Job vacancies in Canada rose by 58,000 in the first three months of this year to reach 388,000, according to data released by Statistics Canada.
Over that same period, the job vacancy rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 2.5%. This was the second consecutive year-over-year increase in the number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate. All comparisons are on a year-over-year basis, unless otherwise specified.
The job vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all available payroll jobs. It represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand; that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.
The number of job vacancies rose in six provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec. Job vacancies decreased in Saskatchewan as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador, and were little changed in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. In the territories, job vacancies fell in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, and were little changed in Nunavut.
Job vacancies in Ontario were up 33,000 (+23.9%) to 171,000, a third consecutive year-over-year increase in the province. The job vacancy rate in Ontario rose 0.5 percentage points to 2.8%, with notable vacancy increases in the economic regions of Toronto and Hamilton–Niagara Peninsula. Compared with the previous year, job vacancies for both full-time (+27,000) and part-time (+5,600) work rose in Ontario.
In Quebec, the number of job vacancies rose by 15,000 (+28.1%) to 68,000, with increases observed throughout the province. Most of the growth was for full-time work and permanent positions. Compared with one year ago, the job vacancy rate in Quebec rose 0.4 percentage points to 2.0%. The number of employees grew 1.9% over the same period, compared with a national rate of 1.5%. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate decreased from 7.5% in 2016 to 6.3%.
Job vacancies in British Columbia rose by 7,000 (+11.4%) to 68,000 in the first quarter and the job vacancy rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 3.2%. British Columbia has had the highest job vacancy rate among the provinces since the third quarter of 2015. Growth in job vacancies was concentrated in Lower Mainland–Southwest, which accounted for about 81% of the rise in vacancies in the province. More than 90% of the increase in job vacancies was for full-time positions.
Job vacancies in Alberta rose by 3,600 (+9.3%) to 43,000, and the job vacancy rate was up 0.2 percentage points to 2.2%. This was the first year-over-year increase for Alberta in the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate since the first quarter of 2015, when data were first collected.
Increases in vacancies for full-time positions accounted for 59% of the year-over-year rise in total job vacancies. Recent data from the LFS point to improved labour market conditions in Alberta. Following notable declines from the fall of 2015 to the summer of 2016, employment has increased while the unemployment rate has trended downward since November 2016.
Nationally, the average offered hourly wage was up $0.55 or 2.8% to $20.40 in the first quarter, compared with $19.85 during the same month one year earlier. – CanadaJobsDaily.com