Canada Economy Slowing Down But Job Vacancies Still High In August

Bumper October For Canada Economy Sees Country Add 108,000 Jobs
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The number of Canada job vacancies in August was still higher than it was during the same month last year, despite the economy showing signs of slowing down.

In its Payroll Employment, Earnings And Hours, And Job Vacancies, August 2022 report released this week, Statistics Canada reveals jobs vacancies did soften a bit in August, falling to 958,000 compared to 964,000 in July. The number of workers in paid jobs, though, was still up that month compared to August 2021.

During that month last year, there were only 919,200 job vacancies, or 4.1 per cent less than this year.

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There is no doubt Canada’s economic growth is slowing down. After second-quarter GDP growth of 3.3 per cent, TD Economics is forecasting the slowdown in the second half of this year will pull down GDP growth to three per cent for this year.

And then, the economy will slow down even more next year. TD Economics is forecasting only one per cent economic growth in 2023.

“The impact of higher interest rates and elevated inflation will increasingly leave its mark on overall spending activity in late 2022 and into 2023,” noted TD Economics in its Canadian Quarterly Economic Forecast, Threading the Needle.

“Given the expected slowing in demand, the underlying economic dynamics won’t be sufficient to generate enough jobs to absorb people entering the labour force or those already on the sidelines,” states the report released late last month. 

“This means the unemployment rate should push higher. It has already risen from a low of 4.9 per cent to 5.4 per cent and is expected to reach 6.5 per cent in 2024.” 

 The number of paid employees in Canada slumped by a tenth of a percentage point in August, a drop of 22,200 jobs.

“The overall payroll employment decline was led by losses in Quebec, which shed 28,100 jobs, and Ontario, which lost 13,800, which were partially offset by gains in British Columbia, which added 8,100 jobs, and Manitoba, which also added 2,800 jobs,” notes Statistics Canada.

Professional, Scientific And Technical Services Sector Is Still In Hiring Mode

Foreign nationals hoping to immigrate to Canada through the country’s economic immigration programs can take comfort in the fact that there are still almost one million jobs up for grabs.

And, in some sectors, employers are bucking the national trend. They’re in hiring mode.

“Payroll employment in the professional, scientific and technical services sector increased by 5,200 jobs in August, following a gain of 7,900 in July,” notes Statistics Canada. 

British Columbia added 2,900 paid workers and Ontario added another 2,800, the largest gains in Canada in this sector. 

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“Nationally, gains within the sector were concentrated in the computer systems design and related services and management, scientific and technical consulting services industries,” notes the statistical and demographic services agency. 

“Payroll employment in computer systems design and related services has continued to outpace the sector’s overall growth rate, bringing the total gain to 65,900 since September 2021.”

Under the Express Entry system, immigrants can apply for permanent residency online if they meet the eligibility criteria for one of three federal immigration programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST), and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC),  or a participating provincial immigration program.

Provinces And Territories Nominate Applicants Through Their Provincial Nominee Programs

Candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates will be considered for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a delay of 90-days.

Through a network of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can also nominate skilled worker candidates for admission to Canada when they have the specific skills required by local economies. Successful candidates who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities.

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The biggest losses in jobs in August were in the construction industry, which lost 21,900 jobs, followed by mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction which shed another 1,800 jobs. Forestry and logging, manufacturing, and the utilities sectors held their own.

In the service sector, retailers dropped 8,200 employees, about 0.4 per cent of that workforce.

Due to inflation, Canadian workers were worse off in August this year when it came to their purchasing power than they had been a year earlier. Their average weekly earnings were up 3.2 per cent over that year but inflation was up by even more, seven per cent.

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