Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A few personal thoughts on the job market

Staffing is tight these days. I've been to a few restaurants recently that were quite understaffed, much to my chagrin (wait times are abnormal). Sure, yesterday was a holiday (happy belated Canada Day), but this has been going on for a bit now. There are literally tonnes of HELP WANTED signs everywhere. In fact, Pepsi has it sprayed right on their trucks, telling you to get a job with them online. One of my friend complained a few months ago about how Wendys was including a job application with his drive thru order.

We all know well and good that the labour pool is fairly tight. People have been telling this to my generation ever since we were in senior high. The baby boomers are retiring and spending their cash on recreational stuff now, creating huge demand that producers, suppliers, and services are pressed to keep up with. For those of us graduating in the next few years, that's great news. We'll be able to get a job and demand high wages for it. Many of us are looking forward to it and may even be feeling really easy because of it. However, there is another side to this job market equation that people haven't told us about.

The echo boomers, the kids of the baby boomers, are coming of age fairly soon. What this means is that within 5-10 years of us getting our jobs, there will be a suddenly influx in the labour pool and a lot of unemployment. Or, at least, crap employment. It'll be like the start of the baby boomer thing again, history going in circles, etc. etc.

So while we may have it easy for the next few years, we can't slack. We'll have to earn our wages appropriately and affix ourselves in the career of our choice. Else, corporations will be looking at the expensive employees to lay off first once cheap labour is readily available.

It's tough, but we must think rational and make good plans for the future in order to avoid being nipped in the arse by the same thing that is a blessing to us now.

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