Canadian Job Vacancies at Record High in Second Quarter of 2021

Published on: September 22nd, 2021

Statistics Canada has recently released the Job Vacancies report from the second quarter of 2021, revealing job vacancies are at a record high. As a result of easing health restrictions, labour market conditions have changed, causing job vacancies to spike.

The recent Statistics Canada Job Vacancies report revealed increased  job vacancies across all provinces from the second quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2021. In the second quarter of the year, there were 731,900 job vacancies that needed to be filled. The highest increases in job vacancies were seen in the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec.

British Columbia also saw some of the largest wage increases in this two-year period. B.C. currently has the country’s highest offered average hourly wage at $24.00. Overall, the average offered hourly wage has increased across Canada this quarter to about 7.3% higher than the same quarter in 2019.

Here are five sectors with the highest demand in the second quarter of the year:

1. Health care and social assistance

Occupations in the health care and social assistance sector are increasingly in-demand in Canada, particularly for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses. These occupations saw the largest job vacancy increase of all occupations over the two-year period. The average offered hourly wage has also increase for these roles by 5.9% from the second quarter of 2019 the same quarter in 2021.

As a whole, the health care and social assistance sector saw the largest two-year increase in vacancies than any other sector. From the second quarter of 2019, the number of vacancies in the health care and social assistance has increase by 40,800 from the second quarter of 2019, bringing the number of vacancies to 108,800 in the second quarter in 2021. This sector accounted for one in seven vacancies in Canada in the second quarter.

2. Construction

Recruiting skilled employees in the construction sector is expected to be an obstacle for over one-third of construction employers, according to results from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions.

Particularly, the subsectors of specialty trade (masonry, painting, or electrical work), and construction of buildings saw the highest increase in vacancies from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021.

Job vacancies in the construction sector have increased by 19,900 to 62,600 over the two-year period. This is the largest number of vacancies seen in the sector since comparable data became available.

3. Retail Trade

Retail trade saw an increase in job vacancies by 19,900 from the second quarter of 2019 to 84,300 in the second quarter of 2021.

Subsectors with the largest rise in vacancies include food and beverage stores and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers.

Among the top ten occupations with the largest vacancy increase within the two-year period include retail salespersons and store shelf stockers, clerks and order filers. The average hourly wage offered for retail salespersons also increased by 7.5% over this period.

4. Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector saw an increase in job vacancies by 14,800 to 65,900 from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021. This sector saw its highest number of vacancies since comparable data became available in 2015.

Vacancy increases in manufacturing were spread across various subsectors, with the largest increases seen in food manufacturing and wood product manufacturing.

5. Accommodation and food services

Demand in the accommodations and food services sector is at an all-time high. Job vacancies in accommodation and food services sector have increase by 11,600 to 89,1000 over a two-year period. Food services and drinking places were particularly affected due to the the public health restrictions during the pandemic.

The role with the highest vacancies increases was National Occupation Classification (NOC) code 6711 (food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations). The average hourly wage offered for this role increased by 6.2% in the second quarter of 2021 from the second quarter of 2019.

Due to this record job vacancy rate, there is a major demand for skilled workers to fill the available positions. National association, Restaurants Canada is calling on the government to implement policy that would make it easier for potential restaurant labourers from abroad to work in Canada.

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