Job vacancies, second quarter 2023
Job vacancies decrease for the fourth consecutive quarter
Job vacancies decreased by 55,500 (-6.6%) to 780,200 in the second quarter, continuing a steady downward trend seen over the past year.
On a year-over-year basis, job vacancies in the second quarter declined by 210,700 (-21.3%) from the record high of 990,900 unfilled positions reached in the second quarter of 2022. Job vacancies decreased more for permanent positions (-193,200; -23.1%) than for temporary positions (-17,500; -11.4%). Over the same period, they also fell more for full-time positions (-163,500; -21.9%) than for part-time positions (-47,200; -19.4%).
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)—fell by 0.3 percentage points to 4.4% in the second quarter of 2023. This was the fourth consecutive quarterly decline and the lowest rate since the second quarter of 2021 (4.3%). The decrease in the job vacancy rate in the second quarter of 2023 reflected lower job vacancies (-55,500; -6.6%) combined with more payroll employees (+66,300; +0.4%).
Labour market tightness eases as unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio rises
While job vacancies decreased in the second quarter, the number of unemployed persons (as estimated in the Labour Force Survey) increased by 44,300, following three quarters of little change. As a result, there were 1.4 unemployed persons for every job vacancy in Canada in the second quarter, up from 1.3 in the previous quarter and from 1.1 in the second quarter of 2022. These increases indicate that labour market tightness eased in the second quarter of 2023, which may reduce upward pressure on growth in offered wages. Nevertheless, the unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio in the second quarter remained below pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, which were typically above 2.0.
Growth in average offered hourly wage slows for the second consecutive quarter
The average offered hourly wage grew 4.4% to $25.10 year over year in the second quarter, a slowdown from the first quarter (+5.0%) and the fourth quarter of 2022 (+8.5%). In comparison, year over year, average hourly wages of all employees (estimated from the Labour Force Survey) grew 4.8% in the second quarter of 2023 and 5.1% in the first quarter (data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
Part of these wage increases were due to a shift in the relative composition of job vacancies from occupations offering lower wages to those offering higher wages. Using a method that holds the composition of job vacancies by occupation at the average of the second quarter of 2022, offered hourly wages grew 3.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2023, down from 3.5% in the previous quarter and from 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Occupations with high annual growth of their average offered hourly wage in the second quarter of 2023 included nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (+8.6% to $22.80) and public works and maintenance labourers (+8.0% to $23.05).
In contrast, nursing co-ordinators and supervisors (-4.3% to $32.40) and residential and commercial installers and servicers (-4.2% to $22.90) saw their offered hourly wages drop in the second quarter on a year-over-year basis.
Sales and service occupations account for over half of the decline in overall vacancies
In the second quarter, job vacancies in sales and service occupations fell by 30,400 (-11.1%) to 243,500, the largest quarterly decline of any broad occupational group. This decrease accounted for over half (54.7%) of the total decrease in vacancies across all occupations.
Previously released data from the Labour Force Survey show that—excluding management within sales and service occupations—employment in this broad occupation increased by 40,000 (+0.9%) in the second quarter.
On a year-over-year basis, job vacancies in sales and service occupations fell by 90,700 (-25.8%). Within this broad occupational group, food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (-24,400 to 54,700) and retail salespersons (-12,900 to 33,600) reported the largest year-over-year drop in vacancies in the second quarter. The average offered wages for food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations ($16.00) and retail salespersons ($16.55) were below the national average of $25.10 across all occupations (not seasonally adjusted).
Job vacancies fall in natural and applied sciences and related occupations
In the second quarter, job vacancies in natural and applied sciences and related occupations declined by 5,100 (-9.1%) to 51,300. This was the fourth consecutive quarterly decline, bringing the net decrease to 26,000 (-33.6%) since the record high reached in the second quarter of 2022.
In the second quarter of 2023, the largest year-over year decreases in vacant positions within this broad occupational group were among computer programmers and interactive media developers (-6,700; -54.5%), software engineers and designers (-5,100; -53.5%) and information systems analysts and consultants (-4,900; -40.1%). These three occupations accounted for nearly two-thirds (63.6%) of the total decrease in vacancies in the natural and applied sciences and related occupations (not seasonally adjusted).
Fewer job vacancies in four other broad occupational groups
Job vacancies in business, finance and administration occupations fell by 4,800 (-5.3%) to 85,100 in the second quarter, following a decline of 9,600 (-9.7%) in the first quarter.
