A total of 235,000 jobs sat vacant or unfilled in the first quarter of 2019 according to the federation report across Canada. This is the highest number of unfilled jobs reported by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in the first three months of 2021.
According to the vice-president and chief economist of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Ted Mallet, labour shortages affected skilled positions more than semi- or unskilled occupations.
“The national vacancy rate has been steadily climbing for the past two years and it reached another record high last quarter,” – Ted Mallet.
Labour shortages remain a challenge to employers across Canada but mostly in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.
Employers say these shortages are putting “strong pressure” on wage levels as they are expected to raise wages.
Labour shortages by province
Province Vacancy rate Change Unfilled jobs
Quebec 4.1% +0.1% 120,800
British Columbia 3.6% +0.1% 69,400
Ontario 3.3% +0.1% 174,800
New Brunswick 2.8% 6,600
Manitoba 2.4% 10,400
Saskatchewan 2.3% +0.1% 8,000
Nova Scotia 2.3% -0.1% 7,000
Alberta 2.1% -0.1% 33,800
Newfoundland & Labrador 1.9% +0.1% 2,800
Prince Edward Island 1.8% +0.1% 900
Quebec is the most affected province with job vacancy rate reaching 4.1 per cent while British Columbia and Ontario came second and third with job vacancy rates of 3.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.
Labour Shortages by sector
In the first quarter of 2019, Canada’s construction industry faced a vacancy rate of 4.9 per cent, followed by personal services at 4.7 per cent.
Businesses in agriculture had a job vacancy rate of 3.8 per cent and the hospitality sector had a rate of 3.7 per cent.
Canada’s high job vacancy numbers reflect job creation numbers that continue to defy expectations.
Canada saw a record 106,500 jobs added in April and another 27,700 jobs added in May, and unemployment in the country is at its lowest point in more than 40 years.
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