The job vacancy rate dropped in the second quarter but there are still 290,000 full- and part-time private sector jobs unfilled for four months or more, according to data compiled by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
“While the overall vacancy rate dropped to 2.4% (from 2.5%), the problem continues to be most acute for smaller businesses,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “In fact, those with fewer than four employees saw an increase in their vacancy rate (4.5%), while larger businesses all saw decreases.”
By sector, personal services (3.9%) and construction (3.5%) had the highest vacancy rates, although both saw slight declines from the previous quarter. Oil and gas is unchanged from the first quarter at 2.3% with 5,400 vacancies. Manufacturing is at 2%, the same as the first quarter, with 29,900 vacancies and among the sectors with the most potential for openings of between 30,000 and 40,000.
Health and education services (2.4%) and hospitality (2.8%) saw increases in their vacancy rates.
Saskatchewan has the highest vacancy rate, climbing to 4.1%. Alberta’s rate dipped (3.4%), but continues, along with Newfoundland and Labrador’s (3%) to be above the national average. Quebec (2.4%), Manitoba (2.5%) and BC (2.4%) were close to the average, while Ontario (2.1%), New Brunswick (2%), Nova Scotia (2%) and PEI (1.8%) had lower-than-average vacancy rates.
The results of the quarterly Help Wanted report are based on responses from 3,526 small business owners, who were surveyed on unfilled jobs in their firms owing to the shortage of qualified labour.
The report can be downloaded at this link.