A Closer Look

Vacancies in Entry level Jobs in Canada – About 1 in 2 require no previous work experience and the majority of entry-level jobs require little education

Understanding whether the skills employers are looking for differ from the ones available in the labour market is important. Some evidence hints that Canadian employers are having difficulty recruiting qualified workers. Employers are looking to recruit employees who can adapt to changing workplace and industry conditions, as well as those who demonstrate strong “people skills” such as collaboration, communication, functional knowledge and problem-solving skills.

The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS), which includes detailed information on job vacancies by occupation, provides a unique opportunity to study the issue of entry-level jobs from an employer’s perspective. More specifically, this article attempts to answer several important questions: Of all posted vacancies, how many are entry-level positions? What are the characteristics of these jobs (e.g., occupation, educational requirements and work hours)? How do the offered wages of entry-level jobs vary by occupation and skill group?

This study uses the 2016 Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) to examine job vacancies for entry-level positions (job vacancies that require no work experience) from the employer perspective. The JVWS provides answers to the following questions: How many entry-level job vacancies are available? What are their characteristics? Which occupations offer entry-level positions? Are some education groups more affected than others?

In 2016, less than one-half (48%) of job vacancies in Canada required no previous work experience. Another 32% required two years or less of experience, and 20% required more than two years of experience.
For almost one-half of entry-level job vacancies, no education was required. Either a college diploma or a university degree was required for 1 in 5 of such vacancies.
Employers searching to fill entry-level positions are more likely to offer part-time work (less than 30 hours per week) and temporary employment (with a predetermined end date).

The highest proportions of entry-level job vacancies were in natural resources, agriculture and related production (73%); sales and service (63%); manufacturing and utilities (60%); and health (58%). The lowest proportions were in natural and applied science occupations (21%) and management (17%).
Among job vacancies that required no formal education or on-the-job training, about 8 in 10 were entry-level positions. This compared with 1 in 3 job vacancies that required a university education.

Among job vacancies, about 1 in 2 require no previous work experience

In the 12-month period starting in January 2016, of the average 367,000 job vacancies in Canada, about 175,600 of them required no previous work experience (see the Data sources, methods and definitions section). Otherwise put, about 1 in every 2 job vacancies required no work experience and were considered entry-level positions. In comparison, less than 1 in 3 job vacancies required two years or less of work experience and about 1 in 5 required more than two years of experience (Table 1).

The majority of entry-level jobs require little education

The offered employment arrangements of entry-level jobs differ considerably from those that require two or more years of experience. Employers searching to fill entry-level positions are more likely to offer part-time work (less than 30 hours per week) and temporary employment (with a predetermined end date). About 46% of entry-level job vacancies are for part-time work compared with 7% for vacancies that require over two years of experience. Among entry-level job vacancies, 1 in 3 are considered temporary, while 1 in 10 vacancies requiring two or more years of experience were temporary jobs .

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Getting your foot in the door: A look at entry level job vacancies in Canada

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