Canadian employers desperate for workers

By Eva Olsen [Published 25 Jun, 2022 | 06:04 AM] 1751
Canadian employers desperate for workers

Vacancies increased by 2.7%, (24,900 jobs), from the previous peak recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021 and by 72.3%, (401,900 jobs), from the first quarter of 2020, as employers continued to face an increasingly tight labour market. According to Statistics Canada, a record number of open positions and a lack of workers have left many Canadian employers, notably those in the healthcare and social assistance sectors, rushing to find staff.

Covid implications on the labour market 

The number of open positions as a percentage of the total Occupation In-Demand List Canada, which includes both filled and open positions, is known as the job vacancy rate. This rate reached 5.6% in the first quarter of this year. 

Although there has been an increase in the job vacancy rate since the first quarter of 2016, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, things really started to pick up last year. The unemployment rate was only 3.8% in the first quarter of last year. It had reached 5.3% by the third quarter of 2021. As more Canadian employees find new employment or return to their old ones, the rate has since continued to rise, albeit more slowly.

The increasing need for healthcare and social assistance professionals in Canada as a result of the pandemic is a major factor in the surge in the employment vacancy rate.

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Sectors looking for employees


According to Statistics Canada, employers in the construction industry were actively looking to fill 81,500 open positions in the first quarter, more than doubling the 38,800 vacancies that were present in the first quarter of 2020 and up 7.1% from the fourth quarter of 2021.

The significant increases in job openings in the construction industry in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2020 were spread across a variety of occupations, including construction trades helpers and labourers, where job openings increased by 97% with 8,800 new jobs, and carpenters, where they increased by 149.1% with 6,600 new jobs.


The number of open positions in the manufacturing industry reached a high of 87,400 in the first quarter of this year, up 4,400 jobs, or 5.3%, from the previous record in the final three months of 2021. Manufacturing of food and metal goods saw the highest rise in the number of new jobs in that industry. 


Retail sector has been scarce of workers too. According to Statistics Canada, there were 114,600 job openings in this sector in the first quarter, up 68.5 percent, or 46,600 jobs, from its level in the first quarter of 2020 and up 12.8%, or 13,000 jobs, from the peak in the fourth quarter of 2021. Stores selling food and beverages added 10,300 new employments, a growth of 93.2%; stores selling general products added 4,700 new jobs, a rise of 102.3%.


There were 21,900 more openings for nurse assistants, orderlies, and patient service representatives, and there are 22,900 more openings for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses nationwide. Two-thirds of all openings in the health sector in the first quarter were for licenced practical nurses, which is an increase of 166%.

The employee shortage comes as a boon for immigrants 

Under typical processing conditions, the Global Talent Stream (GTS), a component of the TFWP, can result in the approval of Canadian work permits and the processing of visa applications in less than two weeks. Through the Express Entry Program, which receives online immigration applications, employers can also hire foreign nationals to fill open positions.

Candidates that satisfy the requirements submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI) to the Express Entry Pool under one of three federal immigration programmes or a participating provincial immigration programme.

The CRS score is then used to compare the candidates' profiles based on a points-based system. The ITAs for permanent residence are only given to the top applicants. Those who receive an ITA have 90 days to complete their applications, pay processing fees, and submit a complete application.

Tags: Canada employers Canada job vacancies Canada labour shortage statistics canada Canada Immigration News


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