Job vacancies rose in every Canadian province in 3rd quarter of 2018

CIC News
Published: January 8, 2019

Job vacancies increased in every Canadian province in the third quarter of 2018, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia reported the largest year-over-year increases during the three-month period spanning July 1 to September 30, 2018.

Statistics Canada said there were 550,000 job vacancies in Canada during the quarter, which was an increase of 83,000 over the same period in 2017.

"This was the eighth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year increase in both the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate," the agency said of 2018's third quarter.

Job openings rose by 31,020 in Quebec, an increase of 35.5 per cent over the third quarter of 2017. Close to half of these job openings were in the health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services and manufacturing sectors.

Statistics Canada said the job vacancy rate in Quebec rose by 0.7 percentage points to 3.2 per cent during the quarter — the second largest provincial increase after Prince Edward Island.

"After having one of the lowest job vacancy rates among the provinces from 2015 to the first half of 2017, higher demand for labour in Quebec helped push its rate closer to the national average (3.3%)," Statistics Canada reported.

Of the 10 Canadian economic regions with the highest job vacancy growth rates, seven were in Quebec. The province's Côte-Nord and Nord-du-Québec economic region led the top 10 with a year-over-year increase of 64.2 per cent.

Quebec's Immigration Ministry introduced changes last year to its Regular Skilled Worker Program that could help the province identify and prioritize immigration candidates with work experience that is needed in regions like Côte-Nord and Nord-du-Québec as well as others facing labour shortages.

Job vacancies in Ontario increased by 22,465, or 12.2 per cent, compared to the third quarter of 2017. Ontario's health care and social services sector posted the greatest increase in job vacancies during the quarter.

British Columbia saw job vacancies increase by 17,950, or 19.4 per cent, compared to the third quarter of 2017, led by its construction sector.

Alberta reported 5,100 more job vacancies in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the year before, an increase of 9.5 per cent. The province's health care and social assistance sector led with an increase of 2,000 job openings over the third quarter of 2017.

The Atlantic Canada province of New Brunswick rounded out the top five with a third-quarter increase of 2,140 job vacancies compared to the year before.

Provincial Nominee Programs help fill the gaps

Helping fill these vacancies is a key function of Canada's Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which allows participating provinces and territories to nominate skilled foreign workers for permanent residence.

Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick are among the nine Canadian provinces and two territories with immigration streams that are linked to Canada's PNP.

Quebec does not participate in Canada's PNP, but instead has a separate arrangement with the Government of Canada that allows it to select foreign workers for immigration to the province.

"Canada's PNP is gaining in stature every year, and these latest statistics are part of the reason why," said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.

"Canadian employers need workers, and Canada's PNP streams help them fill those gaps."

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