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Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, first quarter 2016

Released: 2016-08-11

There were 328,000 job vacancies among Canadian employers in the first quarter, and the job vacancy rate was 2.1%.

Compared with the first quarter of 2015, the number of job vacancies declined by 72,000 (-17.9%), and the job vacancy rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points.

Job vacancy rate declines in most provinces and territories

From the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, the job vacancy rate declined in nine provinces and two territories, with the largest decreases occurring in Alberta and Saskatchewan. At the same time, the job vacancy rate increased in Nunavut, and was little changed in New Brunswick.

The job vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all payroll jobs available. It represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand, that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Job vacancy rate by province and territory, first quarter 2015 and first quarter 2016
Job vacancy rate by province and territory, first quarter 2015 and first quarter 2016 

Since 2015, payroll employment has declined in Alberta. The number of job vacancies also decreased in the province, down by 35,000 (-47.9%) from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. Over the same period, the job vacancy rate fell from 3.5% to 1.9%.

The job vacancy rate in Saskatchewan was 2.0% in the first quarter, down from 3.0% in the same quarter a year earlier. At the same time, the number of job vacancies in the province declined by 4,900 (-34.7%).

The number of job vacancies fell in 7 of the 10 broad occupational groups compared with the first quarter of 2015. The largest decrease was in sales and service occupations, down 35,000 (-23.6%). Despite this decline, this group reported the highest number of job vacancies in the first quarter of 2016.

Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations recorded the second largest decline in the first quarter, down 22,000 (-34.6%) compared with the first quarter of 2015. Over the same period, the number of job vacancies was little changed in health occupations; management occupations; and business, finance and administration occupations.

Job vacancy rates across Canada

In the first quarter, Yukon had the highest job vacancy rate at 3.0%, followed by British Columbia (2.9%) and Nunavut (2.7%).

Prince Edward Island (1.2%), Quebec (1.6%) and New Brunswick (1.6%) had the lowest job vacancy rates.

Of the 10 economic regions with the highest job vacancy rates in Canada, 9 were in the western provinces or in the territories and 1 was in Ontario. Meanwhile, 6 of the 10 economic regions with the lowest job vacancy rates were in Quebec. There are 76 economic regions in Canada.

Job vacancies by occupation

Among the 140 more detailed occupational groups, food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations had the largest number of vacancies (18,000), followed by retail salespersons (16,000) and chefs and cooks (9,800). These three groups are related to sales and service occupations, which is the broad occupational group with the largest number of vacancies in Canada (115,000 or 34.9% of all job vacancies).

Motor vehicle and transit drivers (9,700); trades helpers and labourers (3,900); and longshore workers and material handlers (3,600) were the occupational groups with the highest number of job vacancies in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations. This group had the second highest number of vacancies (42,000 or 12.8% of all vacancies).

Job vacancies by sector

Looking at the job vacancies by industrial sector, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector had the highest job vacancy rate at 3.9% in the first quarter, followed by agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting at 3.8%, and accommodation and food services at 3.3%.

In contrast, educational services (0.5%) and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (0.7%) had the lowest job vacancy rates among the sectors.

Nationally, the number of vacancies in arts, entertainment and recreation was 10,500 in the first quarter. In this sector, Ontario had 65.5% of all job vacancies, while it accounted for 39.2% of employment. Quebec had 8.8% of all vacancies in this sector, and its share of employment was 22.1%.

Job vacancies and offered hourly wage

The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey provides data on the average offered hourly wage for the job vacancies that businesses are trying to fill. The wage offered by an employer for a vacant position may differ from the actual wage paid once a position is filled (see the Guide to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey for a detailed definition of average offered hourly wage).

In the first quarter, the average offered hourly wage for all job vacancies was $19.95. The highest offered wages were in Nunavut ($27.90) and the Northwest Territories ($25.30). Provincially, Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest offered wage at $20.95, followed by Quebec at $20.50 and Ontario at $20.30. New Brunswick had the lowest at $15.70.

Looking at offered wage by economic region, Nunavut had the highest offered wage at $27.90, and Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, had the lowest at $13.45.

Among the industrial sectors, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction had the highest offered wage at $35.25, followed by utilities at $33.95. These two sectors also had the lowest number of job vacancies, with 1,400 vacancies in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and 1,300 in utilities.

