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Job vacancies, third quarter 2016

Released: 2017-01-25

Canadian employers had 402,000 job vacancies in the third quarter, and the national job vacancy rate was 2.5%.

Both the overall number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate in the third quarter were little changed compared with the third quarter of 2015. However, there were notable changes among the provinces and territories.

Compared with the second quarter of 2016, the number of job vacancies (seasonally unadjusted) increased by 2.4% in Canada, while the job vacancy rate was unchanged.

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: Change in the number of job vacancies between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016, by province and territory
Change in the number of job vacancies between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016, by province and territory

Provincial overview

In Ontario, the number of job vacancies in the third quarter rose by 19,000 (+12.3%) compared with the third quarter of 2015, the largest increase among the provinces and territories. The job vacancy rate in the province increased from 2.6% to 2.8% over the same period.

Within Ontario, job vacancies rose notably in the economic regions of Toronto (+20,000), Windsor–Sarnia (+2,100) and London (+1,100). Over half of the increase in the number of vacancies in Ontario was concentrated in professional, scientific and technical services, and in finance and insurance. Over 90% of the gain in total vacancies was for full-time work.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Job vacancy rate by province and territory, third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016
Job vacancy rate by province and territory, third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016

British Columbia had the second largest increase in the number of vacancies (+5,700 or +8.1%), and the job vacancy rate rose to 3.6% in the third quarter, the highest rate in Canada. Full-time job vacancies were up 7,400 in this province compared with the third quarter of 2015, while part-time job vacancies were down 1,700. Within British Columbia, the number of job vacancies rose in Lower Mainland–Southwest (+7,300) and Vancouver Island and Coast (+1,700). In the third quarter, 5 of the 10 economic regions with the highest vacancy rates were in this province.

The number of job vacancies in Quebec increased by 4,800 (+7.8%) in the third quarter compared with the same quarter one year earlier, and the job vacancy rate grew by 0.1 percentage points to 1.9%. The number of job vacancies rose in 6 of the 17 economic regions in the province, with Montréal (+2,600), Montérégie (+1,800), and Laurentides (+1,000) registering the largest increases. For the province as a whole, the largest increases were in finance and insurance, as well as in professional, scientific and technical services. The rise in vacancies in Quebec was concentrated in full-time jobs.

In Alberta, the number of vacancies fell by 18,000 (-28.8%) in the third quarter compared with the third quarter of 2015, the largest decrease in the country, driven by declines in retail trade (-8,000), accommodation and food services (-5,100) and construction (-3,000). Job vacancies in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction fell by 300 to 1,100. This sector had one of the lowest job vacancy rates (1.1%) in the province. The job vacancy rate in Alberta was down 0.8 percentage points to 2.3%. All eight economic regions in the province had fewer vacancies, with Edmonton (-6,800) and Calgary (-4,600) having the largest decreases.

The number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rates decreased in the remaining provinces and territories compared with one year earlier.

Job vacancies by full-time and part-time status

Nationally, an increase in the number of vacancies for full-time work (+11,000 or +4.3%) from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016 was offset by a decrease in part-time vacancies (-11,000 or -7.8%). Although full-time vacancies rose nationally, it fell in five provinces, led by Alberta (-12,000).

The largest increases in full-time vacancies were observed in occupations in business, finance and administration; management; and natural and applied sciences. The overall decrease in part-time vacancies was mainly the result of declines in sales and service occupations, where many part-time jobs are found.

Job vacancies by occupation

Nationally, the number of job vacancies increased in 6 of the 10 broad occupational groups on a year-over-year basis, with the largest increase in business, finance and administration occupations (+10,000 or +27.0%). Most of the increase in this group was attributable to more vacancies for human resources and business service professionals, and for auditors, accountants and investment professionals.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Number of job vacancies by broad occupational group (one-digit NOC¹), third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016
Number of job vacancies by broad occupational group (one-digit NOC¹), third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016

Management occupations had the second largest increase in the number of vacancies in the third quarter compared with the same quarter in 2015, mostly due to more vacancies for managers in financial and business services. Natural and applied sciences occupations had the third largest increase in vacancies, driven by demand for computer and information systems professionals.

