Unemployment is a simple term for a complex issue. Types of unemployment can include underemployment, misemployment, self-employment, seasonal, retraining and unpaid mandatory vacations.
Contributors to the unemployment level range from a simple drop in demand to outsourcing, foreign replacement workers and international competition.
Despite the critical nature of the unemployment issue to Canadian individuals, the health of the social safety net and all levels of government, our strategies for dealing with it rest solely on the premise of simple growth. It is assumed more growth will cure everything. Yet it hasn’t. Not recently and not for 40 years.
The unemployment issue should be dealt with in the context of creating high paying, productive and low turnover jobs so Canadians can live well, in a high equality society with a strong social safety net and balanced government finances.
Instead, government policy is built around expanding the economy at any cost to society while supplying unlimited and highly subsidized cheap labour to some employers and making market for business models which will collapse if growth stalls. The very definition of a Ponzi scheme.
Using mass immigration to supply endless cheap labour to cheap labour employers like McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s is absolutely bizarre. Let these companies get more efficient, raise their prices or go out of business.
Between 25% and 40% of Tim Horton’s costs are labour. Raising the wage rate to $15/hr. from $11 increases a cup of coffee by around 11%. Unless they can get more efficient. Canadian productivity has been at the bottom of the OECD rankings for 40 years. Mass immigration is the reason.
If the business model does not fit both the needs of the market and the willingness of Canadians to work there, and it can’t adjust, why should Canadian taxpayers subsidize them? And taxpayers do indeed subsidize cheap labour to the tune of about $4 per hour for every minimum wage job through social safety net costs which low wage rates can’t support in tax revenue.
There is no shortage of workers when a decent wage is involved. The shortage occurs when the company or the business model has to have cheap labour to allow it to function. We don’t need more immigrants, we need more investment in Canadians.
Unemployment is a social cancer and it should be treated with a broad strategy of investment in our one natural resource which is under-developed; the Canadian people.