March 28, 2023

Canada’s Hourly Wages Increase as Job Vacancies Persist

Statistics Canada's job vacancy report for the third quarter of 2022 shows that Canada is still facing labour shortages, with close to a million (959,600) job vacancies. Despite being down 3.3% from the record-high number (993,200) of vacant positions seen at the start of the year, the need for labor remains elevated. With 1.1 persons per job vacancy in Q3 2022, it's clear that the job market is tight.


Employers Increase Wages to Attract Workers

Faced with the challenges of a tight labor market and increased difficulty in hiring, many employers have looked to increase the wages of vacant positions. Compared to the same quarter a year earlier, the average offered hourly wage increased by 7.5% to $24.20 per hour. Certain in-demand occupation categories experienced even higher increases in offered wages, such as middle management in trades, transportation, production, and utilities (+10.8% to $41.40 an hour), and assisting occupations in support of health services (+10.7% to $22.45 an hour). Simultaneously, the average hourly wages of all workers rose by 5.3% in the same period.


Healthcare Sector in High Demand

One sector that stands out in the job vacancy report is healthcare and social assistance. Canada reached a new record high of job vacancies in this sector, with over 150,100 positions unfilled in Q3 2022. This demand for healthcare workers has been persistent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government has responded by removing barriers to permanent residence for physicians and investing millions into streamlining the accreditation of foreign-educated healthcare professionals.


Construction and Accommodation Industries are Also in High Demand

Other industries that have seen a notable number of vacancies include accommodation and food services (140,000 job vacancies) and construction (81,000 vacant positions). Professional scientific and technical services also have a high demand with 63,100 job vacancies.


Provincial Breakdown: Where are the Job Vacancies?

While job vacancies remain high across Canada, certain provinces have had more growth in the number of open positions than others. Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw the highest increases in job vacancies in Q3 2022, with the growth of 10.7% and 7.5% respectively. British Columbia and Quebec have the highest job vacancy rate, at 6.2% and 5.8% respectively.


Addressing Labor Shortages with Immigration

As Canada looks to address labour shortages, immigration becomes a forefront concern for the government. In 2023, the Express Entry system is likely to see a trend of targeted draws for in-demand professions in Canada. This, along with removing barriers to permanent residence for certain professions and investing in streamlining accreditation, are just a few of the ways the government is working to address the labor shortage.


The Future of Canada's Job Market

The job market in Canada is evolving, and employers are having to adjust their strategies to attract and retain top talent. With high job vacancies and rising wages, it's clear that the labor market is tight. The government is working to address labour shortages with immigration and other solutions, but it remains to be seen how these efforts will impact the job market in the long term. As we move forward, it will be important to keep an eye on the trends and changes in Canada's job market to understand the challenges and opportunities for both employers and job seekers.


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