The exodus of labour to other regions does nothing to alleviate the shortage. Some workers commute up to two hours, morning and evening, to work. The exodus of labour to other regions does nothing to alleviate the shortage. Some workers commute up to two hours, morning and evening, to work.
Vaudreuil-Soulanges is experiencing a situation where many residents are leaving the territory to take up employment. Although the number of local jobs has increased in recent years, at the rate of more than 1,000 new jobs per year for 10 years (36,700 in 2009 to 46,700 in 2019), there are still many commuters. 60% of the 70,000 resident-workers cross bridges to get to work. So, 42,000 workers have a job outside of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM.
Before the pandemic, the employment rate among 25 to 64 year olds was 83.6%. The Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM was therefore ranked 8th out of 104 RCMs for residents who are most active in the labour market. The economic recovery after the first wave was very strong, it did not diminish during the second and third waves. According to Philippe Roy, director, planning and regional development at DEV Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the region is probably back in May 2021 with one of the highest employment rates.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the region, says Philippe Roy. But, many workers ignore it. One of the challenges we have is that 60% of our workforce work outside Vaudreuil-Soulanges. One of DEV’s roles is to promote regional companies. At the moment, a large part of the population of Vaudreuil-Soulanges does not know about the businesses.”
The reality behind the labour shortage takes a particular path. Employers see themselves under the obligation to focus on the development of staff in order to retain them. “The three key elements for employers are development, staff retention and training”, explains Mr. Roy. There is a lot of competition for employers. In fact, there is no longer a pile of resumes in companies when it comes to hiring a worker. Now, recruiting is often done by word of mouth. There are even companies that offer bonuses to employees who refer someone.
Inevitably, if companies have problems hiring staff, this is also felt in the retail sector.
“Companies with skilled labor needs are now accepting less skilled workers. There is in-house training. So if this kind of business, which is usually found at the top of the ladder, takes in less skilled workers, it inevitably reflects on the retail sector. The latter find themselves having difficulty in hiring. It’s a spinning wheel.”