Job Vacancies Across Canada

Statistics Canada

Employers across all sectors in Canada sought to fill nearly one million vacant positions in the second quarter, the highest quarterly number on record. Vacancies were up 4.7% from the first quarter and 42.3% higher than in the second quarter of 2021. The job vacancy rate was 5.7% in the second quarter, also an all-time high. Since the first quarter of 2020, growth in labour demand (+4.2%) has exceeded growth in payroll employment (+1.7%), resulting in record-high job vacancies.

Offered wages increase less than Consumer Price Index 

The record-high number of job vacancies in recent months has focused attention on the extent to which unmet labour demand was associated with higher wages. While the Labour Force Survey (LFS) provides information on employees’ salaries, the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) includes information on offered wages associated with vacant positions. Overall, the average offered hourly wages increased 5.3% to $24.05 in the second quarter on a year-over-year basis. Over the same period, the average hourly wages of all employees (measured in the LFS) rose 4.1%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 7.5% in the second quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2021.

Job vacancies up in six provinces

On a seasonally adjusted basis, job vacancies rose in six provinces from the first quarter to the second quarter: Ontario (+6.6%), Nova Scotia (+6%), British Columbia (+5.6%), Manitoba (+5.2%), Alberta (+4.4%) and Quebec (+2.4%). The number of vacancies decreased in New Brunswick (-6.1%) and was little changed in the remaining provinces.

Across the economic regions with more than 10,000 vacant positions in the second quarter, the most significant percentage increases in job vacancies from the first quarter were recorded in Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River (+16.6%) in Alberta; Ottawa (+13.1%) in Ontario; and Winnipeg (+10.8%) in Manitoba.

There was an average of 1.1 unemployed people for each job vacancy in the second quarter, down from 1.3 in the first quarter. While there was less than one unemployed person for every job vacancy in the second quarter of 2022 in Quebec and British Columbia, there were more than three unemployed people for every vacant job in Newfoundland and Labrador. A lower ratio indicates a tighter labour market and possible labour shortages.

Job vacancies little changed in manufacturing

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of job vacancies in the second quarter in manufacturing was little changed from its respective record high of the previous quarter. Together with healthcare, social assistance, accommodation, and food services, these sectors represented 56.9% of all job vacancies in Canada in the second quarter.

Labour market tightness continues to pose hiring challenges

The ratio of new hires to job vacancies can be used as an indicator of the difficulties faced by employers in filling vacant positions, with a lower ratio suggesting a greater degree of difficulty and a lengthier hiring process. Employers faced significant hiring challenges during the second quarter, with 44 newly hired employees for every 100 vacancies. In comparison, 113 new hires for every 100 vacancies in the second quarter of 2016.

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