Labor shortage: retaining seniors will not be enough, says the IDQ

Labour Shortage: Holding Back Elders will not be enough, says the IDQ


Keeping Quebecers nearing retirement longer in employment and bringing back those who have already made the leap will not be enough to counter the labor shortages that are rampant across Quebec, according to a study published Thursday by the Institut du Québec (IDQ). 

“In reality, the aging of the population is already well advanced in Quebec. Many baby boomers have already left the workforce. However, fewer and fewer people are approaching retirement age. So much so that the pool from which we hoped to be able to draw yesterday has dried up considerably over time,” explained Emna Braham, director general of the IDQ and co-author of the study.

According to the study, the success of efforts to convince retirees to return to work “is very limited”.

“For measures to bear fruit, we will have to think about them differently. And above all to understand that the decision to take or delay retirement is not based solely on the financial aspect: it is multidimensional,” recalled Simon Savard, co-author of the study and principal economist at the IDQ.

Indeed, this decision depends on the financial resources available but also on the state of health of these people, their family obligations, their work experience or their level of education.

The study underlines and there are few indications that fiscal measures alone will be able to reverse the trend. The IDQ believes that current policies must be adapted “to exclude fewer people from the labor market”.

The authors believe in particular that governments must support the training of older workers in particular so that they can update their skills and develop new ones. The IDQ also recommends promoting good practices in human resources management and investing in care for the elderly in order to promote work-family balance.

According to the IDQ, over the next few decades , Quebec will have fewer workers, but they will also be older and better educated, and the proportion of women will be greater.