Canada Job Vacancies Dropped Further In Previous Quarter

Canada Job Vacancies Dropped Further In Previous Quarter
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Statistics Canada figures show the number of jobs up for grabs in Canada fell for the sixth consecutive quarter as last year came to an end with more workers landing paying jobs.

“Job vacancies fell by 25,400, down 3.6 per cent to 678,500, in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking the sixth straight quarterly decline from the record high reached in the second quarter of 2022,” reports the statistical and demographic services agency.

Halfway through 2022, there were a record 983,600 job vacancies in Canada, a situation which put pressure on employers to hike wages.

Since then, the rate of pay increases has slowed down.

Although the average offered hourly wage for vacant positions rose by 6.4 per cent to $26.50 in the fourth quarter of last year, that’s not as much a reflection of pay raises for individual jobs as it is of a shift in the type of jobs now being offered by employers.

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“Recent increases in average offered hourly wages for vacant positions were partly due to a shift in the relative composition of job vacancies from lower- to higher-offered-wage occupations,” reports Statistics Canada.

“Using a method that holds the composition of job vacancies by occupation at the fourth quarter of 2022 average, offered hourly wages grew by 4.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2023, up from 3.5 per cent in the third quarter, and from three per cent in the second quarter.”

Canada’s job vacancy rate, the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand, fell a tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, the lowest it has been since the first quarter of 2021.

Across the country, job vacancies fell in five of the 10 Canadian provinces in the fourth quarter of last year.

Five Provinces Saw Job Vacancies Fall In Q4 Of 2023

Prince Edward Island saw job vacancies fall 18.5 per cent to 2,400. Nova Scotia recorded a 10 per cent drop to 15,900. Ontario lost 6.4 per cent of its job vacancies, bringing them to 230,700. Alberta’s job vacancies fell 4.4 per cent to 81,600. And Quebec’s job vacancies nudged down 2.5 per cent to 164,600.

Ontario did see an uptick in some parts of the province, including the Stratford–Bruce Peninsula and the northwest but bigger declines in Toronto and Ottawa drove the overall decline in the province.

“The number of job vacancies was little changed in the other five provinces in the fourth quarter,” reports Statistics Canada. “Year over year, job vacancies fell in nine provinces and were little changed in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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Sales and service occupations, the manufacturing and utilities sector, and natural resources, agriculture and related production jobs bore the brunt of the downturn in job vacancies in the fourth quarter of last year.

“The year-over-year drop in sales and service occupations in the fourth quarter was driven by declines in vacancies for food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations … retail salespersons and visual merchandisers … and cooks,” notes Statistics Canada.

The healthcare sector saw little change in its labour market situation in the fourth quarter with employers still desperate for nurses and nurse aides and orderlies.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of vacant positions within health occupations continued to be the highest for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses at 28,700, nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates at 20,900, and licensed practical nurses at 13,300,” reports Statistics Canada.

Most Job Vacancies In Healthcare Sector Are For Nurses, Nurse Aides And Orderlies

“Together, these three occupations accounted for 70 per cent of the total vacancies in health occupations,” notes Statistics Canada.

In the manufacturing sector, the number of available jobs fell by another 4,700 in the fourth quarter, bringing the drop in job vacancies to 48.7 per cent year over year.

“The largest year-over-year declines in the number of job vacancies were in labourers in food and beverage processing occupations … and process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing occupations,” reports Statistics Canada.

As the workplace demands increasingly-higher levels of education from employees, those with only a high school diploma or less are seeing opportunities dry up the fastest.

“Positions requiring a high school diploma or less, which are down by 31.1 per cent … saw the largest year-over-year decline in vacancies,” notes Statistics Canada.

“In comparison, the number of vacancies for positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher fell 16.1 per cent … over the same period.”

In the fourth quarter of last year, the average offered hourly wage for job vacancies requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher was $40.50, almost twice that for vacancies requiring a high school diploma or less at $20.75.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.