Hackernoon logoWith Unemployment hitting a Record Low where is Tech Industry heading next in Canada by@amit-ghosh

With Unemployment hitting a Record Low where is Tech Industry heading next in Canada

Amit Ghosh Hacker Noon profile picture

@amit-ghoshAmit Ghosh

Literary Philanthropist

An estimation of where the tech industry in Canada is headed next, is it going to an anticipated Utopia? 

Studies show that there is a tentative boom in the Canadian technological sectors, and from what the current market scenario is, this technology boom is likely to progress even further in the upcoming years.

This has been made possible with the government's help and schemes which are constantly encouraging innovation along with its associated funding. This surge will not only provide a rise in employee requirement but will also offer migrants the opportunity to come and work here with convenience. Unlike the controversies surrounding immigrants in the US, Canada has always been a multicultural utopia for people coming from different parts of the world. This piece will further enunciate the scopes and possibilities that Canada holds in its upcoming years. 

Canadian Unemployment Rate Drops 

As per data provided by Statistics Canada, in May 2019, unemployment rate was a record low in Canada with the figures dropping to 5.4% while as of June the numbers are at 5.5%. Employment has increased in Alberta by 10,000+ and by 2500+ in Saskatchewan while it has witnessed a drop in Manitoba by 5200.

However, Quebec & other provinces have been experiencing a steady growth. There has been a change in job vacancies in both public and private sectors with the in the health care, social assistance, educational services and information technology sectors showing consistent requirement of manpower. The number has increased in June in these sectors, but the number has declined in the self-employment sector. Trading Economics suggests that here have been 22,000 people aged 55-55+ were still working with an increase amongst men. But less than 18,000 belonging from the core working demographic of 25 to 52 were employed.

A little change in women and youth employment has been observed as well. The second quarter saw a surge in employment by 0.7% in full-time sectors. USA’s weaker payroll has also been a reason for Canada’s surge in Jobs since they more inviting with their governmental rules and liabilities. 


The Change in Employment in Public and Private Sector

There has been a change in the number of spaces requiring employment, both in public and private sector in June. The number has increased in June but the number has declined in the self-employment sector. Youth unemployment has increased from a staggered 0.7 percent points to 10.7%. There have been 22,000 people aged 55-55+ were still working with an increase amongst men. But less than 18,000 belonging from the core working demographic of 25 to 52 were employed.

A little change in women and youth employment has been observed as well. The second quarter saw a surge in employment by 0.7% in full-time sectors. USA’s weaker payroll has also been a reason for Canada’s surge in Jobs since they more inviting with their governmental rules and liabilities. 



What’s Next for Canada? 

With an estimated vacancy of 200,000 IT professionals and programmers by 2020, Canada is surely going to witness some dramatic changes to its technological ecosystem.

Many professionals are also opting for Toronto or Waterloo over Silicon Valley since their federal government is making it convenient for MNCs to bring in foreign talent and making work permits available. Canadian tech segment is now amongst the largest in their economic sectors. 

In July 2017, the Canadian government granted a new plan which was called the strategic innovation fund (1.26$ billion) available cross-country encouraging growth and development of services and products which will intrinsically incorporate technologies.

This also made anticipations across the country surrounding the high growth in sectors like health, digital and clean technology, which supposedly will double by the year 2025. This mandate is particularly proving to be a success in British Columbia where they are generating a revenue of 26$ billion annually. Their tech workforce is also the fastest amongst other provinces of Canada. 

There are over 150000 folks employed as of yet. Furthermore, the province is also being tapped into by international companies like Amazon, Cisco, Microsoft, et al.

The innovations being implied, the 2017 scheme also focused largely on helping the Canadians find funding for their new work environment, providing mentorship in the field of math, science, engineering, and technology. Once the workforce has been trained, they will be equipped to carry the progression of economic development in the tech sector. 

While Canada finds itself in a very unique position, the country is being able to provide economic, social and political stability. This has also become the fertile grounds for innovation and possibilities, especially when it comes to key sectors like AI, Blockchain, Big Data et al. Provinces like Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto are amongst the top cities for tech innovation and for finding employment. 

Some Tech Companies are Bringing Digital Equity to the First Nations of Canada

Partnering with MIS or "Mustimuhw Information Solution", an indigenous software company and Microsoft and Forrest Green, these companies are devising to delivering a diverse set of next-generation secure cybersecurity, cloud, IoT, communication, AI and machine learning technologies to the Grand Chiefs, chides across the country. This is to support their local organisations and also to strengthen their security framework.

This project will essentially be partnering across public and private sectors along with the tribes to form culturally relevant tech for effective governance and self-determination. It will also focus largely on the technological capacity, benefiting the first nations especially in sectors like health. 

Emerging Trends in AI advancement and e-sports 

AI researches have typically been progressing at a consistent rate. AI researchers and AI-related jobs are booming since there is a resounding amount of capital invested by the government for future prospects.

