Canada Now Has Over 1 Million Vacant Jobs As More People Exit The Workforce

Canadian employers are struggling to find labor but this isn’t just reopening pains. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows over one million vacant jobs in September. The common take is, this hiring boom is reopening pains as the economy grows. Further analysis of the same data set shows that might not be the case last month. Rising vacancies were met by a drop in people on payrolls, with little net change to employment. In the most recent month of data, people were just leaving the workforce faster than others could be hired.

Employers Need To Fill Over 1 Million Jobs

Canadian job vacancies have been soaring over the past few months. There were 1,014,560 vacant jobs in September, an increase of 16.4% from a month before. That’s roughly 143,560 more vacant jobs in a month, a number greater than the total population of St. John’s. The total of unfilled jobs is nearly a third the size of Toronto’s total employed population. It’s a lot of jobs that need to be filled.

Rising Job Vacancies Are Almost Equal To The Fall In Payroll

One surprising trend is Canadian payroll data is also on the decline. There were 15,772,775 employees on payroll in September, down 0.9% from a month before. That’s right, the number of employed people fell by 145,775 in the same month. This more than accounts for the number of job vacancies created. Job vacancies increased by nearly the level of people that left the workforce.

Canadian Job Vacancies Vs Employees On Payroll

The monthly number of jobs reported as vacant compared to the number of employees on payroll in Canada.

Source: Statistics Canada; Better Dwelling.

Canada’s Job Vacancy Rate Has Never Been Higher

The Canadian job vacancy rate is now the highest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic. The rate hit 6.0% in September, rising 0.8 points higher than the month before. Unfortunately, Canada has only been collecting data since last October. This means we can’t directly compare what this issue looked like pre-2020. It’s not hard to see 1 in 16 jobs vacant as a huge number though.

The job vacancy data isn’t as straightforward of a take as many have shared. A rise in the number of unfilled jobs sounds like an economic boom, as is the case in the US. However, the US is seeing wages soar as employers compete, while wage growth has been tepid in Canada. This makes more sense with the drop of employed people on payroll. Canada’s labor market didn’t grow in the month, so much as it experienced a shift in labor. 



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  • Kate Wright 3 years ago

    I used to think this is just a retirement trend but I my friends all fall into two classes of Millennials: People that can’t afford a house and have double income families and people who bought a house right out of university with a little help from their parents and no one the couple stays home and watches the kids.

    Single income households for the landed gentry I guess. m

    • Hamid Ansari 3 years ago

      People dying in the English Channel attempting to find work. Total Madness.

  • Omar 3 years ago

    Great time to find a job. Not an ideal time to take an unpaid vacation from life since the hiring isn’t going to be this good in just a few months.

    • Daniel 3 years ago

      The situation is bad companies are adding more tasks and make almost impossible to performed all those tasks, the excess of weight in drums and the lack of tools, dont help and the gov. Doesn’t get involved, excess of noise ,dust and weight create a caos the only one who benefir from this abuae is the companyis time for the gov to act to to supervised this abuse not jut wait for complaint fo it every 3 months and make them expend money to reduce injuries a create a safe and achivable job.

  • Doomcouver 3 years ago

    If I was making more money sleeping in my house I own than working a job I’d probably quit too. This trend is intrinsically unsustainable and all the possible outcomes now are extremely bad for Canada’s economy.

    • Mike 3 years ago

      One problem is that many people like myself are retired but recieving a low pension or not retired but recieving benefits, which will be withdrawn if we go over the income threshold,so why work and then lose income and also pay more for income tax etc etc.

  • What about bob 3 years ago

    Also the government pays the lazy young people not to work.

  • What about bob 3 years ago

    Crappie jobs for Crappie pay is a huge problem in this economy.

    • Kate 3 years ago

      Totally agree

      • Leon 3 years ago

        This is false report. I am trying more than a year but not successful securing a job. I was cheated by the government employer and no support for seeking justice. Poor employment standards. On the other hand employers time pass with interviews and repost the jobs again and again for years with only one requirement and deviating estimates for the government with those time pass requirements. The estimate should consider the unemployment rate perspective too.

        • Rob Turner 3 years ago

          The unemployment data is discussed in a separate report from Stats Can. Completely different data point. I don’t want Stats Can to just do one giant economic summary once a quarter so I have to spend a whole week processing and understanding data.

