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AI are the hottest jobs in the world, but Canada lagging

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Postings with AI requirements are growing 3.5 times faster than all other jobs

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Those looking for a new job might want to take some beginner artificial intelligence courses, even if Canada is slow to adapt to the changing landscape.

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A global study from PwC examined more than 500 million job ads from 15 countries and found job postings with AI requirements are growing 3.5 times faster than all other jobs. These jobs also carry a 25 per cent salary premium in some markets.

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Jobs that require AI specialist skills, such as machine learning, have grown sevenfold since 2012.

Sectors where AI could be readily used are seeing 4.8 times the growth in labour productivity, which could help nations which are lagging on output, such as Canada.

“For many economies experiencing labour shortages and low productivity growth, the findings highlight optimism around AI with the technology representing an opportunity for economic development, job-creation, and the creation of new industries entirely,” Carol Stubbings, global markets and tax and legal services leader with PwC U.K., wrote in the report.

“However, the findings show that workers will need to build new skills and organizations will need to invest in their AI strategies and people if they are to turbocharge their development and ensure they are fit for the AI age.”

A report out this week from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab found that Canadian businesses have been “sluggish” to adopt generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) into their operations and are missing an opportunity to improve productivity.

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“The time to prompt productivity and act is now,” Patrick Gill, the BDL’s senior director of operations and partnerships Canadian, said in a news release. “Businesses must innovate or die, and that means embracing Gen AI. While adoption has begun in every industry, it’s likely not fast enough for Canada to be competitive on the global stage.”

The report found that Gen AI could boost Canada’s productivity by as much as six per cent, but 14 per cent of Canadian businesses are using it, and adoption projects suggest Canada is likely too slow to keep up with other nations.

In March Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers raised a red flag about the nation’s lagging productivity, calling it an “emergency.”

“Higher productivity should be everyone’s goal because it’s how we build a better economy for everyone,” she said during a speech in Halifax. “When a business gives workers better tools and better training, those workers can produce more. That, in turn, means more revenue for the business, which allows it to absorb rising costs, including higher wages, without having to raise prices.”

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recommends businesses start small with AI projects to test their viability, and gradually expand to more projects. Government can support AI adoption by helping workers and ensuring regulations are risk-based.


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Bank of Montreal

The pandemic is behind us but Canadians continue to move out of the country’s biggest cities — in fact the trend is gaining momentum.

Net intra provincial migration, which is movement to other locations within the same province, out of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, increased to 132,000 people by mid-2023, said Robert Kavcic, a senior economist with Bank of Montreal, who brings us today’s chart.

Demographics is one of the forces behind the move. Young families, a segment of the population that is peaking right now, are moving out to set up their own homes, said Kavcic.

“That is, of course, magnified by challenging affordability conditions in the big-city cores, with many families choosing better affordability and more space elsewhere,” he said.

And more flexible work arrangements, even if they are not entirely remote, have allowed them to make the move.

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Read more about Canadian migration here. 

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Ben Cousins with additional reporting from Financial Post staff, The Canadian Press and Bloomberg.

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