Workers in the Canadian workforce with a high school education or less saw their Canada jobs prospects take a beating in the first quarter of this year as job vacancies for those positions they might like to fill dropped the most.
“Year-over-year drops in job vacancies were observed across all the educational levels sought by employers,” reveals Statistics Canada.
“However, the largest proportional decline was recorded in positions requiring a high school diploma or less, where job vacancies fell by 16 per cent or 82,900 positions.”
The tightest labour market in the country in the first quarter of this year was for trades people.
“In the first quarter of 2023, there was an average of 1.1 unemployed persons for every unfilled position requiring a trades certificate or diploma … This was the lowest unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio among the four job vacancy groups defined by the minimum educational level required,” notes Statistics Canada.
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That echoes the results of the latest Labour Force Survey which showed employment increased in the trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations grew by 100,600, or 3.4 per cent, and business, finance and administration occupations by 47,000, or 1.5 per cent, during the first quarter of this year.
In its latest job vacancies report, the federal agency notes there were 843,200 job vacancies in the first quarter of this year, 33,500 or 3.8 per cent less than during the previous three-month period. That’s the third consecutive quarterly decline in job vacancies in Canada.
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The reason for the drop is that more workers are landing jobs.
“Payroll employment increased by 89,200, up 0.5 per cent, in the first quarter of 2023, the eighth consecutive quarterly increase,” reports Statistics Canada.
“In the first quarter, job vacancies decreased in five of the 10 broad occupational groups, led by trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations, down 10,900 to 142,800, business, finance and administration occupations, down 8,900 to 90,200, and occupations in manufacturing and utilities, down 5,800 to 36,400.”
The number of jobs up for grabs fell the most in Ontario where job vacancies fell by 25,100. In British Columbia, job vacancies dropped by 7,200 and in Alberta by 4,300 during the first quarter of the year.
Manitoba, though, saw an increase of 2,200 job vacancies.
“At the regional level, job vacancies fell in 10 of 69 economic regions in the first quarter, led by Toronto, Ontario, Lower Mainland–Southwest, British Columbia and Ottawa, Ontario,” reports Statistics Canada.
“Since the second quarter of 2022, when the overall number of job vacancies reached a record high in Canada, job vacancies have decreased in 33 economic regions.”
Wages for workers in Canada are still going up – but more slowly than in previous quarters.
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“On a year-over-year basis, the average offered hourly wage increased five per cent to $25.40 in the first quarter, down from an increase of 8.5 per cent to $24.90 in the previous quarter,” notes Statistics Canada.
Foreign nationals can gain their permanent residency in Canada during tight labour markets 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.
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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.
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.