A new generation of tech workers, many of them Canadian, are moving to other cities and towns to find jobs, as tech giants like Google and Facebook try to catch up with the fast-growing labour market.
The tech boom in the United States has also helped to make some Canadian tech workers more competitive.
The Globe and Mail’s interviews with more than a dozen workers and employers in Canada and the United Kingdom, show how the changing economy is reshaping the labour market, changing jobs and changing the way workers earn their pay.
As the job market for tech workers shifts, so too does the economy in Canada.
With the U.S. and other developed countries in the process of shedding their tech-driven economies, it is increasingly becoming harder for Canadian tech companies to compete.
“Canada has been so successful as a tech country that people are moving back to Canada and finding jobs,” said Michael Hutton, the former chief economist at the Canadian Automobile Workers’ Union and now chief executive of a technology consulting firm.
“There’s a lot of companies that are just losing money and need a little help.”
Hutton said he has heard from Canadian tech firms in the past year that they need more capital to expand their operations.
Companies need to find ways to attract new talent, which often comes from outside the country, he said.
“We need more funding, more staff, more employees in Canada, and we need to keep the same people working.”
The growing labour force Some companies are finding it harder to attract skilled workers, and some are cutting back on hiring.
At Facebook, the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the company had to close about half of its Canada-based employees, including a handful of top managers.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Zuckerberg said Facebook had been working with employees in other countries to find work for them.
“It was tough.
It was very hard.
And we have a lot more people that we need in Canada,” he said in a phone interview.
The company had about 3,000 employees at the end of March, down from 6,000 at the beginning of the year.
Zuckerberg said that he was working with a handful to find other jobs for them and said they were still finding jobs for the thousands who were laid off.
He said that most of the employees were laid-off because the company was losing money on operations.
The layoffs are happening in cities that were the hub for the tech boom.
Google, which has a strong presence in Toronto, has been losing employees, said a spokesman, David Wehner.
“The company has been looking to grow and expand in Toronto and is actively recruiting people to fill our positions,” Wehner said.
The Waterloo-based company has a huge presence in the Toronto area, and Zuckerberg said the Waterloo office was closing soon.
The city’s population of 2.5 million is home to many technology companies.
It also has more than 10,000 high school students and is home for the largest portion of students from families earning less than $35,000 per year.
The Toronto region has had more tech workers than the rest of Canada since the start of the tech bubble in 2008, when tech firms like Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo went public.
Some tech workers in Toronto were laidoff in April, according to an email sent to workers by a Google spokesman.
Zuckerberg is still looking for more Canadian talent.
He hired more than 300 Canadians this year and plans to hire more, Hutton added.
Hutton is hopeful that the Canadian tech sector will keep growing, but he said that the current labour market is so competitive that the tech sector needs to do more to attract and retain workers.
“You’re competing with people in other cities, and they’re finding it easier to stay in Canada than people who are in the U, where the labour markets are quite different,” he told The Associated News.
Huttens company, HootSuite, is the latest in a growing number of tech companies trying to get their employees to relocate to Canada.
In September, it hired about 150 Canadians to join a hiring spree to fill up positions at its new headquarters in Waterloo.
The Canadian technology company said it was also seeking to attract workers from the U., where it has struggled to attract talent and has seen its share of job losses over the past decade.
The firm said in September it was hiring about 400 Canadians to work in its Toronto headquarters and its other locations.
Hootsuite, which is based in Kitchener, Ont., has hired about 1,000 people in Canada since 2010.
“If we have to look at a 10-year plan, the future of our workforce is very much dependent on what we’re doing in Waterloo and the greater region,” Hutton told The AP.
He expects the company to have more than 1,500 employees working in Canada by the end to 2019.
Hultings company is not the only tech company hiring in Canada as the economy improves.