Job seekers having a hard time finding work

Latest stats suggest 'workers are settling into jobs,' says StatCan

Job seekers having a hard time finding work

The time when job seekers had the upper hand when it comes to the Canadian job market is a thing of the past, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force survey.

Among those who were unemployed in July, 57.8 per cent (three-month moving average, not seasonally adjusted) remained unemployed in August.

This number was up from 53.4 per cent 12 months earlier.

“This increase suggests that job seekers may have faced more difficulties finding employment compared with a year earlier,” said StatCan.

As of July 14, total Canadian job postings on Indeed were down 27 per cent from their early May 2022 peak. And 54 per cent of employed job seekers believe it will be difficult to find a job in the next six months, according to a separate report from Express Employment Professionals released last month.

Lower job-changing rate

The job-changing rate – the proportion of workers who remain employed from one month to the next but who change jobs between months – was 0.4 per cent in August. This was below the peak of 0.8 per cent recorded in January 2022.

“A lower job-changing rate may indicate that workers are settling into jobs, or that the labour market has become less favourable to employees seeking new opportunities,” said StatCan in its report.

Many workers are also hoping they will get full-time jobs even though they are currently part-time employees, says Ottawa.

The involuntary part-time employment rate was 18.9% in August, up from 17.2% in August 2022.

Overall, Canada added 40,000 new positions last month.

Additional work by necessity

Many workers are seeking full-time employment at a time when others are taking on more work out of necessity, according to Ottawa’s statistics body.

About one million people – or 5.4 per cent of the employed population – held multiple jobs in August 2023.

The top reasons these workers are taking on extra work are:

  • to pay for essential needs (34.9 per cent)
  • to earn extra income (34.8 per cent)
  • to work in a field they were passionate about (14.5 per cent)

Female workers (6.2 per cent) were more likely to be multiple jobholders in August 2023 than their male counterparts (4.7 per cent), as were young workers aged 15 to 24 (7.1 per cent) and immigrants admitted to Canada less than 10 years ago (6.9 per cent). The multiple jobholder rate was also above average among Black (7.4 per cent) and Filipino (8.0 per cent) workers.

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