The Daily
|
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Job vacancies, first quarter 2019

Released: 2019-06-18

Highlights

On a year-over-year basis, both the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate increased in the first quarter.

The number of job vacancies was up in six provinces and one territory: Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut.

Job vacancies increased in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors.

In the first quarter, four-fifths of all vacancies were for permanent positions.

Job vacancies and the job vacancy rate both rise for the 10th consecutive quarter

The number of job vacancies in the first quarter was 506,000, up 44,000 (+9.6%) from the first quarter of 2018. Over the same period, the job vacancy rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 3.1%, the fourth consecutive quarter over 3.0%. This was the 10th successive quarter with a year-over-year growth in both the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate, coinciding with strong employment growth recorded in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls, and Hours (SEPH) over the same period.

The job vacancy rate represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand—that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.

While there was an increase in the number of job vacancies compared with the previous year, vacancies were down in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2018. A decline in the number of job vacancies was also observed from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018.

Chart 1  Chart 1: The first quarter of 2019 had the highest number of job vacancies recorded for a first quarter since the beginning of the series in 2015, unadjusted for seasonality
The first quarter of 2019 had the highest number of job vacancies recorded for a first quarter since the beginning of the series in 2015, unadjusted for seasonality

Job vacancies up in six provinces and one territory

Compared with the first quarter of 2018, the number of job vacancies in the first quarter grew in six provinces and one territory. Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia recorded the greatest rise in the number of job vacancies among the provinces. Growth in the number of vacancies was also recorded in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. The job vacancy rate increased in five of these provinces, with the exception of New Brunswick where it was almost unchanged. There was little change observed in both the number of vacancies and the vacancy rate in the remaining provinces. Job vacancies and the job vacancy rate rose in Nunavut, whereas they were little changed in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Largest increase in the number of job vacancies recorded in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, first quarter of 2019
Largest increase in the number of job vacancies recorded in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, first quarter of 2019

In Quebec, the number of job vacancies grew by 21,400 (+23.0%) compared with the first quarter of 2018. Nearly half of the growth in the number of job vacancies can be attributed to three sectors: health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services. Compared with one year earlier, the job vacancy rate in the province rose 0.5 percentage points to 3.1%. The unemployment rate in the province over this period was little changed at 5.3%, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

On a year-over-year basis, the number of job vacancies in Ontario was up by 12,400 (+6.9%) in the first quarter. This was driven by gains in the health care and social assistance, retail trade, professional, scientific and technical services, and accommodation and food services sectors. At the same time, declines in the number of job vacancies in transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, as well as real estate and rental and leasing tempered this growth. Compared with one year earlier, the job vacancy rate in Ontario increased 0.1 percentage points to 3.0%. Over this period, the unemployment rate remained similar to the national average at 5.8%, as reported by the LFS.

In British Columbia, job vacancies increased by 9,300 (+10.1%) in the first quarter from the first quarter of 2018. Most of this growth can be attributed to the transportation and warehousing and professional, scientific and technical services sectors. Despite contributing to more than half of the job vacancy growth over this period, these two sectors comprised 11% of employment in the province according to SEPH. Compared with the previous year, the job vacancy rate in British Columbia increased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.4%, the highest rate among the provinces and territories, and the only province with a job vacancy rate above the national average. At the same time, according to the LFS, the unemployment rate in the province during the first quarter of 2019 was the lowest among all provinces at 4.6%.

Among the Atlantic provinces, New Brunswick (+600 or +7.8%), Prince Edward Island (+500 or +38.0%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+400 or +12.2%) each recorded growth in the number of job vacancies from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. In Prince Edward Island, the job vacancy rate increased 0.7 percentage points to 2.7%. At the same time, the job vacancy rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 1.7% in Newfoundland and Labrador, and was little changed in New Brunswick. Although these three provinces recorded job vacancy increases in the first quarter of 2019, they still had the highest unemployed-to-job-vacancy ratios among all provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador. At the same time, in Nova Scotia, there was little change observed for both the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate.

Job vacancies either increase or are stable in the majority of economic regions

Economic region (ER) data highlight the diversity of regional labour markets across Canada.

