Canada reports over 1 million job vacancies

Shelby Thevenot
Published: May 31, 2022

Canadian employers were actively seeking to fill more than one million vacant positions at the beginning of March 2022, according to Statistics Canada's latest report on job vacancies, payroll, and earnings.

The number of job vacancies in Canada reached a record-high of 1,012,900 in March, more than the previous record of 988,300 in September 2021. There was an increase in 186,400 vacancies between February and March. The job vacancy rate, which measures the number of vacant positions as a proportion of vacant and filled positions, matched the record high of 5.9% also observed last September (not seasonally adjusted).

Vacancies increased by more than one third in both accommodation and food services as well as retail trade. Employers in accommodation and food services were seeking to fill about 158,100 positions, and retail employers had some 109,200 vacancies.

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There were record levels of job vacancies in health care and social assistance as well as construction. Health care and social assistance employers were seeking to fill 154,500 vacancies, and construction employers were seeking an unprecedented 81,900 employees.

Job vacancies were up in all provinces. The largest month-over-month increases were observed in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The number of job vacancies reached a record high in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

There was an average of 1.2 unemployed people for every job vacancy in March, down from 1.4 in February. The decline coincides with a record-low unemployment rate of 5.3%, and a record-high core-age labour force participation rate of nearly 87%.

Labour shortages were particularly felt in Quebec and British Columbia, each having an unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio of 0.8. A lower ratio indicates a tighter labour market. The highest was 4.3 observed in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Job vacancies had fallen for five consecutive months from September 2021, a function of seasonal demands. In Canada, economic activity increases in the spring and summer and declines in the winter.

Chart 3: Job vacancies increase since October 2020

Statistics Canada is expected to release April 2022 job vacancy data on June 24. Job Vacancy and Wage Survey results from the first quarter of 2022 will be released on June 21.

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