Canada has a record high of 1 million job vacancies

Canada has a record high of 1 million job vacancies

The Canadian labour market continues to recover according to a new Statistics Canada report. The Payroll employment report reveals that Canadian employers were actively seeking to fill more than one million (1,012,900) vacant positions at the beginning of March 2022. Moreover, vacancies increased by 22.6% (+186,400) in the month and were up 60.5% from March 2021.

Image: Statistics Canada / Payroll employment increases in March

Sectors facing record-high job vacancies:

The sectors with the most job vacancies in March 2022 were health care and construction. There were 154,500 vacant positions in health care and social assistance, up 16.0% (+21,300) from February.

The number of vacancies also rose to an unprecedented high (81,900) in the construction sector in March. Moreover, the job vacancy rate in this sector reached a record high of 7.3%, up 1.3 percentage points from February.

In addition, accommodation and food services had over 158,100 vacancies in March. The job vacancy rate was 12.8%, the highest across all sectors for the 11th consecutive month.

Industries like retail trade also reached record highs in job vacancies this month. For example, employers in the retail trade were actively seeking to fill 109,200 vacant positions, up 37.2% (+29,600) from February. Following this increase, vacancies in the sector were 40.7% (+31,600) higher than in March 2021.

“The job vacancy rate, which measures the number of vacant positions as a proportion of all positions (vacant and filled), was 5.9% in March 2022, matching the record high observed in September 2021.” Statistics Canada

Payroll employment increased in eight provinces

According to the report, there were more paid jobs in all but two of Canada’s 10 provinces. “All provinces, with the exception of Alberta (-12,700; -0.6%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-1,700; -0.8%), had, in March, surpassed their payroll employment level in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.” However, on a month-over-month basis, job vacancies increased in all provinces in March.

Further, the number of vacancies reached a record high in:

  • British Columbia: 178,300
  • Manitoba: 30,000
  • Saskatchewan: 26,600
  • Nova Scotia: 23,000

The increase in payroll employment coincided with the continued easing of public health measures. It is important to mention that the capacity limits affecting business operations were lifted in the first two weeks of March.

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