Rising job vacancies in Canada

Rising job vacancies in Canada

Job vacancies in Canada rose nearly 10% in the first quarter of 2019.

Based on Statistics Canada’s Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, which surveys 100,000 job locations across the country, there were 506,000 job vacancies in the first quarter, up 44,000—or 9.6%—from the same time last year.

The report also found that job vacancies increased in six provinces and one territory in the first quarter of 2019.

Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut all saw increases.

Brendon Bernard, a labor market economist for job site Indeed Canada, said the new figures continued an upward trend, yet he also noted that the current increase is slower than it was throughout 2018 when the economy was posting year-over-year growth of around 17 or 18%.

“So the increase cooled off a little in the first quarter but overall the trend is still up,” Bernard told CBC. “That upward trend is really continuing in the big three provinces where labor market conditions have improved in recent years.”

Quebec’s growth was the most impressive at 23% with 21,400 more job vacancies compared with the first quarter of 2018.

A different story in resource-dependent provinces

Nevertheless, the figures are somewhat less positive in resource-dependent provinces.

In both Alberta and Saskatchewan, the job vacancy rate is below the national average.

“(Towards) the end of 2018 we saw real troubles in the resource sector,” Bernard told CBC. “The job vacancy numbers suggest that employers still are feeling the heat from those earlier issues.”

When one breaks down job vacancy data by industry, the first quarter of 2019 showed a notable decline in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas, which could cause a ripple effect through the broader economy.

The industries where job vacancies are growing most

According to Statistics Canada, job vacancies increased in seven out of 10 of the largest industrial sectors.

Leading the pack were positions in healthcare and social assistance, which increased by 9,900 new vacancies, or 19%, over the same quarter last year.

Work that falls under the banner of professional, scientific, and technical services—which include many hi-tech jobs, as well as professionals in accounting and law—saw the second highest growth in vacancies at 9,100, or 28%, over the same period.

These sectors were followed by manufacturing, retail trade, and accommodation and food services in the biggest year-over-year growth.


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Anthony Moran
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