Statistics Canada reports more Canadian job openings, higher employment vacancy rate

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Statistics Canada has just released its reports from the fourth quarter of 2017. According to its data, there has been a rise in Canadian job openings —mainly in hospitality, food services and manufacturing sectors— compared to a year ago.

“There were 470,000 vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 23.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. It was the largest annual increase since the series started in 2015,” Reuters reports.

The employment vacancy rate, which measures how many unfilled jobs there are out of those available, rose from 2.4% to 2.9%.

The upward trend of a rising vacancy rate suggests that further economic growth is on the horizon for the country, since more job seekers would be incentivized to work in Canada based on the reported job openings.

Economists expect this rapid growth to slow this year, however.

Last year’s labour market was “unexpectedly robust” in Canada, as job openings in 8 out of 10 major industrial sectors sought to hire more workers. Manufacturing saw a major jump of 39% more openings, while hospitality, accommodation and food services saw a 25% jump nationwide.

Ontario and Quebec led the growth for job vacancies yet Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Yukon saw little change to their labour markets, according to StatsCan.

Employers in Quebec reported 46.1% more job vacancies than the year earlier, most notably in the sectors mentioned above. Ontario had 17.3% more job vacancies than the previous year, making it the sixth consecutive quarter that the province saw a year-over-year increase in the job vacancy category.

The major Ontario vacancy areas were in health care, social assistance, accommodation and food services.

Overall, there were widespread increases in Canadian job vacancies across “broad occupational categories” at the end of last year that we can only hope to continue as we get into the middle of this year.