Trends and Insights In Canada’s Job Market For December 2023

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Canada job vacancies marked the third consecutive month of little change after holding steady at 637,400 figures for December 2023 that were released recently show.

The number of vacancies was 209,200 (-24.7%) less than December 2022, and down by 365,900 (-36.5%) from the record high of 1,003,200 in May 2022.

Total labour demand fell by 0.4% in December compared with the month prior, while the job vacancy rate (which corresponds to the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand) was mostly the same at 3.6% in December 2023.

In December, there were 2.0 unemployed persons for every job vacancy, which increased from the ratio of 1.9 recorded in each of the last three months.

The retail trade sector (-9,400; -13.8%) was the only one to record a decline in job vacancies in December, to reach 58,800 vacancies. This offset the increase of 7,400 in November.

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On a year-on-year basis, job vacancies were down by 39,900 (-40.4%) in retail trade in December 2023, the largest decline across all sectors.

The job vacancy rate in retail trade was 2.8% in December, down 0.5 percentage points from November (3.3%) and down 1.9 percentage points from December 2022 (4.7%).

Two sectors – those of educational services (+3,800; +19.5%) and utilities (+1,000; +33.4%) – saw a rise, while there was little change in the rest of the 15 sectors.

For example, the sectors of healthcare and social assistance saw little job vacancy change in December 2023 (125,900) for the fourth month in a row.

The job vacancy rate in healthcare and social assistance was 5.1% in December, little changed from the month before, but down 1.0 percentage points from the previous year.

On a provincial basis, Ontario and Quebec saw a decrease in job vacancies. The former experienced a fall by 13,400 (-5.6%) to 224,200 in December, which partially offset the increase observed in the month before (+21,500; +10.0%). The latter, on the other hand, saw a -10,700 fall to 138,100 in December.

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Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island saw increases of 2,800 and 900 respectively, while the numbers were relatively stable in the other provinces.

On a year-over-year basis, the job vacancy rate fell in nine provinces in December, including the two provinces with the highest rates in December 2022, namely British Columbia (where the vacancy rate fell from 5.2% in December 2022 to 4.2% in December 2023) and Quebec (where it fell from 5.2% to 3.5% over the same period).

British Columbia and Saskatchewan had the highest job vacancy rate in December, each at 4.2%.

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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.