According to Statistics Canada, the number of vacant positions in Canada reached a record-high 957,500 in the first quarter.
Compared to the first quarter of 2020, the number of open positions has increased by nearly 72%, or a total of 401,900. Nearly 3%, or 24,900 additional vacancies, were reported in Q1 2022, breaking the previous record high set in Q4 2021.
With 136,800 vacancies, the health care and social assistance industry set a new record high. The demand for workers in this field was already high before the pandemic, but the emergence of COVID-19 exacerbated the problem. Vacancies in the first quarter of 2022 rose by nearly 91% compared to the first quarter of 2020 (65,100 positions).
The number of job openings in the construction industry is at an all-time high. There were 81,500 vacancies in the Canadian construction industry in the first quarter of this year. From Q4 2021 to Q1 2022, the construction industry saw a growth of over 7% (5,400 new jobs).
Manufacturing and retail trade both have increasing numbers of open positions. Vacancies in manufacturing reached 87,400 in the third quarter, while retail trade employers were looking for 114,600 new employees.
Professional, scientific, and technical services remained largely unaffected by the shift. Fewer than 68,800 jobs were being advertised in this sector compared to the previous quarter’s record high of 69,800.
In the first quarter of this year, there were approximately 133,800 vacancies in the lodging and food service industry. It was still down from the previous quarter, despite the large number.
In the first quarter, the national unemployment-to-open-jobs ratio was 1.3, down from 2.2 in the corresponding quarter of 2020. Before the outbreak of the pandemic occurred. The number of unemployed workers has decreased as the number of job openings has increased.
Canadian provinces also differed in the proportion of unemployed people to job openings. There were almost four unemployed people for every job opening in Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to less than one unemployed person in Quebec and British Columbia. A lower ratio indicates a more constrained labour market and the possibility of a labour crunch. [*]
Employers in Canada face significant difficulties in finding new employees. In the first three months of the year, there were an average of 34 new hires for every 100 open positions. In Q1 2016, there were 82 new hires for every 100 vacancies, compared to 48 in Q1 2017 and 82 in Q1 2016, respectively.
When looking at sectors with high demand, for every 100 openings in the hospitality and food service industries, companies hired roughly 23 new employees. The hiring for health care and social assistance also equaled 23. Employers in the fields of professional, scientific, and technical services have taken on 50 new employees.
In the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions from January 4 to February 7, nearly two-fifths of businesses reported difficulties in recruiting skilled employees, and about 30 percent reported difficulties in retaining employees.
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