Job openings drop in December: StatsCan

Construction sector has highest unemployed-to-job-vacancy ratio

The number of job openings is dwindling, according to Statistics Canada.

In a report released on March 18, Canadian businesses reported 200,000 job vacancies in December 2013 – down 21,000 compared to 2012. For every job vacancy, there were 6.3 unemployed people, up from 5.7 the previous year. Because the number of unemployed people changed only slightly, the increase in the unemployment-to-job-vacancy ratio was indeed the result of fewer job openings, the report noted.

Prince Edward Island saw the highest ratio at the end of last year – a whopping 20.2 unemployed people for every job vacancy – a difference of 8.1 compared to December 12 months prior.

Western provinces also experienced a jump. Over in Alberta, there were 2.3 unemployed people per job opening, up from 1.9 in December 2012. In that case, the number of unemployed people went up. Similarly in Saskatchewan, that ratio was 2.4, up from 1.8 the previous year, indicating the number of vacancies fell faster than the number of unemployed people.

Across the rest of the country, the unemployment-to-job-vacancy ratios remained steady.

Of the major industrial sectors, construction had the highest number of unemployed people for every vacancy in December at 8.3, unchanged from 2012. This is likely because the construction industry is seasonal, meaning the ratio tends to be high during the winter and low during the summer.

Canada’s overall vacancy rate among businesses was 1.3 per cent in December 2013, down from 1.5 per cent the previous year.

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