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Canada sees job vacancies decrease for the third consecutive month, as strong hiring persists

Canada sees job vacancies decrease for the third consecutive month, as strong hiring persists

In December, there were fewer open positions for the third month in a row as payroll employment increased significantly. Another successful month for Canada's post-COVID recovery efforts was December 2022. The total number of open posts decreased to 848,000, while payroll employment—the number of employees who receive benefits or compensation from their employers—rose as 91,400 positions were filled in the final month of 2022.

In spite of labor shortages, certain industries continue to have concentrated and long-lasting unfilled positions. This is despite the Canadian labor market making efforts towards expanding payroll employment and reducing job vacancies. Since these factors have had little of an impact on the total number of open posts from November (849,200) to December of 2022, many in-demand positions remain unfilled and labor shortages are a major issue.

Which industries still had open positions despite growth in employment?

Be aware that a position is thought to be open if:

- There is a specific opening; 

- employment might begin in the next 30 days, 

- and the employer is actively seeking candidates from outside the company to fill the position.

- Five sectors made up about 55% of all job openings in Canada. They included: professional scientific and technological services (71,700), retail commerce (100,200 vacancies), construction (77,400 vacancies), lodging and food services (108,000 vacancies), health care and social support (149,800 vacancies), and manufacturing (71,700 positions) (58,100).

Medications and social services

The most significant issue for Canada is the country's ongoing lack of social workers and healthcare professionals. After four consecutive months of payroll job growth, issues for this industry returned in the form of vacancies in December. The 19,400 new employees employed in November have almost entirely been offset by this increase in open positions.

As of December 2022, there were 149,800 open positions in the sector, the most of any industry in Canada. In addition, the healthcare and social support sector has experienced no change in the overall number of openings, despite a net rise of 190,600 jobs in the previous two years. This is a clear indication of the demand for these people in Canada.


Similar to the United States, Canada's construction industry has experienced steady increases in payroll employment for the past four months, but it continues to struggle with high unemployment. Since November 2022, there have been 79,000 available positions in this industry, up from 61,800 in December 2021. 

Which industries hired the most people in December?

The following industries in Canada experienced increased hiring in December 2022:

Construction added 11,500 jobs, Financial and insurance added 13,800 jobs, and Health Care and Social Assistance added 26,500 jobs. It's important to note that out of the three industries that led payroll employment growth in December, two—healthcare and construction—are also at the top of the list for job openings in Canada. This is probably a sign that Canada's economy is recovering, albeit it is being hampered by the country's ongoing labor shortage, which is a major factor in the anticipated increase in immigration in the future years.

Also, the majority of the increases in employment for each of these sectors were represented by payroll employment. This suggests that Canada lacks the necessary number of workers to meet this labor deficit as the sectors that are driving development in Canadian employment are also the ones with the greatest job openings. There are more grounds to think that both industries will experience rapid growth in the upcoming months. Although investment in residential projects has fallen recently (after a high recorded between July and August 2022), non-residential construction investment has grown steadily by about $600 million CAD over the past year, which is encouraging for the industry as a whole.

To ensure that Canada has the necessary number of workers in that area, the government has not only invested in but also heavily pushed favorable immigration laws in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. In response to the severe labor shortages that plague this important Canadian industry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently eliminated barriers for physicians to apply for Express Entry, increased the ability of foreign-trained medical professionals to become accredited and work in the country, and halved the work experience requirement for carers to qualify for permanent residence.

Which provinces hired the most people?

The following provinces saw the greatest gains in payroll employment in December:

- Quebec added 8,800 jobs, Ontario added 5,600, British Columbia added 4,600, and Alberta added 3,800.

- In addition, payroll employment in Newfoundland and Labrador showed a modest decline (-100 jobs). This follows a productive November in which the province was able to reduce the number of open positions by more than a third.

Despite the fact that these employment gains are generally positive, they pale in comparison to the number of positions that Canada will need to fill in the upcoming months in order to ensure its continuing economic health.

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