Job vacancies in Canada dip for 5th straight quarter

New data suggests easing in labour market

Job vacancies in Canada dip for 5th straight quarter

Job vacancies in Canada fell for the fifth straight quarter as the number of unemployed individuals went up in an indication that the country's labour market is showing signs of easing.

The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) from Statistics Canada revealed that job vacancies fell by 69,900 (-9%) to 706,000 in the third quarter of 2023.

This is the fifth straight quarterly decline from the record-high number of job vacancies recorded in second quarter of 2022, where there were over 990,000.

Sales and service occupations logged a decline of 34,600 (-14.3%) to 206,500, accounting for 29.2% of all vacancies in the third quarter.

According to Statistics Canada, this is the largest quarterly decline of any broad occupational group for the fifth quarter in a row.

The country's job vacancy rate, or the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand, also decreased to 3.9% in the third quarter.

"This was the fifth consecutive quarterly decline and the lowest rate since the first quarter of 2021 (3.8%)," Statistics Canada said in a media release.

Labour market easing

The findings come as the number of unemployed people in Canada went up by 79,500, according to the latest Labour Force Survey.

"As a result, there were 1.7 unemployed persons for every job vacancy in the third quarter, up from 1.4 in the previous quarter, and 1.1 in the third quarter of 2022," Statistics Canada said.

It noted, however, that the unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio remained below pre-pandemic levels, which were usually about 2.0.

Meanwhile, payroll employment increased at a slower pace after going up by 117,600 in the third quarter of 2023.

Offered wages also go up

The JVWS provides comprehensive data on job vacancies and offered wages by the industrial sector that are released quarterly.

This year, the JVWS found that the average offered hourly wage grew by 5.8%, a faster pace than the previous quarter.

"Part of these increases were due to a shift in the relative composition of job vacancies from lower- to higher-offered-wage occupations," Statistics Canada said.

However, this quarter's growth is at a slower pace compared with the same period last year, which was at 7.3%.

Labour-related challenges

Amid easing labour market tightness, the number of employers expecting at least one labour-related obstacle over the next three months also decreased to 40.3%.

More than a quarter (29.4%) of businesses expect challenges in recruiting skilled employees, while 23.6% said they are expecting challenges on retaining skilled staff.

Only a quarter of employers are also expecting a shortage in the labour force, fewer than the 30.3% from the previous quarter.

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