The Canadian 2016 census was released this week and there were some important findings for Canada’s workforce.

For the first time since Canada began conducting the census, there are more senior citizens than children living in Canada with 5.9 million people aged 65 and over. Statistics Canada attributes this to the post-war baby boom.

Currently there are more people entering retirement than entering it.

The prairie provinces, including Alberta, have a younger population than the overall average. Calgary has the highest percentage of working aged people.

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Despite this, youth employment opportunities remain low in major cities while the opposite was true for older workers. Researchers think that one factor could be lack of employment opportunities when young people leave school.

Another important factor and is that the majority of seniors are women and there are a number of issues they have to consider.

Women are outliving men so they need to plan better for retirement. They also continue to face a gender pay gap while working, which will follow them into retirement.

Women are more likely to enter and exit the workforce to raise children, this effects their advancement and also their ability to save for retirement.

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Being a union member is one way to help address these issues.

According to the Canadian labour Congress, union members earn on average $5.28 per hour more than workers without a union and women earn $7.10 per hour more on average with a union. With a collective agreement, women can ensure that they will be paid equally for equal work.

Joining a union also means that you also can start saving for retirement with a pension. At Teamsters Local 362 our pension program is something that we are very proud of and our members always comment on.

As our population ages we need to make sure Canada takes care of our seniors in the workplace and in retirement.

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