You may have heard about a high number of job vacancies in Canada—but where are they? What sectors have the most shortages?
According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, job vacancies in Canada were up in January, following six months of declines. Overall, there were 883,200 job vacancies across all sectors and regions in Canada at the start of the year.
There was an average of 1.2 unemployed persons for every job vacancy, which has been virtually unchanged since last August. At the same time, Canada’s unemployment rate is at a near record-low at 5.0 percent.
These indicators point to a tight labour market in Canada, suggesting there are not enough workers available to fill job vacancies.
These are the sectors that led the growth of job vacancies in January, as well as the reported number of vacancies in each:
- transportation and warehousing – 53,900 vacancies
- health care and social assistance – 162,100 vacancies (a record high)
These sectors also saw growth coming in to 2023:
- administrative support, waste management and remediation services – 53,900 vacancies
- information and cultural industries – 15,700 vacancies
- real estate and rental and leasing – 12,300 vacancies
These sectors held steady, and also account for nearly a third of all vacancies:
- accommodation and food services – 118,900 vacancies
- retail trade – 99,100 vacancies
- construction – 71,100 vacancies
Meanwhile, these sectors observed a decline in job vacancies at the start of the year. A month-over-month decline does not suggest that there are few vacancies in these sectors, however. Here are the sectors that saw a decline in vacancies in January, as well as the number of vacancies reported:
- professional, scientific and technical services – 50,700 vacancies
- manufacturing – 66,600 vacancies
- educational services – 22,900 vacancies
Job vacancies by provinces
Job vacancies rose in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador in January, while all other provinces saw little change.
Quebec and British Columbia continue to have the highest job vacancy rate at 5.5 percent, which reflects the number of vacant positions as a proportion of all filled and vacant positions. Another way of saying it is 5.5 percent of all positions in these provinces are vacant.
Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest vacancy rate at 3.6 percent, yet in actual numbers had more vacancies than Prince Edward Island and Northwest Territories.
Here is a list of the provinces in order of their actual number of job vacancies reported in January 2023.
- Ontario – 282,900 vacancies
- Quebec – 207,100 vacancies
- British Columbia – 120,600 vacancies
- Alberta – 90,900 vacancies
- Manitoba – 27,700 vacancies
- Saskatchewan – 21,300 vacancies
- Nova Scotia – 17,400 vacancies
- New Brunswick – 11,400 vacancies
- Newfoundland and Labrador – 6,500 vacancies
- Prince Edward Island – 2,800 vacancies
- Northwest Territories – 2,600 vacancies
The differences between sectors and occupations
These data show job vacancies on a broad scale, by sector. However, you may be seeking info on a specific industry or occupation.
For real-time data, the government of Canada website, Job Bank, allows you to monitor trends by occupation and by region. You can see what education and skills are needed to work in the field of your dreams.