Holding the Line on Unemployment in Canada
Things could be looking up for the job market in Canada.
Although there are still obstacles to be overcome as Canada continues to recover from recession, recent statistics show a promising drop in unemployment rates.
Some sectors are doing better than others, and some geographical areas have led the way when it comes to adding new jobs, but overall the unemployment picture in Canada is slowly improving.
So just what does the unemployment scene look like in Canada just now? Where are the particular strengths and weakness and how do things look going into 2015?
Unemployment in Canada Drops
Statistics from Trading Economics show that the unemployment rate in Canada fell to 6.5 percent in October 2014, down from 6.8 percent in September.
That's good news for people of working age in Canada, marking the lowest unemployment rate since November of 2008, a positive sign that the Canadian economy is continuing to recover from the recession.
As unemployment drops, employment rates have also risen for the second month in a row, showing an extra 81,000 full time jobs as compared to the same time last year.
As statistics go, an increase of 81,000 jobs isn't a strong figure, but there is hope that these figures show the continuation of a slow but steady change in the Canadian labor market.
Areas of Growth in Canada
Some industries and geographical areas have seen a particular upswing of late.
Construction and real estate have been doing well, along with health care, finance, insurance, retail, food service and accommodation.
Workers in these areas can hope to benefit from the slow but steady growth of jobs, with real estate and construction showing greater growth than many other areas.
Job growth is also linked to geographical location, with Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan leading the market for rising employment and creation of new jobs.
Industries Facing Difficulties
For other industries, the news hasn't been so good.
Jobs in educational services have jobs, a fact which may have been influenced by the teacher's strikes in British Columbia.
Meantime, the cost of fuel and equipment has made things difficult for Canadian freight industries, with some businesses shutting up shop. Budget cuts in the field of health care have made things difficult for workers in the pharmaceutical industries.
Elsewhere, Toronto-Dominion Bank predicts that unemployment rates in certain areas will stay about the national average of 6.5 percent going into 2015. They predict unemployment of more than 7 percent in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, rising to more than 11 percent in Newfoundland, Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
Impact on Canadian Workers
Unemployment is stressful for Canadian workers just as it is in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.
As the article "Recently Unemployed? Here's What You Should Know About Health Insurance" points out, the risk of losing health insurance if a job ends is a very real stress for workers.
As well as worrying about medical bills, Canadians facing unemployment have to face worries about daily living expenses and the chances of finding another job, depending on their industry. This can lead to some workers becoming disillusioned or taking lower paying jobs as a way to survive.
The unemployment picture in Canada right now is a mixed one, but with plenty of signs that things are changing for the better, giving Canadian workers hope for a more secure future.
With the International Monetary Fund predicting that Canadian unemployment will keep falling into 2015, the overall signs are good for Canada's job market.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, unemployment rates and home businesses.
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.