Job vacancies rose 6.3% from the fourth quarter of 2015 to 375,000 in the fourth quarter, following little year-over-year change in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the job vacancy rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 2.4%.
Compared with the third quarter of 2016, the number of job vacancies (unadjusted for seasonality) fell by 6.6% in Canada, while the job vacancy rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points. These quarter-to-quarter declines may reflect typical seasonal recruitment patterns, as job vacancies also decreased (-12.0%) between the same quarters in 2015.
The job vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all available payroll jobs. It represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand; that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.
British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario had more job vacancies between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2016. These provinces also had the largest growth in payroll employment among all the provinces. Meanwhile, job vacancies fell in five provinces and were little changed in New Brunswick and Manitoba.
Job vacancies in British Columbia were up 12,000 (+21.0%) in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. The job vacancy rate rose 0.5 percentage points to 3.3%, the largest increase among the provinces. Increases were focused in the economic regions of Lower Mainland–Southwest and Vancouver Island and Coast.