Has Canada Become a Post-industrial Society
Clement (2007) argues that post-industrial society is that which has experience a shift of labor market from industries to service brought about by increases in skilled labor. The society can also be referred to as a leisure society where people have all that they have and they choose when to work or not to work and an increased division in mental labor. Hodgetts & Hegar (2008) classified post industrial societies as those that have seen an increase in skilled workforce, increases in technology and a service oriented workforce and an increase in theoretical knowledge. The essay will discuss whether Canada is a post-industrial country, with a debate on why some people still consider it an industrial country.
According to Chagnon et al. (2007), the employment rates in the service industry in Canada have seen a significantly increase in the past years. The rates of employment have risen at the rate of 2% since 1993 brought about by the increase of service industry employment and decline in manufacturing. Unemployment periods were only witnessed in the recessions of early 80’s and 90’s (Krahn & Lowe, 1988). There has been a significant rise in the number of women workers for the last thirty years due to the decreasing manufacturing and an increase in the service industries such as finance, insurance and real estate where many women are employed. Moreover, it should be noted that the employment rates for men declined to an all time low for the last thirty years due to women’s increased employment levels brought about by better leave remunerations and improved educational levels. The unemployment rates for women over the last couple of years has been lower than that of men due to the growth of the service industry which employed more people than the manufacturing sector over the same period. The unemployment rates among the youth have been on the decline over the last thirty years since the service industry often depends on the vigor of the youth to achieve their objectives. The rural areas of Canada have experienced a sustained decrease in unemployment levels due to the shutting down of the milling companies. In the late 1970’s, the service industry was employing about 65% of the total work force but this has experience a significant increase to 76.3% in 2007. In contrast, the manufacturing sector reduced the number of its workers in 2007 by about 2.3%. The number of women public sector employees has also registered a steady increase form 44% in the 1970’s to 61% in 2007 due to increased job opportunities in the service industry. In 2007 about one-third of the women worked in the sales and service industry. Unemployment levels have also been lower for those with higher academic achievement (Chagnon et al., 2007).
The decline of employment to service industries from manufacturing industries qualifies Canada to be referred to as a post industrial nation. The employment levels in the service sector had long bypassed the 50% mark of all employments in the early 1970’s (Boje & Furaker, 2003; Krahn & Lowe, 1988). Post industrial societies have high levels use of ICT in provision of producer and social services. Canada employs many people in the social service provision for instance the health sector, homes for the elderly and also an increasing number of employees over the years in the producer service industry. The educational levels in Canada determine the kind of jobs that a person can get and the remuneration that they command. It has been noted that those who have professional skills have a higher employment rate than the ones with no or little skills. This further proves the position that Canada is a post-industrial society where skills are more important than the gender. The choices of many people to be self employed in Canada are also a testimony to the improved personal job choices by people as shown by people in the post-industrial world. The development of the health sector further asserts the position that Canada is a post-industrial nation since they have increased use of technology in medical care. However, the Canadian society according to some people has not gotten into post-industrial era. This assumption arises from the fact that the society has not fully become a leisure society where people can buy whatever they like. There are also limitation to personal liberties and choices of job. People just take up jobs because they can pay their bills from it without any personal satisfaction (Krahn & Lowe, 1988).
In conclusion, Canada can be referred to as post-industrial since it has seen a significant shift from industrial manufacturing to service sector. The society puts more weight on the skills that a person has which determines the job opportunities that they can get.
Boje, T & Furaker, B. (2003). Post-industrial labour markets: profiles of North America and Scandinavia. London, UK: Routledge Publishers.
Chagnon, J. et al. (2007). Canadian Labour Market at a Glance. Labour Statistic Division, Ottawa: Canada.
Clement, W. (2007). Methodological considerations thinking about researching Work. Montreal, CAN: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007
Hodgetts, R. & Hegar, K. (2008). Modern human relations at work. Mason, OH: Thomson/Southwestern.
Krahn, H & Lowe, G. (1988). Work, industry, and Canadian society. Scarborough, Ont.: Nelson Canada.