Upcoming grads face tougher job market after Future Shop closure

Canada’s job market took another blow this weekend when Best Buy closed Future Shop. The move cost more than 1500 jobs, 500 of which are full time and 1,000 are part time.

Among the many affected across Canada are the most vulnerable in the economy, students, in particular those preparing to graduate in the coming weeks.

Best Buy said it was closing 66 stores, with another 65 stores being closed in a week as they are converted to Best Buy stores.

Students getting ready to graduate from university are facing weak job prospects as result of a job market that seems to be taking a hit every week from a different industry.

Just over the past four months, Suncor, one of Canada’s largest companies, and a major force in Canada’s costly energy sector cut 1,000 jobs in a move to significantly reduce capital expenditure as a result of low oil prices. American retail giant Target closed its Canadian operation, eliminating 17,600 jobs in the process, and as a result of an over $7 billion projected loss in revenue for the Alberta government, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice announced a hiring freeze for government jobs for the Western province.

Canadian university students preparing to graduate are already facing a 6.6 per cent unemployment rate. But the retail trade industry does not account for the majority of Canada’s GDP. According to Statistics Canada the industry merely accounts for 3.5 percent according to figures compiled between December 2013 and 2014. But what Future Shop provided, is what many companies in the retail sector provide, low paying and low skill jobs.

And Future Shops’ closure further exacerbates the weak job market facing upcoming grads. A recent study by CIBC World Markets, Canadian job quality has dipped to a record low, and low paying jobs have become the new norm the study declared.

“The number of low-paying full-time jobs has risen faster than the number of mid-paying jobs, which in turn, has risen faster than the number of high-paying jobs,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist and author of CIBC’s Employment Quality Index.

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