Canadian job vacancies hit record high in first quarter, healthcare sector dominates demand – National

Job vacancies hit a quarterly record of nearly one million in the first three months of 2022, continuing a trend that began in the first quarter of 2016.

Statistics Canada data shows job vacancies rose 2.7% from the previous peak in the fourth quarter, with the pool of unemployed halving from the first quarter of 2021.

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Job vacancies in the health care and social assistance sector hit a record high of 136,800, up 5% from the peak three months earlier and 90.9% from the first quarter of 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy.

Nursing aide positions, in addition to registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, accounted for 67.7% of all vacancies in the healthcare sector compared to the first quarter of 2020.

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Construction industry employers also struggled to fill positions in the first quarter as 81,500 positions were unfilled, up 7.1% from the fourth quarter of 2021, and more than double the number. observed in the first quarter of 2020.

Helper and laborer vacancies soared 97% and carpenter vacancies increased 149.1% from the first quarter of 2020.

Job vacancies also continued to reach record highs in the manufacturing and retail sectors, up 5.3% and 12.8%, respectively, from the fourth quarter of 2021.


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On a seasonally adjusted basis, job vacancies increased by 12.6% in Newfoundland and Labrador, 8.7% in New Brunswick, 5.1% in Manitoba and 3.1% in Ontario compared to compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Vacancies were little changed. in other provinces.

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CIBC’s deputy chief economist, Benjamin Tal, doesn’t see the job vacancies situation improving significantly anytime soon.

“Wages will have to rise and working conditions will have to improve to attract people,” he said.

The average hourly wage of all employees rose 3% over the previous year, while the consumer price index rose 5.8% during this period, according to Statistics Canada.

BMO economist and macro strategist Benjamin Reitzes says Canadian workers are likely to see further wage increases in all industries, not just one or two.

“We’ve seen some upward pressure on wages, but nothing too substantial so far and that could be a taste of what’s to come in the months to come,” he said.

However, there could be a slowdown in salary increases later in the year, Reitzes notes.

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“But we’re not there yet,” he said.

There is evidence that the economy is already starting to slow as house prices fall, the stock market faces volatility and the tech sector sheds jobs, amid persistent inflation and rising interest rate.

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Statistics Canada will release its latest reading on inflation on Wednesday. According to BMO, the annual inflation rate could reach 7.4%, compared to 6.8% in April.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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