Accommodation and food services ($12.45), retail trade ($13.50), and arts, entertainment and recreation ($13.50) had the lowest offered wage among the 20 industrial sectors.

Job vacancies by full-time and part-time status

In Canada, 67.8% of the vacancies were for full-time work in the first quarter. Nunavut (89.6%) and the Northwest Territories (76.7%) had the highest proportion of vacancies for full-time jobs, while Yukon (51.8%) had the lowest.

Quebec (73.0%) and Alberta (72.4%) had the highest proportion of full-time job vacancies among the provinces. On the other hand, Prince Edward Island, at 62.4%, had the lowest.

Nationally, the average offered wage for job vacancies that were for full-time work was $22.15, while it was $15.35 for vacancies that were for part-time jobs. Differences in the offered wage by full-time and part-time status partly reflect the distribution of job vacancies by occupation. For example, occupations in food and beverage service and cashiers, two occupational groups that had among the lowest offered wages for vacant positions, represented 10.1% of all job vacancies for part-time work, compared with 2.0% of all vacancies for full-time work.

Job vacancies in the three largest economic regions

The job vacancy rate varied among the three economic regions with the largest populations. In the first quarter, Lower Mainland–Southwest, British Columbia, which includes Vancouver, had the highest job vacancy rate of all the economic regions at 3.1%. The rate was 2.5% for Toronto, and 1.9% for Montréal. In line with the size of their labour markets, these economic regions had the largest number of job vacancies.

In these three economic regions, the number of job vacancies was highest in sales and service occupations. In Toronto and Montréal, the broad occupational group with the second most vacancies was business, finance and administration occupations, while it was trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations for Lower Mainland–Southwest.

The industrial sector with the highest number of vacancies varied across the three largest economic regions. Professional, scientific and technical services had the highest number of vacancies in Toronto, while health care and social assistance had the largest number of vacancies in Montréal, and accommodation and food services had the highest number of vacancies in Lower Mainland–Southwest.

Looking at the minimum level of education sought for the vacant positions, postsecondary education was sought for the majority of job vacancies in Montréal (66.4%), slightly more than half of the vacancies in Toronto (52.3%) and approximately one-third of the vacancies in Lower Mainland–Southwest (36.7%).

The offered wage was highest in Montréal ($23.75), followed by Toronto ($21.85) and Lower Mainland–Southwest ($19.45). Differences in the offered wage reflect a number of factors, including the distribution of job vacancies by occupation, industrial sector, level of education sought by the employer, full-time or part-time work status of the vacant position, and job permanency.






  Note to readers

The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) is a quarterly survey that provides comprehensive information on job vacancies by industrial sector, detailed occupation and skill level sought for Canada, the provinces, territories and economic regions.

JVWS data are not seasonally adjusted. Therefore, quarter-to-quarter comparisons should be interpreted with caution.

This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level.

The annual wage and employment data by occupation started being collected for the wage component of the survey in 2016.

Summary statistics related to the job vacancy time series from the Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours are available in CANSIM.

Occupations are classified according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011. The NOC is a four-tiered hierarchical structure of occupational groups with successive levels of disaggregation. The structure is as follows: 1) 10 broad occupational categories, also referred to as one-digit NOC; 2) 40 major groups, also referred to as two-digit NOC; 3) 140 minor groups, also referred to as three-digit NOC; and 4) 500 unit groups, also referred to as four-digit NOC.

Industrial sectors are classified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012. The NAICS has 20 industrial sectors at the two-digit level.

Data quality of the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey

The target population of the survey includes all business locations in Canada, except those primarily involved in religious organizations and private households. While federal, provincial and territorial administrations are also excluded from the survey for now, they will be phased in at a later date.

As data for the first quarter of 2015 are based on a smaller sample than subsequent quarters, the estimates for that quarter are subject to higher sampling variability. Therefore, year-over-year comparisons are made at the national and provincial levels. For more information on the estimates for the first quarter of 2015, see "Appendix B" in the Guide to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (Catalogue number75-514-G).

Next release

Job vacancy data from the JVWS for the second quarter will be released in October.

Products

More information about the concepts and use of data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey is available online in the "Job Vacancy Component" of the Guide to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (Catalogue number75-514-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Myriam Hazel (613-219-4345; myriam.hazel@canada.ca) or Emmanuelle Bourbeau (613-951-3007; emmanuelle.bourbeau@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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