Job vacancies, three-month period ending in June 2012
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Canadian businesses had 263,000 job vacancies in June, 20,000 more than in June 2011. There were 5.3 unemployed people for every job vacancy, down from 5.8 in June 2011.
The decline in this ratio of unemployment to job vacancies was the result of an increase in job vacancies combined with a decline in the number of unemployed people.
Ratio highest in the East, lowest on the Prairies
Provincially, the highest ratios of unemployed people to job vacancies were in Eastern Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 10.6 unemployed people for every vacancy in June, followed by Nova Scotia (10.0) and New Brunswick (9.3). These figures were little changed from 12 months earlier.
Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, all unemployed, by province, three-month average, June 2011 and June 2012
In Quebec, the ratio in June was 7.7 unemployed people for every job vacancy, up from 5.0 in June 2011. The increase in the ratio was largely because of a decline in job vacancies over this period, from 65,000 to 44,000.
The ratio for Ontario in June was 6.7, little changed from 12 months earlier.
In Saskatchewan, the ratio declined from 3.0 to 1.9 over the same period, entirely because of an increase in job vacancies from 9,300 to 15,000.
In Alberta, there were 1.6 unemployed for every job vacancy, down from 2.8 in June 2011. The decline was a result of both a drop in the number of unemployed people and an increase in job vacancies.
In Prince Edward Island, the ratio fell over this 12-month period from 11.5 unemployed people per job vacancy to 6.4. This was because of an increase in job vacancies from 800 to 1,400, while the number of unemployed people was unchanged (see "data quality" in the Note to readers).
Ratio by sector
Sectoral analysis of the ratio of unemployed to job vacancies is limited to those who last worked within the past 12 months, as unemployment data by sector are only available for these individuals.
Construction had the biggest decline in the ratio among the largest industrial sectors, with 3.9 unemployed people for every vacant job in June, down from 10.3 in the same period a year earlier. The drop was a result of both a decline in the number of unemployed and a notable increase in job vacancies. Payroll employment in this sector had also increased over this period.
Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, by largest industrial sector, unemployed people who last worked within past 12 months, three-month average, June 2011 and June 2012
In retail trade, the ratio of unemployed people to job vacancies declined from 5.5 in June 2011 to 3.4 in June 2012. The decline was the result of an increase in the number of job vacancies for retail trade, while the number of unemployed people was unchanged.
In accommodation and food services, the ratio declined from 5.0 to 3.0 over the same time period, the result of an increase in the number of job vacancies as well as a decline in the number of unemployed people in the sector.
Administrative and support services was the only large industrial sector to show a sizable increase in the ratio. In June 2012, the ratio of unemployed people to job vacancies was 6.0, up from 2.4 in June 2011. This was the result of a notable decline in job vacancies and a slight increase in the number of unemployed people who last worked in this sector.
The ratio of unemployed people to job vacancies in professional, scientific and technical services was 3.2 in June, up from 2.3 in June 2011. This was all a result of an increase in the number of unemployed people who last worked in this sector.
Health care and social assistance had a ratio of 1.4 in June, virtually unchanged from 12 months earlier. This ratio was the lowest among the largest industrial sectors.
Job vacancy rates
Data from this survey were also used to calculate the job vacancy rate. It is defined as the number of vacant positions divided by total labour demand, that is, vacant positions plus occupied positions. It corresponds to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all payroll jobs available. Higher job vacancy rates are often associated with periods of economic growth, while lower rates may be associated with periods of slower growth or economic contraction.
In June, the national job vacancy rate among Canadian businesses was 1.8%, up slightly from 1.7% in June 2011.
Job vacancy rate, by province, three-month average, June 2011 and June 2012
Provincially, the job vacancy rate was 3.4% in Alberta, up from 2.5% in June 2011. In Saskatchewan, the job vacancy rate rose from 2.2% to 3.2% over this period, one of the largest increases among the provinces.
In Prince Edward Island, the rate also increased, from 1.3% in June 2011 to 2.4% in June 2012.
The job vacancy rate in Quebec decreased from 2.0% to 1.3%, while in Ontario, the rate was 1.6%, little changed compared with 12 months earlier.
Job vacancy rates by sector
Construction had the highest job vacancy rate among the largest industrial sectors, at 2.9% in June, up from 1.3% a year earlier. The sector had 27,000 vacancies in June 2012.
The job vacancy rate in accommodation and food services was 2.3%, up from 1.7% a year earlier. The sector had 26,000 vacancies in June 2012.
The lowest vacancy rate among the largest sectors was in educational services, at 0.7%, little changed from a year earlier. In June 2012, there were 9,000 vacancies in this sector.
Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction had the highest job vacancy rate among all sectors, at 3.9%, twice the average for all sectors combined. The sector had 8,900 vacancies in June 2012, up from 7,200 a year earlier.
Note to readers
Data on job vacancies are collected through the monthly Business Payrolls Survey (BPS). Starting with the January 2011 reference month, two questions were added to the BPS, which is the survey portion of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours. These questions were: Did you have any vacant positions on the last business day of the month, and how many?
The target population is the same as that of the BPS and is comprised of all employers in Canada, except those primarily involved in: agriculture; fishing and trapping; private household services; religious organizations; the military personnel of the defense services; and federal, provincial and territorial public administration.
With each release, data for the current reference month are subject to revision. Data have been revised for the previous month. Users are encouraged to request and use the most up-to-date data for each month.
Job vacancy and unemployment estimates are based on samples, and are therefore subject to sampling variability. Estimates for geographic areas and industries with smaller numbers of vacancies or smaller unemployed populations are subject to greater sampling variability.
These data are not seasonally adjusted and should only be compared on a year-over-year basis. Given this is a new data series, trends are not yet available and therefore, data should be interpreted with caution.
All data are based on three-month moving averages. For example, data for June are based on an average of the data from April, May and June.
Job vacancy/vacant position: A position is considered "vacant" if it meets all three of the following conditions: a specific position exists; work could start within 30 days; and the employer is actively seeking employees from outside the organization to fill the position.
Labour demand: Total labour demand is the sum of met (total payroll employment) and unmet (vacant positions) labour demand.
Largest industrial sectors: The sectors with the largest levels of payroll employment for which we have publishable job vacancy data.
Job vacancy rate: The number of vacant positions divided by total labour demand, that is, vacant positions plus occupied positions.
Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratios
All unemployed: The unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio for all unemployed is calculated by dividing the total number of unemployed, regardless of their previous work experience, using Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, by the number of vacant positions. This ratio reflects how many unemployed individuals are available for each vacant position and is a measure of the overall labour market tightness.
By sector: For each sector, the ratio is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed who last worked in that sector in the previous 12 months, using LFS data, by the number of vacant positions in the same sector. This excludes new entrants to the labour market as well as unemployed people who had not worked during the previous 12 months. Unemployment data by sector is known only for those who worked within the previous 12 months.
Use of data for the last sector worked does not imply that these unemployed individuals continued to look for work in that sector. This ratio reflects how many unemployed individuals who last worked in that sector are available for each vacant position in the sector. It is a measure of the labour market tightness within that sector.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number2612.
Data on job vacancies for July will be released on October 17.
For more information or to obtain data, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (613-951-8116 or toll-free 1-800-263-1136; firstname.lastname@example.org).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jason Gilmore (613-951-7118; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.
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