The progression is also due to the fact that most companies are now being able to sift through large volumes of data with a cheaper computer system. Coders are using big data to implement and train the AI machines, giving them the capacity of being autonomous. The applications are endless and the government is trying to tap into this progression. 


AI sector and employment 

AI researchers are typically well versed with data science and software engineering, making their requirement imperative for building AI which can perform tasks such as prediction, automation, weeding out fraudulent activities or picking out relevant information related to services or products.

These AI engineers typically make between 77,000$ to $92,000 on an average as their base salary, according to a report by Randstad data

E-sports and employment 

E-sports, on the other hand, has been a global sensation which has been recognised as an industry to be taken seriously. Esports central which is Canada’s biggest and also the first esports entertainment hub has already marked its presence in Montreal. Major companies like Ubisoft, Activision, Beenox, et al are also hiring for a varying degree of positions like community manager, UI programmer, Engine programmer et al. These clearly indicate that the digital ventures in Canada are opening up opportunities and positions of employment which are in high demand most of the times. 

Canada at the Forefront of AI Development 

AI development will be seeing a tentative boom in the next five years and the race has just started. China, on the other hand, has already incorporated AI by equipping their Police officers with facial recognition eye war and cameras on their glasses which will help them find criminals or personal interests. What seemed dystopian is not fiction anymore and it is as real as it gets. Canada had history revolving around artificial neural networking and its associated researches.

This is giving them the full velocity as which they can expand AI development, for which investments are being poured into this sector. The immigration laws are also being relaxed to get the best engineers that they can afford. Here are a few reasons as to why they can retain as the forerunners of AI development 

Universities in places like Waterloo, Montreal, and Toronto have been actively investing in AI research for a while now. Canada has some of the best Ph.D. grade engineers who expertise in AI talents. The country is doing everything to tap into this talent pool and bring more innovation to the table.

Considering the past developments, such as Vector Institute which was opened in Toronto, headed by Geoffrey Hinton, was one such instance. Google’s DeepMind has also opened its first lab in Edmonton. 

Apart from talents in Canada, there are publicly funded systems such as health, transport, energy. They have collectively created a large data pool which are goldmines for any kind of AI researches. 

There are collaborative programs ensure engineers to undertake researches along with being employed to fix real-world issues and devising new ways to create innovations in AI. 

Canada at the Forefront of Blockchain Movement 

While the US, their neighbouring country joined the race of Blockchain adoption with 24% amongst the respondents investing in that segment currently, 5% of all the notable respondents in Canada opted not to invest in Blockchain.

So, what’s fuelling the rise of Blockchain movement in Canada? It is apparently not their weather and neither is it their love for hockey. It is the consistent expansion of its technology sector that is quickly adopting the blockchain technology. 

The graph shows the investment ratio of Canada in Blockchain technology as opposed to other nations globally.


The real behind this expansion in Canada 

The country already has low energy costing, high-speed internet service and regulations favouring the blockchain industry. This ideally makes them favourable for mining since it is a known fact that mining draws vast amounts of power. Ironically enough, their cold weather is actually playing a huge part in mining since the rigs tend to overheat during the process. 

The provincial Blockchain hubs are on the rise

Quebec is known to be the primary mining hub in Canada since it harbours a unique feature like energy surplus, high internet connectivity, and cost-optimised electricity. EEA or "Enterprise Ethereum Alliance" has been one of the front runners of blockchain adoption globally. They also happen to be a key member of BRI or Blockchain Research Institute in Toronto.

They are trying to address all the concerns surrounding Blockchain and trying to figure its plausible implementation in various sectors like business, jobs, and government.

They have over 100 projects under their winds which holistically covers some of the key industries like telecom, technology, government, healthcare et al. After having reduced the fees, they have provided start-ups based on blockchain access their research which frankly has created a stride within. This is one of the many reasons why Canada’s blockchain industry is booming. 

Blockchain Developers has been listed amongst the most demanded jobs in Canada in 2019

The cumulative effort put in by Ethereum, Aion, Canadian government and Vitalik Buterin, Canada is spurring innovation which has led to the fruition of 100+ projects, each of them linking to key industries, meaning that there’s going to be a surge in employment.

Canada has a closely-knit blockchain community and with its robust financial structure, startup companies and transparency in the legal system, the industry is likely to rise. "Aion" which is one of the leading platforms in the world is currently scaling beyond the shores to every nook and corner of the world. The universities are already stepping in by offering research programs and training courses for entrepreneurs and blockchain developers.

Blockchain developer is one of the most demanded jobs in Canada, it is apparent that this industry is already providing alternatives to conventions. 

Blockchain being the primary tech behind cryptocurrency doesn’t only creates digital money, it also has alternative potential application. It helps in creating a decentralised system that provides a real-time record of assets that are transferred in the digital sphere.

