Empowering workers: Unemployment and Jobs

The best social policy is one that helps someone provide for themselves through employment. People need jobs, but they need good paying jobs. Trying to convince private sector employers to pay good wages if they don’t feel the need to is almost impossible, but there is a way to do it.

We need to strive to obtain a low unemployment rate by creating private sector jobs. To create these jobs, the private sector needs the confidence to invest in Canada. When big businesses are making decisions, the accountant takes all costs into account (except, of course, Conservative accountants) before they determine where they intend to set up shop.  Hydro rates, taxes, labour prices, social programs (as benefits that they might have to provide employees otherwise, such as healthcare), and the job market all come into play. Businesses that are already set up  in Canada (factories for instance) might be willing to absorb higher costs to avoid start up costs elsewhere, but those that are planning their start up aren’t going to invest in Canada if they see it as being more affordable somewhere else. This is an undeniable fact in the way many businesses make decisions. Everything is a number. To attract more employers to Canada, there has to be some kind of competitive advantage. Right now, some of Canada’s advantage is the fact that our banks are solid, but working to foster job creation to reduce unemployment will best empower workers.

By fostering job creation, unemployment rates drop. As there are more employers looking to hire than there are people looking for work, employers will have to pay higher wages and more benefits to attract employees. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? If you really need milk but there’s only one store that sells it, they could charge you more because the market would favour the retailer. We want to create a job market that favours workers.

The second component to this is to anticipate for skill shortages and take measures to accommodate for that, at least to a degree. An inefficient job market will have more positions to fill than there are people to fill them, but the skills of the unemployed won’t match the jobs that are available. Liberals can help by supporting training programs that will help meet demand. In many respects, lower unemployment will make it so more employers will be willing to (or forced to) advance and train employees because it will be harder to find people to hire with the skills needed.

Taking measures to support job creation and reduce unemployment is the best way to guarantee prosperity. With new business in Canada and more people employed, government revenues will go up, deficits will go down. Once we have finances in order, we will be able to implement social programs  and won’t face as much criticism in doing so.

 

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