In the first quarter, 34 of the 69 ERs recorded increases in job vacancies compared with the first quarter of 2018. Growth among the ERs was distributed across the country, led by Mauricie, Quebec, (+89.4% or +1,600); Cariboo, British Columbia (+63.4% or +1,000) and Laurentides, Quebec (+57.1% or +2,100). In the same quarter last year, 45 of the 69 ERs recorded increases in their job vacancies from the same quarter in 2017.

The number of job vacancies declined in six ERs, all in the Prairie provinces, from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Decreases were observed in Red Deer, Alberta (-38.9% or -1,100), Wood Buffalo–Cold Lake, Alberta (-22.3% or -500), Interlake, Manitoba (-16.5% or -100), Camrose–Drumheller, Alberta (-15.1% or -300), Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River, Alberta (-14.9% or -1,000) and Regina–Moose Mountain, Saskatchewan (-12.0% or -400). The number of job vacancies in the remaining 29 ERs across the country was little changed over the same period.

Job vacancies rise in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors

From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter in 2019, the number of job vacancies grew in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors (in terms of employment). Growth over this period was driven by health care and social assistance as well as professional, scientific and technical services. The remaining three largest sectors were little changed.

Among the other sectors, decreases were recorded in the finance and insurance sector, as well as the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector. The job vacancy declines in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector coincided with employment decreases recorded in SEPH over the same period.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Job vacancies rise in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors in terms of employment in the first quarter of 2019
Job vacancies rise in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors in terms of employment in the first quarter of 2019 

The number of job vacancies in health care and social assistance increased by 9,900 (+19.0%) from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, driven by nursing and residential care facilities. Quebec and Ontario contributed the most to this rise, while relatively large growth was also observed in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. According to SEPH, employment in this sector during this period grew the most among all sectors, up 68,000 (+3.5%). Over this period, the job vacancy rate was up 0.4 percentage points to 3.0%, while the average offered hourly wage was little changed at $23.60.

Job vacancies in the professional, scientific and technical services sector grew by 9,100 (+28.0%) year over year in the first quarter. Vacancies were up in most provinces, led by Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Over the same period, payroll employment in this sector grew at the fastest rate (+5.1%) among the 10 largest industrial sectors. The job vacancy rate in this sector increased 0.7 percentage points to 4.2%. The average offered hourly wage for vacant positions in the sector increased by $1.20 (+4.2%) to $30.10, the highest average offered wage among the 10 largest industrial sectors.

In manufacturing, the number of job vacancies rose by 6,300 (+15.2%) from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Job vacancy gains in Quebec contributed to most of the sector's growth over this period. Quebec also contributed the most to the growth in payroll employment in this sector during this period, according to SEPH. The job vacancy rate in the sector at the national level was up 0.3 percentage points to 3.0%. Over the same period, the average offered hourly wage rose by $1.35 (+6.5%) to $22.05. The transportation equipment and food manufacturing subsectors contributed the most to this rise.

Compared with the first quarter of 2018, the number of job vacancies in retail trade was up 4,100 (+9.4%) in the first quarter of 2019. An increase in the number of job vacancies over this period coincided with a payroll employment increase reported in SEPH. The increase in job vacancies recorded in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta was moderated by declines in British Columbia. While the job vacancy rate in retail trade at the national level grew 0.2 percentage points to 2.3%, it was still among the lowest of all sectors. The average offered hourly wage increased by $1.00 (+6.7%) to $15.95.

Employers in accommodation and food services reported 3,200 (+6.0%) more job vacancies in the first quarter. All of the growth over this period came from Ontario and Quebec. Similarly, most of the payroll employment increase from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019 came from these two provinces. At the same time, the job vacancy gains were partially offset by declines in British Columbia. The job vacancy rate at the national level was little changed at 4.2%. Over this period, the average offered hourly wage increased by $0.40 (+2.9%) to $14.15, the lowest offered wage among all sectors.

Job vacancies in educational services in the first quarter increased by 2,500 (+19.8%). This growth was spread across most provinces, where relatively large increases were observed in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, as well as in Saskatchewan. From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, the average offered hourly wage remained unchanged at $26.60. At the same time, the job vacancy rate grew by 0.2 percentage points to 1.1%.

