Job vacancies on the rise in Canada

Increased in six of the 10 largest industrial sectors

Both the number of unfilled jobs – job vacancies – and the job vacancy rate increased in the second quarter across Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Friday that the number of job vacancies was up in four provinces and two territories, with Quebec accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the national increase.

It said the number of job vacancies increased in six of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical services; and health care and social assistance.

“The number of job vacancies in the second quarter was 581,600, up 34,800 (+6.4 per cent) from the second quarter of 2018. This was the 11th successive quarter with year-over-year growth in the number of vacancies. In nearly all of these 11 quarters, year-over-year growth in the number of vacancies outpaced growth in employment as measured by the Survey of Employment, Payrolls, and Hours (SEPH),” said StatsCan.

“As vacancies have grown at a faster pace than employment, the job vacancy rate has also continued to rise. From the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, the job vacancy rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5 per cent, the highest rate since comparable data became available in 2015.”

The federal agency explained that the job vacancy rate represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand, that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.

“In addition to the year-over-year increase, vacancies were also up in the second quarter compared with the first quarter. This may partly reflect seasonal recruitment patterns, as an increase in the number of job vacancies from the first quarter to the second quarter has been observed every year since comparable data became available in 2015,” it added.

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.

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