Canada’s job vacancies rate reaches new heights

But BC rate down 0.2 points to 3.4 per cent, representing 62,200 unfilled jobs


THE rate of job vacancies rose again in the year’s second quarter to 3.1 per cent, 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 BC 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.”
Quebec’s already high vacancy rate experienced the greatest increase this month to 3.9 per cent, close to the 4 per cent Alberta saw during the height of the oil and gas boom. British Columbia and Ontario experienced vacancy drops, but maintained their high rates at 3.4 and 3 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.
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. 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, 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.