Statistics Canada’s new report shows that employers from all sectors were looking to fill nearly one million (997,000) job vacancies in the second quarter. It is the highest quarterly number on record.
Job vacancies grew by 4.7 per cent (+45,000) from the first quarter and 42.3 per cent (+296,500) more than the 2021 second quarter.
As a result, the second quarter saw an all-time high of 5.7 per cent for the job vacancy rate, which measures the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand (sun of filled and unfilled positions).
Moreover, since the first quarter of 2020, the increase in labour demand (+4.2%) has exceeded growth in payroll employment (+1.7%), leading to record-high job vacancies.
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Wage increase remains lower than Consumer Price Index
The extent to which unmet labour demand was related to higher pay has come under scrutiny due to the record-high number of job openings in recent months.
The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) analyzed data on offered pay associated with open positions, whereas the Labour Force Survey (LFS) provided information on employee wages.
Their findings reveal that the second quarter saw an average hourly wage rise 5.3% to $24.05 annually. In addition, the average hourly wage for all employees, as determined by the LFS, increased by 4.1% during that time.
Compared to the second quarter of 2021, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.5% in the second quarter.
Across occupations, the highest growth in offered wages was seen in the service representatives and other customer and personal services occupations (+12.0% to $17.75).
Other occupations with wage growth include natural and applied sciences (+10.6% to $42.85) and front-line public protection services occupations (+9.7% to $30.40).
Six provinces saw the highest job vacancies
Compared to the first quarter, there were more job openings in six of the following provinces:
- Ontario (+6.6% to 379,700);
- Nova Scotia (+6.0% to 22,400);
- British Columbia (+5.6% to 163,600);
- Manitoba (+5.2% to 29,300);
- Alberta (+4.4% to 100,900);
- Quebec (+2.4% to 248,100).
Moreover, New Brunswick saw a drop in job openings (-6.1% to 15,200), while the other provinces saw a minimal change.
The economic areas in which there were more than 10,000 open positions in the second quarter included Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River in Alberta (+16.6% to 12,500), Ottawa (+13.1% to 41,300), and Winnipeg (+10.8% to 19,800) in Manitoba.
Jobs in social assistance and health care are still in high demand
In the second quarter, there were 136,100 job vacancies in the health care and social assistance sector, which was nearly unchanged from the quarter’s high (135,300) but up 28.8% (+30,500) on an annual basis. The sector’s overall employment vacancy rate in Canada was 5.9%, ranging from 3.7% in Saskatchewan to 6.7% in Manitoba in the second quarter.
In addition, job openings remained steady across most health occupations in the second quarter. Particularly, there were relatively few changes in the number of open positions for licensed practical nurses (10,800), registered nurses (23,600), and registered psychiatric nurses (23,600).
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of all vacancies were in health occupations, where the number of vacancies was unchanged. Consequently, many hospitals have recently announced temporary service reductions, especially in their emergency rooms, due to a lack of workers in the healthcare industry.
Increased job vacancies in accommodation and food services
In the second quarter, accommodation and food services vacancies increased 12.7% (+16,800) and reached 149,600, largely offsetting the decline (-18,800) seen in the first quarter.
On the other hand, payroll employment fell even more (-9.7%; -130,100) during this time, resulting in a significant increase (+110.2%; +78,400) in the number of job openings in the second quarter of 2022, although the total labour demand in this sector (1,336,800) was 3.6% (-51,600) lower in the second quarter of 2022 than in the first quarter of 2020.
Numerous jobs associated with this industry experienced increases in vacancies from one quarter to the next, such as food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, and similar support occupations (+29.8% to 79,100), cooks (+37.7% to 29,500), and food and beverage servers (+38.9% to 26,300). (not seasonally adjusted).
Record-breaking vacancies in the professional, scientific, and technical services
There were a record-high 74,600 job vacancies in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector In the second quarter. The number of job vacancies is up 7.9% from the first quarter of 2022 and 79.1% from the first quarter of 2020.
Over half (56.8%) of the sector’s job openings in the second quarter of 2022 were located in the economic regions of Toronto (21,100) in Ontario, Montréal (10,700) in Quebec, and Lower Mainland – Southwest (which includes Vancouver) (10,500) in British Columbia (not seasonally adjusted).
Professional jobs in the natural and applied sciences experienced an increase in vacancies of 13.3% to 51,100. While technical jobs in these fields experienced an increase of 9.6% to 26,900; and professional jobs in business and finance saw an increase of 4.5% to 30,300, all of which was higher compared to the first quarter.
However, since the first quarter of 2015, the sector’s payroll employment has been trending upward, reaching a new high of 1,141,900 in the second quarter of 2022, up 2.3% from the previous quarter and up 15.4% from the first quarter of 2020.
Job vacancies in manufacturing, construction, and retail have not changed significantly
There were almost the same number of job openings in manufacturing (85,900), retail trade (112,700), and construction (82,900) in the second quarter as there were in the previous. These industries made up 56.9% of all job openings in Canada in the second quarter, together with healthcare, social assistance, and accommodation and food services.
The tight labour market continues to make hiring difficult
During the second quarter, there were 44 new hires for every 100 open positions, which meant that employers were still having a difficult time filling positions. Comparatively, in the second quarter of 2016, there were 113 new recruits for every 100 openings (not seasonally adjusted).
Low new hire to vacancy ratios were seen in the health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services sectors in the second quarter of 2022.
Source: Statistics Canada
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Gagandeep Kaur Sekhon moved to Canada in 2010 on a study visa. She navigated through the ups and downs of her student life and gained her permanent residency in 2015. Today, she is a proud Canadian citizen residing in Calgary, Alberta. She is mother of 2 beautiful daughters and making her difference through writing and guidance at INC – Immigration News Canada.