The value of education

Canada got some encouraging economic figures in April. According to Statistics Canada, our economy pumped out 58,300 jobs that month.

June 17, 2011
by Michael Power


Canada got some encouraging economic figures in April. According to Statistics Canada, our economy pumped out 58,300 jobs that month. True, many of those new positions—41,100 of them—were part time. As well, almost all of the gains (54,800 new jobs) came in Ontario and most were in the services sector. But that still leaves more than 17,000 new full-time positions. The jump in the employment figures has trimmed the nation’s unemployment rate to 7.6 percent, which takes us to the lowest jobless level since the early months of the recession.

To get a full picture, bear in mind that other parts of the country didn’t do so well in terms of employment figures. While Newfoundland and Labrador has seen an increase of 3,100 jobs, six out of 10 provinces saw an overall drop in employment levels.

At the same time, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada says several cities in central Canada—Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina—will outperform other Canadian cities in economic growth this year. Growing demand for Saskatchewan’s resources is helping that province along, while the growth in Alberta is largely fuelled—surprise, surprise—by the energy sector. The board expects the country’s GDP to grow two percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2012, with most of the gains in central and Western Canada.

This all strikes me as good news, and even better news to almost 60,000 newly employed Canadians who recently found work. By most accounts, the economy seems to be taking a turn for the better. After the Great Recession, much of the economic news we’re seeing has a brighter edge to it.

Going forward, my guess is we’ll see more news highlighting this economic turnaround. But no matter how sunny the economic news becomes, there are no guarantees that one will keep one’s job or stay in one’s present position. One of the best ways to recession-proof your resume is education and professional development. Starting on page 23, this issue of Purchasingb2b has a feature on PMAC’s annual national conference, in Whistler from June 8 to 10. The program boasts an array of educational events and seminars, speakers and networking events in a variety of areas.

The 2010 PMAC/Purchasingb2b/MM&D salary survey, which appears annual in the
October issue, pegged procurement and supply chain professionals as a well-paid, increasingly influential bunch who enjoy what they do. In that survey, salaries for both men and women were up, and 39 percent claimed to have influence at the C-level.

As we seem to be heading into economic recovery, professional development remains one of the best ways to keep that trend going. b2b