It is becoming a job seekers market in many areas of the economy right now. So, whether you want to make a career change or pursue a new job this fall, there are a variety of sectors where candidates have the advantage in Canada.
RBC recently reported that the country’s job vacancy rate has reached a record high of five per cent, with the bulk of the unfilled positions being in accommodation and food services, health care, and retail services. Several other recent studies have also shown growing demand for workers in the skilled trades and technology fields.
The COVID-19 crisis persuaded some older workers in the healthcare sector to seek early retirement, and this trend is expected to continue for many months now. This is due to the fact that many professionals say they stuck it out to see their workplaces through the worst of the pandemic, but are now feeling burnt out.
The hospitality sector was hit hard by the lockdowns, and now it faces a further challenge of finding the workers they need to ramp back up. “I’m hearing of shortages right across the across the country,” Patrick Sullivan, CEO of Halifax Chamber of Commerce, told CTV News. “Particularly in hospitality and tourism.”
Many workers who were laid off during the pandemic have moved on to other careers, gone back to school, or are simply not returning to their jobs or the industry for other reasons. A shortage of immigration, incoming foreign students, and limited labour mobility is only exacerbating the situation.
This is similarly impacting the retail sector, which is often one of the lower paying fields to work in. During periods of labour shortage, where candidates have their pick of employment options, it is those jobs that offer lower wages that struggle the most. The report from RBC concludes, “In the labour-starved service industry, higher pay may be necessary to attract and retain talent.”
At the same time, KPMG reported that nearly 70 per cent of companies are struggling to find candidates with the IT skills that they need to hire. Companies are rearranging how they do business and moving more and more of their operations to remote or online interactions. In fact, their research found that the inability to find and retain technology talent was the primary threat to the growth prospects of businesses across Canada.
There was a shortage of skilled trades workers in Canada even before the pandemic. However, with the shortage of newcomers entering the country, and fewer Canadians entering these fields, that scarcity of trades people is becoming even more acute. Many workers in this sector are nearing retirement age, and there just aren’t enough younger tradespeople coming along to replace them.
Buildforce Canada, an organization that tracks labour market information, told the CBC that by 2030, the industry will over 116,000 more workers just to keep up with the projected growth in demand as well as retirements.