According to Statistics Canada’s quarterly job openings report, Canada’s employment vacancy rate in the second quarter of 2021 was the highest on record.
The job vacancy rate measures the number of open positions as a percentage of total available positions, both open and filled. The employment vacancy rate in Canada was 4.6 percent between April and June, the highest since comparable data was available in 2015. The high rate was influenced by both an increase in vacancies and a decrease in payroll employment over time.
Last quarter, there were 731,900 job openings, nearly 26% more than the same period two years ago. Between March and September 2020, Statistics Canada did not track job vacancy rates, so the earliest comparable data for this time is from 2019.
In addition, average hourly salaries were $22.85, up to $1.55 over the previous year. Wage growth, fluctuations in industries and occupations, and the types of jobs being filled — such as full-time or part-time roles — can all affect changes in average pay.
In comparison to the previous year, job openings increased in all provinces. Quebec and Ontario saw the most significant rises. The highest vacancy rates were seen in British Columbia and Quebec.
Canada had been having a labor deficit for some time, even before the epidemic, which was partly solved by immigration. However, with some of the lowest numbers of new immigrants expected to arrive in Canada in 2020, the tight labor market will only get tighter. However, low immigration is simply one factor. Government employment perks, according to others, have also deterred people from returning to work. Other factors cited by economists relate to the more specific issues faced by hard-hit industries.
High vacancies in health care, construction, retail, among others
Vacancies increased dramatically in some industries. In Canada, one out of every seven employment openings was in the health-care and social assistance sector. It had the biggest two-year growth in job openings, increasing by more than 40,000 to 108,800. Vacancies increased across the board, but mainly in hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. Over the two-year period, nurses and psychiatric nurses saw the most growth of any occupation. Their average hourly income was $32.50 in 2019, up nearly 6% from the previous year. According to a CBC story, pandemic burnout is causing nurses to leave in droves. Before the epidemic, there was already a nursing shortage, and working conditions were becoming increasingly worse.
Construction job openings reached a new high of 62,600 available vacancies. A vast number of the job openings were for construction trade aids, carpenters, and electricians.
In the latest quarter, there were 84,300 job openings in retail, primarily in food and beverage stores, building materials, and garden equipment and supplies merchants. Retail salespeople, shop shelf stockers, clerks, and order fillers were among the top ten occupations with the most openings between the second and third quarters of 2019.