Tech labour shortage looming

Tech sector bounce-back plus low unemployment rates could lead to a shortage of tech talent
||Last Updated: 07/04/2006

Think you’re having trouble finding candidates with all the right tech skills? Just wait. The tech sector has bounced back, which could forewarn of labour shortages across Canada. A new survey indicates that tech sector unemployment rates have shrunk to a minute 1.9 per cent.

The study of 600,000 Canadian tech workers was released by the Software Human Resources Council (SHRC) and shows that the sector's unemployment rate has dropped dramatically. In 2002 the unemployment rate was almost six per cent, but by the end of 2005 it was hovering just below two per cent.

"If you take away the wild swings brought about by the dot-com boom and bust in the early 2000's, there has been a trend towards lower and lower unemployment rates for all IT workers," said Paul Swinwood, president of the SHRC. "The demand is strong and we think it will continue to increase."

Business people in the Western provinces aren’t the only ones who should be losing sleep over empty desks at the office.

"With more high tech companies than ever operating in Ottawa and close-to-record levels of employment, our growth is dangerously approaching a point where workforce demand is starting to outstrip our supply," says Jeffrey Dale, president and CEO of Ottawa's local economic development agency, OCRI.

"Fortunately we are beginning to see efforts to boost the skills of those who are already qualified yet remain unemployed, alongside initiatives aimed at attracting more students into science and technology courses."

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