High job vacancies in health care and food services in Canada

Shelby Thevenot
Published: August 2, 2021

Amid increased public health measures in May, Canada's accommodation and food services sector had the highest rate of employers looking for workers, and the health sector had the highest number of open positions.

Canadian employers were actively recruiting for an estimated 671,100 positions in May. For the seventh consecutive month, the health sector had the highest number of job openings in Canada. There were about 107,300 open positions in health care in May, nearly one sixth of all job vacancies. Accommodation and food services had the second-highest number of openings at some 78,000, followed by retail trade which had 73,800 job vacancies.

Discover if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

The number of vacancies is the estimated number of open positions. A slight distinction from the vacancy rate, which refers to the number of vacant positions as a proportion of all positions.

Quebec, for example, had the highest job vacancy rates among all the provinces in May at 5.1 per cent, according to Statistics Canada's payroll, employment, and job vacancies report. B.C. followed closely behind at 5 per cent, and New Brunswick came next at 4.9 per cent. Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest job vacancy rate at 2.8 per cent.

The accommodation and food services sector had a vacancy rate of 7.8 per cent. This high rate could reflect seasonal hiring, as well as recruitment challenges.

While restaurants were shuttered, and employees forced to take up social assistance, recruiters reported having a difficult time calling back their staff. CBC reports people are re-evaluating their careers and lifestyles, and concerned about their health during the pandemic. The lack of international students who often work in this sector, has also played a part in vacancy rates.

Restrictions became less strict in June. The Labour Force Survey suggests employment in accommodation and food services grew nearly 12 per cent from May to June. "Employment" here refers to the number of people working. Job vacancy rates for June are not currently available.

Immigrants needed to support worsening labour shortages

A recent RBC report suggests Canada will need to rely even more on immigration as retirements and job quitting levels increase.

Economist Andrew Agopsowicz wrote that, during the pandemic, the number of retirements and people quitting their jobs due to dissatisfaction dropped significantly. Now that the economy is starting to recover, the number of job quitters is returning to pre-pandemic levels. Retirements delayed by the pandemic could also pick up in the second half of 2021. These factors could exacerbate labour shortages throughout the summer and fall.

"Canada will increasingly need to rely on immigration and other sources for labour force growth," the RBC report says.

Despite record-breaking immigration targets, Canada has been admitting newcomers at a slower rate in the first few months of the year. Although, intake picked up in June when Canada welcomed about 35,000 new permanent residents. While July figures are not yet released, the opening of the Canada border to approved permanent residents could help increase these numbers.

Although the federal government's immigration target is 401,000 this year, they will need to admit about 43,000 new immigrants per month from July onward in order to achieve this goal.

Discover if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Report recommends that Canada phase out closed work permits
Two workers in a factory are talking and smiling
Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association recommends IRPA legislation reform
A young family at home having fun on sofa.
Which jobs received the most LMIAs in 2023?
A picture of a Canadian visa above an application for a Labour Market Impact Assesment.
Canada’s immigration system proposes changes to the PGWP
A picture of a number of new graduates at the graduation ceremony
Top Stories
Canada’s population grows by over one million in less than a year
Express Entry: IRCC invites 1,499 candidates in latest draw
Category-based Express Entry draws: A year in review
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Express Entry
Express Entry: IRCC invites 1,499 candidates in latest draw
Candidates have received ITAs in that latest Express Entry draw
Category-based Express Entry draws: A year in review
people in nature and smile with grandparents, parents and children bonding.
How some Express Entry candidates may benefit from category-based selection draws
Business people smiling and having a meeting in the office.
How do Express Entry draws in 2024 compare to 2023?
A man sitting at a table looking intently at his laptop.
Link copied to clipboard