        • Wael 3 years ago

          I do agree with you

          Respect your reply

  • Bill 3 years ago

    Could it be that us Boomers discovered during lockdown that we can live just fine without working as we near or pass retirement age? A lot of Boomers realized that ones days can be filled quite nicely without the stress of a job especially as new technology in the work place becomes more challenging.

  • SH 3 years ago

    “ Unfortunately, Canada has only been collecting data since last October.”

    LOL @ Canada. I wonder if the government will mysteriously stop collecting job vacancy data during the next downturn? A steep decline in vacancies might cause the citizenry to lose patience with mass immigration now running at the highest rate in the Western world.

    • Daniel 3 years ago

      Cheap jobs, for skilled people why the gov accept this abuse, after 25 years the salary is the same and everything has gone up, Canada is the land of opportunities for new inmigrants the fill these abusing and cheap jobs, what about the skilled and experienced? With 20 / h, dont bother the gov is not doing their job

  • Kisakye David Nsubuga 3 years ago

    Interesting piece of news. It prompts some of us to wish getting an opportunity to go to Canada and work from there but we are challenged by our low financial capacity despite the willingness and ability to perform various duties.

  • Daniel 3 years ago

    We are going downhill the private sector abusing the workers with more and more tasks to decrease payroll and maintained production and the gov good thanks, salaries are a joke less than it used to pay 20 years ago .

  • Y Jorge 3 years ago

    I’m here with :
    Electronic, electrical, mechanical
    Corrosion tech support
    Corrosion control
    Seismic specialists
    Utility locating specialists
    Well cut&cap
    Well testing

    Guess what unemployed!
    [email protected]

    • Omar 3 years ago

      Are you in Alberta? It sounds like an ideal skillset for O&G.

    • Dave 3 years ago

      I hope you’re not in Toronto with those skills. In Calgary you’d be hired in a heartbeat at around $100,000/year in the lowest taxed province in Canada.

  • Robert Burns 3 years ago

    Australia had a 15 dollar min wage 9 years ago and it’s now 20 an hour and 24 for seasonal workers,they also get 10 days sick leave and 4 weeks vacation, a Macdonald’s worker can afford a new car and its only a buck or so more for a hamburger, they also have a balanced immigration system, Canada has one of the lowest minium wages in the world, not a living wage and the fastest growing homeless rate in the world almost a quarter million , and the highest rate per capital of lmmagrants 1.1 million coming into English Canada over the next 2 years, if you have a village of 500 people and bring in 2000 you are going to have problems with housing and medical etc, not a bright future for English Canadians, Quebec has their own immagration system about 32 thousand a year

    • Jorge Davila 3 years ago

      Canada, their game is someone has to pay taxes to maintain the government!

  • Robert Burns 3 years ago

    I also might add Canada is bringing in about 100 thousand fefugees and they will get free dental and pharma care for at least a year and they will get housing and jobs and Canada has the fastest growing homeless rate in the world almost a quarter million and growing, the Canadian government and provincial government have a special program to bring in foreign workers and give incentives to business to higher them, they also get housing, seems the country is being run by lunatics, according to the New York times Canada is becoming more and more corrupt, not a bright future

    • Angel Divestor 3 years ago

      Lies, damn lies, and statistics … at least with a corrupt government, corrupt refugees, bloated housing prices, teetering banks and a corrupt bureaucracy we still manage to have “peace, order, and … [irrelevant] … government”.

  • John 3 years ago

    How many of these jobs pay a living wage?
    Separately, I’ve been trying to get into the trades as there is a “huge” demand but Boone is hiring fresh apprentices. 2nd year + only… Looks like it’s a crisis of employees missing their slave wage earners.

  • Franklin 3 years ago

    This is not correct. I am still looking even though, I have close to 30 years of experience. Most of the jobs, I was interviewed for required me to take a salary cut of what I was making in 2005. So no, they are looking for employees who can take a deep pay cut.

    • Omar 3 years ago

      It’s not that it’s incorrect, it’s that Canada at 30 years of experience the difference in quality is similar to someone with 10 years of experience but costs a lot more.

      If you have that much experience under your belt, your best bet might be to start a firm that does contract work, especially if the experience is in the trades. Lots of trade hiring but most of the big companies prefer to ”rent their staff,” so to speak.

      Good luck on your search, my friend.

  • Wael 3 years ago

    This is not correct and if correct it is not accurate.
    Most of the vacancies are of a low profile nature, they are not suitable for people who have certificates and degrees nor for those who spent years to build experience not considered in Canada’s job market.

  • B 3 years ago

    Which industries?

Comments are closed.