These increases were offset by a decline in sales and service occupations, the only broad occupational group with a notable decrease at the national level. The number of vacancies in this group was down 21,000 compared with the third quarter of 2015, driven by fewer vacancies for cashiers, as well as other sales support and related occupations, such as store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers. Almost all of the decline (-19,000) was for part-time work.

Provincial job vacancies by occupation

In Ontario, about two-fifths of the rise in the number of vacancies came from business, finance and administration occupations (+7,800), compared with the third quarter of 2015. This province also reported notable vacancy increases in trades, transport and equipment operators (+4,100), as well as management occupations (+3,200).

The rise in job vacancies in British Columbia over the same period was spread across many broad occupational groups. The largest vacancy increase was in health occupations (+2,100).

On a year-over-year basis, the increase in the number of job vacancies in Quebec was led by business, finance and administration occupations (+2,500), and management occupations (+1,400).

Most of the decline of vacancies in Alberta was attributable to sales and service occupations, down 12,000 (-38.5%). Alberta's decrease in sales and service occupations accounted for the majority of the national decline for this group. However, in percentage terms, the largest decline in the province was in natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations (-1,600 or -62.5%).

Job vacancy rate by industrial sector

Compared with the third quarter of 2015, the job vacancy rate in the third quarter of 2016 rose in 3 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by professional, scientific and technical services. At the same time, the job vacancy rate fell in retail trade, and accommodation and food services.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Job vacancy rate in the 10 largest industrial sectors, third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016
Job vacancy rate in the 10 largest industrial sectors, third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016

The job vacancy rate in professional, scientific and technical services rose to 3.4% compared with 2.5% in the same quarter one year earlier. Job vacancies in this sector increased by 8,500 (+38.8%) over the same period.

The job vacancy rate in retail trade fell to 2.6% in the third quarter from 3.7% in the third quarter of 2015. At the same time, the number of job vacancies in the sector decreased by 22,000 (-29.4%). Declines in the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate in retail trade occurred in every province and territory except Quebec, where there was little change.

Job vacancies and offered hourly wage

Nationally, the average offered hourly wage for job vacancies was $19.80 in the third quarter, up $1.35 or 7.3% compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

Changes in the average offered hourly wage can reflect a variety of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of job vacancies by occupation, sector and between part-time and full-time positions. For example, declines in the number of job vacancies for low-wage occupation groups can push offered wages higher. Inversely, fewer vacancies in high-wage occupation groups can lower the offered wage.

The average offered hourly wage rose in a majority of broad occupational groups in the third quarter, with the largest increase in management occupations, from $31.80 in the third quarter of 2015 to $35.25 in the third quarter of 2016. An increase of 3,400 in the number of vacancies for this high-wage occupational group also contributed to the rise in the national average.

From a sectoral perspective, the average offered hourly wage increased in 10 of the 20 industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services, which increased from $15.40 in the third quarter of 2015 to $17.70 in the third quarter of 2016. Changes in the sectoral composition of vacancies, including fewer vacancies in the low-wage retail trade sector and more vacancies in high-wage sectors such as finance and insurance, as well as professional, scientific and technical services, also pushed the offered wage higher compared with one year earlier.




  Note to readers

Note that the title of The Daily text accompanying the release of job vacancy data has changed from "Job Vacancy and Wage Survey" to "Job vacancies."

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 as they may reflect seasonal movements.

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

Annual wage and employment data by occupation started being collected for the wage component of the survey in January 2016. The release of these data is scheduled for mid-2017.

Summary statistics related to the job vacancy time series from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls 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, with the exclusion of 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 later.

Next release

Job vacancy data from the JVWS for the fourth quarter of 2016 will be released in April 2017.

Products

More information about the concepts and use of data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey is available online in the Guide to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (Catalogue number75-514-G).

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 Dominique Dionne-Simard (613-618-9411; dominique.dionne-simard@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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