Job vacancies rate reaches new heights

Nearly 400,000 jobs unfilled in second quarter: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/10/2018
Recruitment, hiring, staffing
Quebec’s already high vacancy rate experienced the greatest increase this month to 3.9 per cent. Shutterstock

The rate of job vacancies rose again in the year’s second quarter to 3.1 per cent, according to a survey.

That’s the highest vacancy rate ever observed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Help Wanted report since the series’ inception in 2004.

An estimated 397,400 jobs have sat vacant for at least four months.

“Although the national vacancy rate continues to climb, most of the increase is being driven by Quebec. Rates in B.C. and Ontario remain high, but have eased off a little from the previous quarter,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist.

“The difficulty businesses in those provinces face in meeting their staffing needs is really the headwind of a strong and growing economy.”

Results by province

Quebec’s already high vacancy rate experienced the greatest increase this month to 3.9 per cent, close to the four per cent Alberta saw during the height of the oil and gas boom, found the survey of 2,194 CFIB members.

British Columbia and Ontario experienced vacancy drops, but maintained their high rates at 3.4 and three per cent respectively. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan’s labour markets continued to trail the rest of the country, with drops in all three provinces.

Provinces

Vacancy rate

Change

Unfilled jobs

Quebec

3.9%

+0.2%

109,600

British Columbia

3.4%

-0.2%

62,200

Ontario

3.0%

-0.1%

154,600

New Brunswick

2.7%

 

6,200

Manitoba

2.6%

+0.1%

11,200

Nova Scotia

2.5%

+0.1%

7,500

Alberta

2.4%

 

37,500

Saskatchewan

1.7%

-0.2%

5,800

Newfoundland & Labrador

1.5%

-0.1%

2,300

Prince Edward Island

1.2%

-0.1%

500

Job vacancies by industry

The personal services sector experienced the highest vacancy rate at 4.8 per cent, followed by construction at 3.8 per cent and transportation at 3.4 per cent, said CFIB. Vacancy rates advanced in transportation, wholesale and professional services, while those in hospitality and enterprise services fell. The vacancy rates in other industries held steady this quarter over last.

Labour shortages continued to put pressure on wages this quarter, said the federation, with companies with at least one unfilled position expecting to offer average organization-wide wage increases 0.8 per cent higher than those with no vacancies.

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