More People Employed, But Canada Job Vacancies Remained High In December

Canada Added 40,000 Jobs In August, But Its Population Rose By More
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Statistics Canada has revealed job vacancies in Canada stayed high in December, remaining almost the same as during the previous month, as last year came to a close. 

“In December, overall job vacancies, at 848,800, were little changed from November, at 849,200, levelling off after trending downward from the peak reached in May 2022 when job vacancies hit 1,002,200,” notes the statistical and demographic services agency. 

Jobs vacancies boomed in healthcare and social assistance and offset any drop in available positions in the transportation and warehousing and finance and insurance sectors.

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“Decreases in the number of vacancies in transportation and warehousing, which fell by 11,700, and in finance and insurance, down by 5,700 jobs, were offset by an increase in healthcare and social assistance, up by 18,200, where job vacancies rebounded after a drop in November,” notes Statistics Canada. 

“Meanwhile, job vacancies held steady in 14 of the 20 sectors, including accommodation and food services; retail trade; construction; manufacturing; and professional, scientific and technical services.”

In the healthcare sector, employers continue to be desperate for physicians, nurses and other workers and are scrambling for employees now more than ever.

Blame that at least in part on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Job vacancies in the sector have more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic and, in December, accounted for 17.7 per cent of all vacancies, up from 13.6 per cent in February 2020,” notes Statistics Canada.


“Payroll employment in healthcare and social assistance also increased from February 2020 to December 2022, but at a much slower pace. As a result, the job vacancy rate in the sector was 6.2 per cent in December, the third highest of any sector, and up from 3.5 per cent in February 2020.”

Throughout the country, Manitoba noted the most growth in job vacancies in December where positions begging for workers to fill them rose by 23.4 per cent to hit 25,400.

Manitoba Employers Facing More Job Vacancies, Greater Need For Workers

“On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, job vacancies declined in Alberta by 23.1 per cent to 74,100, Nova Scotia by 21.3 per cent to 16,900, British Columbia by 15.7 per cent to 113,000, and Ontario by 7.7 per cent to 284,700 in December,” notes Statistics Canada.

“Preliminary provincial data developed by Statistics Canada to remove seasonal variations indicate that these decreases in vacancies were largely attributable to seasonal patterns.”

Even if every single person in British Columbia and Quebec were to get a job in those provinces, that still wouldn’t be enough to make up for the severe labour shortages there. 

“In December, British Columbia and Quebec continued to have fewer unemployed persons than job vacancies, with an unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio of 0.9 in both provinces,” notes Statistics Canada.

The high number of job vacancies in Canada continues despite more workers landing paying jobs.

“The number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer, measured as payroll employees in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, rose by 91,400, or half a percentage point, in December, bringing cumulative gains since September to 240,600, up 1.4 per cent,” notes Statistics Canada.

Workers Landed More Paying Jobs In Ontario In December Than Any Other Province

Ontario, the country’s most populous province, also saw the greatest increase in the number of people landing paying jobs in December, with 36,900 workers landing paying gigs.

In the francophone province of Quebec, 18,900 workers landed jobs in December, 12,700 Albertans landed jobs that month, and British Columbia’s paid workforce grew by 11,500.

Perhaps unsurprisingly in the post-pandemic reality in Canada, the greatest number of newly-hired employees found work in the healthcare sector. 

“Gains were recorded in eight of the 15 sectors, led by healthcare and social assistance, up 26,500 jobs or 1.2 per cent, and finance and insurance, which grew by 13,800 jobs or 1.7 per cent, which together accounted for more than half of the increase in the services-producing sector,” notes Statistics Canada. 

Employment in wholesale trade softened by 3,600 jobs and 1,600 workers in the information and cultural industries lost their jobs in December.

“Meanwhile, payroll employment in the goods-producing sector increased by 13,600, up 0.4 per cent, in December, with construction, up by 11,500 jobs or one per cent, accounting for most of the increase,” notes Statistics Canada.

Average Wages Rising As Employers Outbid Each Other To Attract Workers

Due to the labour shortages, workers are managing to negotiate higher wages from their employers. In the past year, average wages have risen 3.4 per cent to hit $1,173.90 per week.

Foreign nationals hoping to gain their permanent residency in Canada can seize the opportunities offered by this tight labour market to immigrate 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.

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.

TFWP And IMP Offer Employers Ways To Recruit International Workers

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 the processing of visa applications within two weeks.

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