This creates a network system which won’t be needing any central authority to rely on data mobility. Sectors like healthcare professionals and banks are already trying to find developers who can help them develop or experiment with their very own blockchain system. Any place with huge data will be requiring blockchain developers, especially the enterprises. Canada is going to be the place for blockchain industries tentatively. 

Anticipated Job Trends in the Upcoming Years 

The digitisation of Canada’s landscape has given fruition to an anticipated shortage of skilled workers which obviously is detrimental for its growth. ICTC’s recent report has indicated that there will be a requirement of 216,000 (approx..) positions to be filled in by 2021 in the technological sector.

This is a hike from its former prediction which was at 182,000 by 2019, made in the year 2015. This demand is from the estimated 2.38 percent hike in demand and growth of their digital economy. 

Report Analysis 

The report has also highlighted that about 53% of the tech workers are employed in non-tech sectors, indicating that there is an overall prevalence in technological incorporation pervading the Canadian economy. The demand is quite apparent in the emerging sectors of Blockchain, VR and AR (Virtual & augmented reality), AI and Big Data. The VR and AR industry are worth around 30$ billion (approx.) and 120$ billion (approx.) respectively.

They require IT managers, software engineers, graphic designers, technical sales support and even mechanics in this industry. ICTC has also talked of the blockchain technology which will have positions like software engineers, data analysts, designers, administrators, and IT support open to be filled in. The report further highlighted that AI (Artificial Intelligence) will make its advances in the banking sectors, transportations and for other significant areas, generating employment spaces for future.

Places like Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia have the highest demand when it comes to tech professionals. 

Predictions Made by ICTC 

According to the predictions approximated by ICTC, Ontario will witness 88,00 tech job positions with an estimated employment threshold of 669,500. Quebec, on the other hand, will have an estimated requirement of 44,400 positions to be filled in with an employment threshold of 336,000. Quebec is best known for its gaming and aerospace industries.

However, British Columbia will have an expected employment threshold of 161,000 by 2021. ICTC has shared concerns regarding the lack of skills which can be fixed eventually if the youth were being equipped with the skills that necessitate employment in such sectors.

Once they are equipped to adopt technological skills, there will be a surge in the country’s growth along with its dynamic economy, diversifying and expanding their trade. 


The Immigration Impact on Canadian Jobs

With the ongoing crisis surrounding immigrants, America’s supposed Muslim ban has made historical upheavals in the world of politics. It has become the most controversial topic in various spaces.

However, Canada has always been consistent in welcoming refugees and immigrants. They have even accepted around 30,000 Syrian refugees during the migrant crisis of 2016. But the immigration policies are still parking debates which usually pertain to concerns around Canadian social support structure to lowering wages. According to Vartika Manasvi, CEO Stackraft, "As per Canada's multiyear immigration plan, the government will accept more than 1 million people as permanent residents in next three years. Hence, if you are planning to get job in Canada from India as an Engineer or a data science expert then this is the perfect time".

Canada as a Multicultural Hub

The global acceptance of immigrants might also be traced back in history which apparently unveils that this nation came to be with immigrants where 95.7% of the population have descended from immigration. Although there are lofty debates regarding the economic effect of immigration currently their economic growth is moving at 1.5% yearly.

Without immigration coming into play, it’s highly unlikely of Canada to maintain such steady economic growth. They aren’t just only providing human power but they are also adding up to Canadian cumulative purchase power.

The equation here is quite simple, more people with money would mean more demand for local services and goods. Without them, Canada would require fewer workers with goods and services being produced and sold externally for economic growth. 

Immigrants are Being Offered with Lenient Government Facilities 

The low employment rate of Canada also indicates that there’s plenty of room for work, to the point that companies are suffering from employee shortage. So, the thumbs rule is that, whenever there’s a shortage of workers in any company, they tend to increase the wage, drawing in talent. Immigrants have been supplying skilled employees to Canadian industries. In 2016, 58,435 refugees were admitted into Canada were 155,994 skilled workers and business people also entered the country at the same time.

The government has actively acknowledged that they seek to admit immigrants who are well versed in the fields of medicine, trades, engineering et al where Canada is trying to compensate for due to a shortage of workers. This also has drawn attention to tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook have expanded in Canada to tap into their diverse demographic.

Canada has integrated programs that’d encourage skilled immigrants to come and work in Canada, which has filled important gaps in the Canadian job sectors. A similar structure is also being observed in the healthcare and IT sectors of Canada. 

Innovation is the Key 

Canada is clearly banking on innovation and with the situation being placed at their advantage, it is quite obvious that the employment, socioeconomic and political scenario will effectively find stability.

The provinces such as Toronto, Quebec and British Columbia are soon turning into hubs of key industries adding 8000+ jobs in the last five years for the Immigrants. And it would seem as if it’s overtaking the entirety of Silicon Valley or being an updated rendition of the same. The policies and the leniency that their government is offering seems seminal to this entire growth. There still needs to be nuances addressed to immigrants since the Canadian workforce is banking on them.


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