Canada Job Vacancies Drop As Unemployment Rises

More Lower-Level And Professional Jobs Taken By Canada Immigrants
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A new Statistics Canada report shows employers were looking for fewer workers across much of Canada in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous three months as job vacancies fell and unemployment rose.

That’s the fifth consecutive quarter that job vacancies have declined in Canada and a clear indicator that the tightness in the labour market is easing off.

“Job vacancies fell by 69,900, down nine per cent, to 706,100 in the third quarter, marking the fifth straight quarterly decline from the record high reached in the second quarter of 2022 at 990,900 job vacancies,” reports the statistical and demographic services agency in its Job Vacancies, Third Quarter 2023 report.

“The number of unemployed persons … increased by 79,500. As a result, there were 1.7 unemployed persons for every job vacancy in the third quarter, up from 1.4 in the previous quarter, and 1.1 in the third quarter of 2022.”

Due to population growth, most of which is driven by immigration in Canada, the drop in job vacancies and rise in unemployment also came with a bump up in the number of workers with paying jobs.

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“Payroll employment rose by 117,600, up 0.7 per cent, in the third quarter of 2023, the 10th consecutive quarterly increase. However, payroll employment has increased at a slower pace than the population aged 15 years and older since the fourth quarter of 2022.”

The hardest-hit workers looking for jobs were those with the least amount of education in the third quarter of this year.

Largest proportional decline in vacancies for positions requiring high school diploma or less

“Positions requiring a high school diploma or less … saw the largest year-over-year declines in vacancies,” notes Statistics Canada.

Job vacancies for these positions fell by 31.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter.

“In comparison, the number of vacancies for positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher fell 15.2 per cent … over the same period,” reports Statistics Canada.


“The average offered hourly wage for vacant positions requiring a high school diploma or less grew 5.2 per cent year over year to $20.40 in the third quarter of 2023. In contrast, the average offered hourly wage for the positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher was little changed at $39.95 in the third quarter.”

The biggest drop in job vacancies in the third quarter compared to the previous three months was again in sales and service where the demand fell by 14.3 per cent.

Sales And Service Sector Saw Biggest Drop In Job Vacancies In Q3

“The number of vacant positions in business, finance and administration occupations fell by 8,100, down 9.4 per cent, to 77,500 in the third quarter, following three consecutive quarterly declines from the peak of 105,000 vacancies in the second and third quarters of 2022,” reports Statistics Canada.

“There were also fewer job vacancies in five other broad occupational groups in the third quarter of 2023, while the number of vacant positions was little changed in health occupations … and in education, law and social, community and government services.”

On a year-over-year basis, job vacancies fell the most in manufacturing and utilities with a 46.9 decline to 25,900, followed by natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations which were down 35 per cent to 15,600 and natural and applied sciences and related occupations which were down 34.6p per cent to 44,500.

“Over the same period, the lowest proportional annual drop was recorded in occupations in education, law and social, community and government services down 3.9 per cent to 64,800, followed by health occupations, down 6.1 per cent to 89,400, which saw their first year-over-year decline in vacancies since the first quarter of 2015, the earliest quarter for which comparable data are available.

“The year-over-year drop in vacancies in health occupations in the third quarter of 2023 was driven by nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates … and other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health). These declines were partially offset by more vacancies for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses … which saw the largest annual increase in vacancies in the third quarter.”

Across the country, job vacancies fell the most in Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia during the third quarter. Year over year, job vacancies fell in nine provinces and were little changed in Saskatchewan.

Foreign nationals can gain their permanent residency in Canada by immigrating through the country’s many economic immigration programs.

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.

PNPs Offer Route To Economic Immigration For Skilled Workers

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.

Canadian employers can also recruit and hire foreign nationals through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the TFWP, can under normal processing situations lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.