Job vacancies, fourth quarter 2022
Job vacancies decreased by 78,600 (-8.2%) in the fourth quarter, while the job vacancy rate declined to 4.9% (-0.5 percentage points).
Job vacancies declined in 16 of 20 broad industrial sectors, particularly in accommodation and food services (-21,400) and administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (-15,800). At the same time, the job vacancies edged up in educational services (+3,200).
Job vacancies also fell in 7 of 10 broad occupational groups in the fourth quarter, including trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (-22,200) and sales and service occupations (-20,100).
There were 147,300 job vacancies in health occupations in the fourth quarter, little changed from the record high reached in the third quarter.
Job vacancy decreases were observed in Ontario (-31,000), Quebec (-24,000) and British Columbia (-19,300). Meanwhile, job vacancies rose in Saskatchewan (+1,700).
Job vacancies decreased more for positions requiring a high school diploma or less (-17.8%) than for positions requiring a bachelor's degree or higher (-2.9%). As a result, an increased proportion of job vacancies in the fourth quarter required a postsecondary education (not seasonally adjusted).
Average offered hourly wage rose 8.5% (+ $1.95) on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter, partially due to a shift in the relative composition of job vacancies from lower- to higher-offered-wage occupations (not seasonally adjusted).
Overall job vacancies and job vacancy rate decline for a second consecutive quarter
Payroll employment increased 0.9% (+144,400) in the fourth quarter, the seventh consecutive quarterly increase. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate was 5.1% in the fourth quarter, little changed from the third quarter and just above the record low of 4.9% reached in June and July of 2022. Employment has continued to increase in 2023, with strong growth in January (+150,000; +0.8%) followed by little change in February (+22,000; +0.1%).
While payroll employment has increased, the number of job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased by 78,600 (-8.2%) to 876,300, marking the second consecutive quarterly decline.
The total number of vacancies in the fourth quarter was 11.3% lower (-111,400) than the record high (987,700) reached in the second quarter but remained 57.7% higher (+320,600) than in the first quarter of 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The job vacancy rate—which corresponds to the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand (the sum of filled and vacant positions)—also declined for the second consecutive quarter. It was 4.9% in the fourth quarter, down from 5.4% in the third quarter. This decline was the result of the fall in vacancies combined with the increase in payroll employment.
Job vacancies decline in 16 of 20 broad industrial sectors
The number of unfilled positions in the accommodation and food services sector declined by 21,400 (-15.3%) to 118,800 in the fourth quarter, down from the peak of 154,500 reached in the third quarter of 2021.
After reaching a record high in the third quarter of 2022, job vacancies in health care and social assistance sector fell 2.5% (-3,700) to 147,300 in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, there were 44,100 vacant positions in the administrative and support, waste management and remediation services sector, down by 15,800 (-26.3%) from the third quarter. This was the first significant decrease for this sector since the fourth quarter of 2021, when the number of vacancies reached a record high of 61,300.
The number of vacancies also declined in 13 other sectors in the fourth quarter of 2022, including professional, scientific and technical services (-5,300 to 58,000), manufacturing (-4,900 to 73,000) and retail trade (-4,800 to 97,400).
Educational services (+3,200 to 26,100) was the only sector to record an increase in job vacancies in the fourth quarter.
Widespread decreases in job vacancies across broad occupation groups
Job vacancies fell in 7 of the 10 broad occupational groups in the fourth quarter, while they showed little change in health occupations; management occupations; and occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport.
The largest quarter-over-quarter decreases in vacancies were seen in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (-22,200 to 155,600), sales and service occupations (-20,100 to 280,600) and natural and applied sciences and related occupations (-11,000 to 58,300).
Previously released data from the LFS show that employment in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations rose by 10,000 in the fourth quarter, bringing the total gains since the second quarter to 47,700. Concurrently, employment was little changed in sales and service occupations, as well as in natural and applied sciences and related occupations.
The quarter-over-quarter decline in vacancies in natural and applied sciences and related occupations was driven largely by decreases among computer and information systems professionals (-12.2% to 29,800) (not seasonally adjusted).
Other occupations with large declines in vacancies in the fourth quarter include transport truck drivers (-5,900 to 26,900), the second consecutive decline from the peak of 28,200 in the second quarter (not seasonally adjusted).
The number of unfilled positions in health occupations (96,200) in the fourth quarter was little changed from the record high reached in the third quarter (95,300). On a year-over-year basis, the number of vacancies for these occupations rose by 14,400 (+17.7%).
Large year-over-year increases in vacancies in this broad occupational group included registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (+4,800; +20.9%), licensed practical nurses (+2,300; +21.8%), and nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (+2,300; +11.2%). Together, these occupations made up over two-thirds (68.8%) of all vacancies in health occupations in the fourth quarter (not seasonally adjusted).