Compared with the first quarter of 2018, employers in the construction sector reported 2,400 (+7.8%) more job vacancies in the first quarter of 2019. Gains recorded in Quebec were tempered by declines in Alberta. The average offered hourly wage for vacant positions in the sector increased by $0.75 (+3.2%) to $24.30, while the job vacancy rate was little changed at 3.3%.

Four-fifths of vacancies were for permanent positions

In the first quarter, vacancies for permanent positions accounted for fourth-fifths (79.9%) of all vacancies. The remaining 20.1% of vacancies were for temporary positions. The proportion of vacancies for permanent positions was up from 74.7% in the first quarter of 2016, while there was little change from the first quarter of 2018. The share of permanent employees observed in the LFS (88.5% of all employees) was comparable to the share of vacancies for permanent positions in the first quarter of 2019.

A permanent job is one that is expected to last as long as the employee wants it, business conditions permitting, while a temporary job has a predetermined end date, or will end as soon as a specified project is completed. Permanent employment is often associated with higher wages, more benefits, and a higher possibility of unionization and training offered by the employer than temporary employment. However, temporary employment could also provide employees with greater flexibility, experience, skill acquisition, and knowledge diversification.

Certain occupations, such as those in management and in manufacturing and utilities had a relatively high proportion of vacant permanent positions. At the same time, occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport; in natural resources, agriculture and related production; and in education, law and social, community and government services had a relatively low proportion of these vacancies. These differences could be attributed to a number of factors, such as the composition of occupations within these sectors, the prevalence of such working arrangements in certain sectors and the nature of work, for example, seasonal work.

More information on temporary employment can be found in Temporary employment in Canada, 2018.



  Note to readers

The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) provides comprehensive data on job vacancies and wages by industrial sector and detailed occupations for Canada, the provinces, territories and economic regions. Job vacancy and offered wage data are released quarterly.

With the release of job vacancy data for the first quarter of 2019, data from the first quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2018 have been revised to calibrate JVWS employment to revised Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) employment numbers.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for estimates from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2019 are based on the NAICS 2017 Version 3.0. Estimates from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2019 are based on the Standard Geographical Classification 2016.

Collection of the wage component was suspended in January 2018. A study is being conducted on how to provide more detailed information by regions and occupations. Collection of wage information will resume based on the results of the study.

JVWS data are not seasonally adjusted. Therefore, quarter-to-quarter comparisons should be interpreted with caution as they may reflect seasonal movements.

This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.

Summary statistics related to the job vacancy time series from the SEPH are available in tables 14-10-0224-01, 14-10-0225-01, 14-10-0226-01 and 14-10-0227-01.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a four-tiered hierarchical structure of occupational groups with successive levels of disaggregation. The structure is as follows: 1) 10 broad occupational categories, also referred to as one-digit NOC; 2) 40 major groups, also referred to as two-digit NOC; 3) 140 minor groups, also referred to as three-digit NOC; and 4) 500 unit groups, also referred to as four-digit NOC. Estimates from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2019 reflect the NOC 2016 v1.2.

SEPH data used in this Daily are three-month moving averages from February 2019, to better align the data with the reference period of the JVWS.

Labour Force Survey (LFS) data used in this Daily are three-month moving averages from March 2019.

Data quality of the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey

The target population of the survey includes all business locations in Canada, excluding those primarily involved in religious organizations and private households. While federal, provincial and territorial administrations are also currently excluded from the survey, they will be phased in later.

Next release

Job vacancy data from the JVWS for the second quarter will be released on September 20.

Products

More information about the concepts and use of data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey is available online in the Guide to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (Catalogue number75-514-G).

The product "Labour Market Indicators, by province, territory and economic region, unadjusted for seasonality" (Catalogue number71-607-X) is also available. This dynamic web application provides access to Statistics Canada's labour market indicators for Canada, by province, territory and economic region, and allows users to view a snapshot of key labour market indicators, observe geographical rankings for each indicator using an interactive map and table, and easily copy data into other programs.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free: 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Dylan Saunders (613-762-6972; dylan.saunders@canada.ca) or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; statcan.labour-travail.statcan@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

Date modified: