Canadian businesses had 221,000 job vacancies in December 2012, unchanged from December 2011. There were 5.7 unemployed people for every job vacancy, little changed from 5.8 in December 2011, according to Statistics Canada.
Provincially, Quebec was the lone province with a notable increase in the unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio. The ratio went from 6.1 unemployed people for every job vacancy in December 2011 to 7.7 in December 2012. The rise in the ratio was because the number of job vacancies in the province fell faster than the number of unemployed people.
The highest ratios of unemployed people to job vacancies continued to be among some of the eastern provinces. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 16 unemployed people for every vacancy in December 2012, followed by New Brunswick (10.5) and Nova Scotia (9.4). These figures were little changed from 12 months earlier.
The lowest ratios were in Alberta and Saskatchewan, both with 1.9 unemployed people for every job vacancy, followed by Manitoba at 3.5.
The construction sector had the highest number of unemployed people for every vacancy among the large industrial sectors, at 8.2 in December 2012. Since unemployment patterns in this industry are seasonal, the ratio tends to be highest in the winter months and lowest in the summertime.
Manufacturing had a ratio of 4.8 unemployed people for every vacant job in December 2012.
Wholesale trade was the only large industrial sector to show a sizeable increase in the ratio. In December, the ratio of unemployed people to job vacancies was 2.2, up from 1.6 in December 2011, mostly a result of fewer job vacancies.
The ratio in transportation and warehousing declined from four unemployed people for every job vacancy to 2.7 in December, all a result of more job vacancies.
Health care and social assistance had a ratio of 1.3 in December, the lowest of all industrial sectors. This ratio was little changed from 12 months earlier.
Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction saw its ratio rise from 1.6 in December 2011 to 2.7 in December 2012.
Arts, entertainment and recreation had a decline in the ratio from 9.1 to six over the 12-month period, as the number of job vacancies increased, said Statistics Canada.