According to Statistics Canada, the number of job openings in Canada increased to 957,500 in the first quarter, the highest quarterly total ever recorded.
Compared to the first quarter of 2020, job openings have increased by over 72 percent, or around 401,900 positions. The number of job openings in Q1 2022 eclipsed the previous record high set in Q4 2021 by over 3 percent or 24,900 more positions.
With 136,800 job openings, the health care and social support industry achieved a new all-time high.
Before the pandemic, this industry already had severe labor shortages, but COVID-19 increased demand even further. Comparing the first quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2020, vacancies increased by roughly 91 percent (65,100 posts).
The construction industry is likewise experiencing a record number of job openings. In the first quarter of 2018, Canadian construction businesses sought to fill 81,500 empty positions. The construction industry witnessed a quarterly gain of nearly 7 percent (5,400 positions) from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022.
The number of available positions in the manufacturing and retail sectors continues to increase. Last quarter, manufacturing job openings surged at 87,400, while retail trade businesses sought 114,600 workers.
Professional, scientific, and technical services saw little change. Employers in this industry sought to fill 68,800 positions, virtually unchanged from the previous quarter’s record high.
Accommodation and food services had approximately 133,800 empty positions in the first quarter. Despite the big figure, it had declined by around 12 percent from the previous quarter.
Nationally, the unemployment-to-open-jobs ratio decreased from 2.2 in the first quarter of 2020 to 1.3 in the first quarter of 2019. Before the epidemic. This indicates that the unemployment rate has decreased as job openings continue to rise.
The ratio of unemployment to job openings varies between Canadian provinces.
In Quebec and British Columbia, there was less than one unemployed person for every job opening. In contrast, Newfoundland and Labrador had nearly four unemployed people for every job opening. A lower ratio signifies a more competitive labor market and potential labor shortages.
Employers in Canada have considerable hiring difficulties. There were approximately 34 newly hired employees for every 100 job openings in the first quarter.
In comparison, there were approximately 48 new employees for every 100 openings in the first quarter of 2015 and 82 in the first quarter of 2016 when comparable data became available.
Accommodation and food service firms hired around 23 new workers for every 100 openings in high-demand industries. Health care and social assistance additionally employed approximately 23 people. Employers in the professional, scientific, and technological sectors hired approximately fifty people.
According to the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions conducted from January 4 to February 7, roughly two-thirds of businesses anticipated attracting qualified people would be a challenge, while approximately thirty percent anticipated that retaining staff would be a challenge.
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