The CFIB has called on all political parties to take measures to tackle the country’s labor shortage ahead of this October’s federal election.
By Anthony Moran
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reported that the average private-sector job vacancy rate in Canada has been at 3.2% for four consecutive quarters. 429,000 jobs went unfilled for at least four months in the second quarter of 2019–23,000 more than in 2018.
Vacancy rates are dependent on a variety of factors, which include economic outlooks, growth intentions, the size of a particular business, and firm-specific job characteristics, the CFIB’s Help Wanted report highlighted.
“Although it looks like vacancy measures may have topped out, there are still some under-performing job markets in Canada which, if corrected could still theoretically push the national average rate higher,” the report said.
Ted Mallet, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist, noted that there is strong pressure within the Canadian economy to increase wages in those firms that had vacancies.
“While this rate of job vacancies can be a sign of a growing economy, we don’t want labor shortages to become an obstacle to success,” he said in the press release.
Private sector job vacancy rates were highest in British Columbia and Quebec, tied at 3.9%.
For Quebec this represented 116,000 unfilled jobs, while British Columbia had 74,700.
According to the CFIB report, B.C’s vacancy rate has increased slightly since last year, while Quebec has seen a minor decrease from the first quarter of 2019.
Ontario and New Brunswick came in around the national average, at 3.2 and 3.1% respectively.
The personal services industry saw the highest vacancy rate at 4.9% with the construction sector following at 4.8%. Hospitality came third with a vacancy rate of 3.7%. Agriculture, enterprise management, professional services, and health services all came in at 3.4%, while the information sector had the lowest vacancy rate at 2.1%.