There were also fewer job vacancies in manufacturing and utilities (-4,200 to 32,000), management (-3,900 to 36,300) and natural resources, agriculture and related production (-1,700 to 17,800).
Large year-over-year decrease in vacancies in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
Job vacancies in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations fell by 38,400 (-20.4%) year over year to 149,700 in the second quarter, the second-largest yearly decline of any broad occupational group (after sales and service occupations). (Data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
Construction trades helpers and labourers (-7,000; -25.7%) reported the largest drop in job vacancies, followed by material handlers (-5,100; -31.1%) and transport truck drivers (-4,400; -15.4%). While the average offered hourly wage was little changed for transport truck drivers ($26.85), it was up slightly for construction trades helpers and labourers (+2.0% to $22.55) and material handlers (+2.4% to $19.40) in the second quarter from one year earlier.
Job vacancies rise in health occupations on a yearly basis
Nationally, there were 90,000 vacant positions in health occupations in the second quarter, up by 7,800 (+9.5%) from the second quarter of 2022. Health occupations was the only broad occupational group to report a year-over-year rise in job vacancies in the second quarter of 2023. It was also the only broad occupational group to see a year-over-year increase in full- (+5,600; +11.9%) and part-time (+2,200; +6.4%) unfilled positions; as well as in permanent (+4,700; +7.2%) and temporary (+3,100; +18.8%) vacant positions (data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
Year-over-year increases in job vacancies in health occupations were concentrated in Quebec (+5,900 to 28,200) in the second quarter, accounting for over three-quarters (75.8%) of the total annual increase in health occupations.
At the national level, the bulk of the year-over-year increase in job vacancies in health occupations in the second quarter was attributable to registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (+6,100 to 29,700) and licensed practical nurses (+2,700 to 13,600).
Over the same period, the proportion of long-term job vacancies (vacancies for which recruitment efforts have been ongoing for 90 days or more) also increased for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (from 55.6% in the second quarter of 2022 to 63.3% in the second quarter of 2023) and licensed practical nurses (from 56.5% to 62.8%), signalling continuing difficulties in nurse recruitment and retention.
Largest proportional decline in vacancies for positions requiring high school diploma or less
In the second quarter, year-over-year declines in job vacancies were spread across all the educational levels sought by employers. Proportionally, vacant positions requiring a high school diploma or less (-25.2%; -160,400) saw the largest decline in the second quarter. Despite this drop, the number of unfilled positions requiring a high school diploma or less continued to represent the majority (58.1%) of total job vacancies in the second quarter (data used in this section are not seasonally adjusted).
The average offered hourly wages for vacant positions requiring a high school diploma or less grew 5.0% to $20.05 on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter. In comparison, the average offered hourly wage for positions requiring a bachelor's degree ($40.60) was little changed from the same quarter of 2022 ($41.05).
Fewer job vacancies in 27 of 69 economic regions
Job vacancies decreased in six provinces and were virtually unchanged in the other four in the second quarter of 2023. The largest quarter-over-quarter declines were in Ontario (-27,900 to 271,200), Quebec (-16,400 to 195,700) and Alberta (-6,500 to 86,700). Year over year, job vacancies decreased in eight provinces and were little changed in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.
At the regional level, the number of unfilled positions declined in 27 of the 69 economic regions in the second quarter, with the largest proportional drop being in London, Ontario (-35.4% to 11,300). Meanwhile, job vacancies were up in 5 economic regions, led by Cariboo, British Columbia (+1,200 to 4,900), and Outaouais, Quebec (+900 to 6,500), and held steady in the remaining 37 economic regions.
Year over year, the job vacancy rate declined in 43 economic regions in the second quarter, including the 2 with the highest rate across all economic regions in the second quarter of 2022: North Coast and Nechako, British Columbia (from 8.2% in the second quarter of 2022 to 7.2% in the second quarter of 2023), and Banff–Jasper–Rocky Mountain House, Alberta (from 7.7% to 5.6%).
Meanwhile, the job vacancy rate increased in Parklands and North, Manitoba (+1.5 percentage points to 5.9%), and Swift Current–Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (+0.8 percentage points to 5.9%). The job vacancy rate was little changed in the remaining 24 economic regions on a year-over-year basis.
The 10 occupations with the largest annual decreases in job vacancies and their average offered wage, second quarter of 2023
The 10 occupations with the largest annual increases in job vacancies and their average offered wage, second quarter of 2023
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 third quarter will be released on December 18.
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; email@example.com) or Media Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).