that those people who are coming in to support that economy, those workers, they need places to live and so obviously in tandem there is a demand that grows for people who work in construction."
Roualdes reported LinkedIn did not specifically gather from the data whether people with construction skills are required in residential or commercial construction.
"We have a sneaking suspicion that it’s probably in both. As Toronto’s economy expands, we would imagine that there are employers who are looking to place offices in Toronto so they can take advantage of that opportunity and they can get talented high-skilled workers," said Roualdes. "We also think that there is probably a boom in residential. The reason for that is people need a place to live."
LinkedIn introduced the workforce report in 10 U.S. cities in February and it’s now in 20 cities.
The Toronto Workforce Report, the first report in Canada, will be published quarterly and available online. In the next few months, LinkedIn is hoping to expand the report to include all major cities in Canada.
"We were looking at a lot of different economic reports and our perspective on this is they are extremely useful but they are primarily used by policy-makers, academics, economists, the executives," said Roualdes. "For the ‘average Joe,’ like myself, no pun intended, it’s hard to read those reports and immediately understand how they impact you and your career and immediately take action in response to those insights."
The report examines whether hiring has changed over the course of the year and whether or not hiring rates have changed month over month. According to the report, hiring year-over-year is up 19 per cent in the GTA and hiring in April compared to March of this year was up 4.6 per cent. This indicates the economy in Toronto is doing well with lots of jobs opening up, Roualdes noted.
"The reason that we do that is year-over-year gives you a good comparison for how the economy is doing compared to the year earlier. Doing it month over month is really beneficial though because you can see the immediate trends that are emerging," said Roualdes.
He added, "The Toronto Workforce Report shows that there are very specific cities that Toronto is gaining workers from and very specific cities Toronto is losing workers to. In fact it looks like Toronto is losing quite a bit of workers to the U.S."
He also spoke about the skills gap and how it’s important because innovation is causing work to change rapidly around the world.
"The skills that employers need is changing extremely rapidly and a lot of educational institutions are having a hard time keeping up. As a result, people who are going to school and workers are getting skills that were needed a couple years ago, not necessarily the skills they need to be successful right now," said Roualdes. "We think that by showcasing that gap we can help employers and we can help educators and policy-makers collaborate to introduce new policy, introduce new curriculum so that people learn the skills they need to get the jobs that are open."