Labour shortage: There is a record level of jobs open across Canada right now

A new report Canadian Federation of Independent Business indicates that the labour shortage is at record levels for the fifth straight quarter. According to the CFIB’s latest Help Wanted Index, there were 433,000 jobs going unfilled for 90 days or more in the third quarter of this year. That is up by 15,000 over the same period one year earlier.

“This is now the fifth consecutive quarter in which we’re seeing a record high vacancy rate. The smallest of firms are having the hardest time recruiting workers, with a vacancy rate as high at 5.4 per cent,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist. “Those unfilled positions add up overtime, bringing down firms’ productivity levels and ultimately their ability to be profitable and to grow.”

Available positions by region

Quebec is seeing the most acute shortage of labourers with a job vacancy rate of 4 per cent and roughly 119,000 jobs sitting vacant for at least three months. [See open positions in Quebec.]

British Columbia has the next highest percentage, a 3.8 per cent vacancy rate or 71,400 open positions. [View jobs available in B.C. on CareerBeacon.]

By volume, Ontario has the most job openings, with 168,000 vacant positions. That corresponds to a rate of 3.2 per cent of jobs unfilled. [Find a job in Ontario.]

New Brunswick ranks as the fourth greatest level of labour shortage of all the regions. This province has a 3.0 per cent job vacancy rate and 7,200 jobs waiting to be filled. [See jobs available in New Brunswick.]

Manitoba rounds out the top five provinces for most jobs sitting open. That province has a 2.6 per cent vacancy rate with 11,400 jobs. [Jobs in Manitoba.]

Nova Scotia has had 7,500 jobs looking for workers for at least three months and a vacancy rate of 2.4 per cent. [See jobs in Nova Scotia on CareerBeacon.]

Newfoundland and Labrador has a similar vacancy rate with 2.3 per cent of jobs unfilled or 3,300 positions. [Available job openings in NFLD.]

Saskatchewan is tied with NFLD with a similar 2.3 per cent rate which translated to 7,900 jobs in that province. [Jobs in Saskatchewan.]

Alberta has a slightly lower vacancy rate, at 2.2 per cent, however due to the volume of jobs in that province, this equals 35,300 available jobs. [Positions open in Alberta.]

Prince Edward Island has the lowest job vacancy rate across the country with 1.9 per cent or 900 jobs sitting unfilled for over 90 days. [Browse jobs in PEI.]

The hardest positions to fill

The personal services industry, which includes businesses like hairdressers, dry cleaners and funeral services, maintained the highest vacancy rate at 4.9 per cent.

The construction sector came in second at 4.7 per cent.

Hospitality (4.0 per cent), agriculture (3.7 per cent) and information (2.4 per cent) all experienced significant growth in vacancy rates over the past year.

The job vacancy rate in transportation is 3.4 per cent. Manufacturing has 2.8 per cent of positions sitting open nationally. Roughly 2.5 per cent of retail positions are struggling to find workers.

The natural resources sector had the lowest vacancy rate at 1.8 per cent.

You can view the complete Q3 Help Wanted Index from the CFIB here. [Opens as a PDF.]

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