Rosemary Venne:  University of Saskatchewan
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Rosemary Venne: University of Saskatchewan Demographic Trends: Canada. small spread out population + large land mass = high infrastructure costs population pyramids: middle-age spread/boomers aging population current fertility rate (1.5). Demographic Groups.

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Rosemary Venne: University of Saskatchewan Demographic Trends: Canada

  • small spread out population + large land mass

  • = high infrastructure costs

  • population pyramids: middle-age spread/boomers

  • aging population

  • current fertility rate (1.5)


Demographic Groups

  • depression/wartime bust; born 1930-1946

  • aged 66-76 (in year 2006);

  • postwar babyboom born 1947-1966

  • aged 40-59 in 2006;

  • postboom bust; born 1967-1979; aged 27-39 in year 2006;

  • babyboom echo born 1980-1995; aged 11-26 in 2006

  • continuing bust 1996 on


Demographic Trends: Halton

  • slightly younger than Canadian profile

  • very mobile population

  • Stronger growth rate than the provincial average with Milton and Oakville leading the way

  • an immigrant-receiving province/region


Trends: boom/bust cycles

  • Boom groups: face more (within-group) generational crowding; generally boom groups have a harder time throughout their lifetime;

  • Results in excess labour supply and lower wages

  • Bust groups: face less generational crowding; generally bust groups have a smoother sail through life

  • Results in labour shortage and higher wage rate


Trends: Career Patterns

  • steady state career pattern: vocation, one lifetime job; seniority, security important

  • linear career pattern: promotion-centred, climbing the career ladder; power

  • spiral career pattern: many jobs, lateral moves; re-education and training

  • transitory career pattern: contract, project work; many jobs; teams, variety


Career: interaction effects

  • Demographic bust + economic boom = very favourable interaction effect for depression/wartime baby bust

  • Demographic boom + stagnant/variable economy = overall less favourable interaction effect for baby boom

  • Current bust: more variable


Trends: postwar changes

  • rising prosperity, rise in standard of living, acceleration of tech development

  • economic boom with small labour force

  • tall organizational hierarchies

  • 1970/80s changes: oil price shocks; globalization, downsizing and delayering


Changing factors affecting careers

  • career pattern shifts: from stability to flux

  • delayering and flattening corporate hierarchies

  • stagnant wage growth since mid 1970s

  • rising skill requirements and tech change

  • lifelong learning


Delayering: Dupont Example

  • In order to compete, Dupont flattened their hierarchy in the early 1990s:

  • Before: Dupont lost business prior to flattening their hierarchy because new projects had to survive 4 levels of review –very time consuming (in the 1980s)

  • Now: Dupont is faster as new projects have to survive just one level of review (with flatter pyramid, more autonomy and more participatory mgmt)


Real wage growth (family income)

  • 1950s: 50%

  • 1960s: 40%

  • 1970s: 22%

  • 1980s: 3%

  • 1990s: 8%

  • Taking into account tax increases and inflation


Changing factors affecting youth and careers

  • slower to leave home

  • sometimes boomerang back (cluttered nest)

  • increased educational participation (no longer job-ready at end of high school)

  • more difficult school-to-work transition

  • career shifters and lifelong learners


Changing factors affecting youth and careers

  • quote: the 1990s will be looked upon as the decade when the labour market divided into the educational haves and have-nots;

  • -in an economy that puts a premium on knowledge (and credentials), higher levels of education are becoming a must for young people

  • Source: Globe and Mail, B. Little Oct, 1999.


Trends: Changing workplaces

  • increasing diversity in labour force

  • including: more women, more visible minorities, greater education

  • more flexible policies to suit workforce

  • flexible work hours, flexible benefit plans


Labour force supply issues in the 21st century

  • decreasing portion of life cycle in labour force

  • slow growing labour supply (flat by 2016)

  • babyboom echo entering labour force

  • unknown labour demand (importance of the economy)

  • continued technological change


Trends: Tech change affecting the workplace

  • Gallatin Steel : It used to take 5000 people to produce as much steel as Gallatin’s 300-person workforce can produce in 1995!

  • 40% of their workforce has college or university degrees

  • from: 1st college, then the mill, Globe and Mail ROB, August 29,1995


Generational differences

  • most changes are a long time coming (eg less automatic respect for authority)

  • age cycle vs generational differences

  • Reactions to economic conditions

  • tech changes (comfort with technology)


Trends: Strategies for Retention

  • provide skill building and professional growth

  • offer career planning & mentoring

  • offer leaves (especially for those in remote locations)

  • offer flexible benefits and work hours

  • be life friendly (work-life balance)


Trends: Strategies for Sustaining Talent

  • keeping talent tuned in and turned on

  • investing in human capital with basic skills training (eg presentation skills)

  • providing challenging work with training and support

  • retention strategies will be paramount


Changing workplace practices: HRP

  • HRP can be proactive: Labour Force of next 2 decades already born

  • Increasing importance of immigration

  • Retention strategies

  • Increasing emphasis on lateral job changes, eg job rotation, career planning and lifelong learning


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