Job vacancies decline or hold steady in most economic regions
In the fourth quarter, job vacancies declined in 20 of 69 economic regions. Proportionally, the largest decreases were in Laurentides, Quebec (-28.8% to 13,200) and Winnipeg, Manitoba (-23.4% to 16,200). Meanwhile, job vacancies increased in five economic regions, including Lanaudière, Quebec (+16.8% to 10,000) and Saskatoon–Biggar, Saskatchewan (+15.9% to 11,000). The remaining 44 economic regions showed little change in job vacancies in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, job vacancies decreased in five provinces. The largest proportional decreases were observed in Manitoba (-17.1% to 26,200), British Columbia (-12.6% to 133,500) and Quebec (-10.0% to 216,700). Meanwhile, job vacancies increased in Saskatchewan (+7.1% to 25,500), while they held steady in the remaining four provinces and three territories.
Year-over-year growth in offered hourly wage above 8.0%
In the context of a tight labour market, some employers may raise the offered wages of their vacancies. In the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, conducted from October to early November 2022, 25.3% of businesses reported having a plan to increase wages offered to new employees to address obstacles related to hiring and retention, led by employers in manufacturing (39.8%), retail trade (36.4%) and accommodation and food services (34.4%).
On a year-over-year basis, the average offered hourly wage for vacant positions increased 8.5% to $24.90 in the fourth quarter. In comparison, year-over-year average hourly wages of all employees (as measured in the LFS) grew 5.3% in the fourth quarter (data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
Part of this increase was due to a shift in the relative composition of job vacancies from lower-offered-wage to higher-offered-wage occupations. Using a method that holds the composition of job vacancies by occupation at the average of the fourth quarter of 2021, year-over-year offered wage growth was 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Occupations with higher growth of their average offered wage included other customer and information services representatives (+11.2% to $19.80); nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (+10.4% to $22.20); and social and community service workers (+10.2% to $22.65). In contrast, nursing coordinators and supervisors (-12.6% to $30.65) and banking, insurance and other financial clerks (-9.6% to $22.65) recorded negative growth rates in hourly offered wages over the period.
Higher growth in offered wage for positions requiring a high school diploma or less
Positions requiring a lower level of education usually offer lower wages. In the fourth quarter, the average offered wage for job vacancies requiring a bachelor's degree or higher was $40.80, compared with $19.60 for vacancies requiring a high school diploma or less (data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
However, in the fourth quarter, the average offered wage grew at a faster rate on a year-over-year basis for vacant positions requiring a high school diploma (+6.8%) than for vacant positions requiring a bachelor's degree or higher (+4.3%).
Job vacancies decline for positions requiring high school diploma or less
On a year-over-year basis, the number of job vacancies decreased 12.8% (-73,000) for positions requiring a high school diploma or less in the fourth quarter, but it rose 6.9% (+7,300) for positions requiring a bachelor's degree or higher (data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
As a result, the proportion of job vacancies requiring a high school diploma or less fell to 58.0% of overall job vacancies in the fourth quarter, down from 62.2% in the same quarter of 2021. In contrast, the proportion of vacancies requiring a bachelor's degree or higher rose from 11.6% to 13.3% over the same period.
The 10 occupations with the largest annual decreases in job vacancies and their average offered wage, fourth quarter of 2022
The 10 occupations with the largest annual increases in job vacancies and their average offered wage, fourth quarter of 2022
Note to readers
The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) provides comprehensive data on job vacancies and offered wages by industrial sector and detailed occupation for Canada and the provinces, territories and economic regions. Job vacancy and offered wage data are released quarterly.
Estimates by sector are based on the North American Industry Classification System 2017 Version 3.0. Estimates by geographical area are based on the Standard Geographical Classification 2016. Estimates by occupation reflect the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 Version 1.3. The 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.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, data collection for the JVWS was suspended for the second and third quarters of 2020.
Beginning with the reference period of October 2020, preliminary monthly estimates from the JVWS are released on a monthly basis alongside the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours release. These estimates provide information on the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate by province and by industrial sector.
The target population of the survey includes all business locations in Canada, excluding those involved primarily in religious organizations and private households. Federal, provincial and territorial, as well as international and other extraterritorial public administrations are also excluded from the survey.
Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted estimates, which facilitate comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.
Seasonally adjusted quarterly job vacancy data are available online (tables 14-10-0398-01, 14-10-0399-01 and 14-10-0400-01). The analyses of the job vacancy levels and rates by sector (20 broad industrial sector groups), one-digit NOC (10 broad occupational categories), province and economic region are based on seasonally adjusted data. However, the analyses of the job vacancy levels and rates by subsector, two-digit NOC, three-digit NOC and four-digit NOC are based on non-seasonally adjusted data.
This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.
Data on job vacancies from the JVWS for the first quarter of 2023 will be released on June 20, 2023.
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 (75-514-G).
The product "Labour Market Indicators, by province, territory and economic region, unadjusted for seasonality" (71-607-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.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Media Relations (email@example.com).