Canada had more than 1 million job vacancies in September

Kareem El-Assal
Published: November 27, 2021

Canada's economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Statistics Canada report.

A total of 91,100 people were added to payrolls across Canada in September, representing the fourth straight monthly increase.

Payroll employment increased in eight provinces. Ontario led the way with over 43,000 new employees added to payrolls. British Columbia (BC) was second, followed by Quebec.

Nationally, job gains were driven by the services-producing sector, namely accommodation and food services, public administration, and finance and insurance.

Statistics Canada notes that the re-opening of the Canada-U.S. border in August and easing of travel restrictions for tourists in September may have contributed to job growth in tourism and related sectors.

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Job shortages continue to be an issue. There were over 1 million job vacancies at the beginning of September. There were nearly 200,000 vacancies in the accommodation and food sector and the job vacancy rate was 14.4 per cent. The job vacancy rate measures all vacant positions as a percentage share of all vacant and occupied positions.

Over half of businesses in accommodation and food services report they expect to face obstacles in recruiting the right candidates. Just 30 per cent of all other businesses report similar concerns.

Health care and social assistance had over 130,000 vacancies in September, nearly double the total of vacancies in the third quarter of 2019.

Retail trade had nearly 122,000 vacancies in September.

Meanwhile, both the construction and manufacturing sectors had over 80,000 vacant positions each.

Statistics Canada explains that an increase in job vacancies may signal an increase in economic activity and hiring as employers create new roles. It may also signal worsening structural labour market imbalances, such as skills shortages and geographic mismatches between vacancies and workers capable of filling them. It also potentially signals a change in the willingness of workers to accept wages, hours, and other factors associated with job vacancies.

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