Job vacancies are down 3.3% compared to last quarter, from 992,000 to 959,600. Though the slight decrease is a positive sign, labour demands remain remarkably high compared to past years.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the health care and social services sector has remained in extremely high demand. Canada has reached a new record high with nearly 150,100 healthcare positions going unfilled in the third quarter of 2022.
To address this issue, the Canadian government has taken steps to make it easier for health care workers to immigrate to Canada. Throughout 2022, targeted Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Draws have been held to welcome foreign health care workers as well as making it easier for physicians to apply for Permanent Residence through Express Entry. According to the IRCC, currently one in four healthcare workers in Canada is an immigrant.
Other industries also saw significant numbers of job vacancies. Elevated job vacancies were seen in food and accommodation services, construction, professional and scientific services. In construction there were 81,100 unfilled jobs, the same as the record high from last quarter. Of these electricians, carpenters and laborer’s were in the highest demand.
To try to attract workers to fill these roles, many employers are offering higher wages. The average hourly wages for all workers rose by 5.3% and some of the most in-demand roles saw higher increases. For example in assisting occupations in support of health care workers which increased +10.7% to $22.45 an hour. Middle management occupations in trades, transportation, production and utilities also saw a large change increasing +10.8% to $41.40 an hour.
As Canada looks to address these labour shortages, immigration becomes a top concern for the government. In 2023, the Express Entry system will likely see a change to how targeted draws are done for in-demand professions in Canada. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet what criteria will be used for these targeted draws, it’s likely that statistics like job vacancies will provide some insight. Jobs and sectors that are the most in demand will likely see specific draws for those positions and skills in 2023.
Canada is also already taking measures to capitalize on its workforce already within the country by issuing Open Work Permits (OPWs) to families of some work permit holders, and by uncapping the number of hours that international students can work until the end of December 2023. These policy changes, in addition to the data released by Statistics Canada, suggest a lucrative hiring environment moving into 2023.
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