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Job Vacancies, Q2 2019 – Job vacancies and the job vacancy rate continue to rise as Quebec accounts for nearly 70% of the rise

On a year-over-year basis, both the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate increased in the second quarter.

The number of job vacancies was up in four provinces and two territories, with Quebec accounting for nearly 70% of the national increase.

Job vacancies increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical services; and health care and social assistance.

In the second quarter, nearly one in five vacancies was for seasonal positions.

Job vacancies and the job vacancy rate continue to rise

The number of job vacancies in the second quarter was 581,600, up 34,800 (+6.4%) from the second quarter of 2018. This was the 11th successive quarter with year-over-year growth in the number of vacancies. In nearly all of these 11 quarters, year-over-year growth in the number of vacancies outpaced growth in employment as measured by the Survey of Employment, Payrolls, and Hours (SEPH).

As vacancies have grown at a faster pace than employment, the job vacancy rate has also continued to rise. From the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, the job vacancy rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5%, the highest rate since comparable data became available in 2015.

The job vacancy rate represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand, that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.

In addition to the year-over-year increase, vacancies were also up in the second quarter compared with the first quarter. This may partly reflect seasonal recruitment patterns, as an increase in the number of job vacancies from the first quarter to the second quarter has been observed every year since comparable data became available in 2015.
Job vacancies up in four provinces and two territories
Compared with the second quarter of 2018, the number of job vacancies in the second quarter of 2019 grew in four provinces and two territories: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, and Nunavut. The job vacancy rate also rose in all of these jurisdictions, with the exception of Ontario, where it was unchanged.

At the same time, a decline in both the number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate was recorded in Prince Edward Island. The job vacancy rate also decreased in New Brunswick, while the number of vacancies was little changed. The number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate were both little changed in the remaining provinces and in the Northwest Territories.

Quebec accounts for nearly 70% of the year-over-year rise in the number of job vacancies, second quarter of 2019

In Quebec, the number of job vacancies was up by 24,100 (+20.7%) compared with the second quarter of 2018, accounting for nearly 70% of the national increase. Growth was widespread across sectors and economic regions (ERs). Over the same period, the job vacancy rate in the province increased by 0.6 percentage points to 3.8%, the highest rate since comparable data became available in 2015. From the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate in Quebec decreased from 5.3% to 4.9%, as recorded by the Labour Force Survey.

In the second quarter, the number of job vacancies in Ontario increased by 7,400 (+3.6%) on a year-over-year basis, led by wholesale trade. The job vacancy rate in the province was unchanged at 3.3%, as payroll employment also grew.

The overall number of vacancies in British Columbia was little changed compared with one year earlier, as increases in health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific, and technical services were offset by declines in retail trade and construction. While the job vacancy rate in British Columbia (4.6%) remained the highest among the provinces, it was little changed from one year earlier, marking the first quarter with no year-over-year increase in the rate since the fourth quarter of 2016.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate were little changed across the Prairie provinces in the second quarter. Job vacancy rates in Alberta (3.0%), Manitoba (2.6%), and Saskatchewan (2.4%) were among the lowest of all the provinces and territories.

Employers in Prince Edward Island reported 600 (-20.1%) fewer vacancies in the second quarter compared with one year earlier. Over the same period, the job vacancy rate declined by 1.1 percentage points to 3.6%, with decreases in 5 of the 10 largest industrial sectors. While the number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate were down on a year-over-year basis, they were similar to those observed two years earlier in the second quarter of 2017.

Chart – Second quarter job vacancies up for the third consecutive year in 2019, unadjusted for seasonality

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story atThe Daily — Job vacancies, second quarter 2019

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