Catch-22 as 250,000 jobs vacant & unemployment remains high

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The latest statistics on Canada’s labour market shows a quarter of a million jobs remain vacant despite the high national unemployment rate of 7.5%.

According to Statistics Canada, last fall there were an average 248,000 job openings – 3.3 unemployed people for every vacancy in the three months to September.

The new survey findings will now be released quarterly by the agency, and will aim to fill a key gap in understanding what motivates companies’hiring trends. Canada's job vacancy rate, defined as the number of vacant positions divided by total labour demand, was 1.7% in September. According to the data, demand for workers is greatest in the West, with the highest vacancy rates in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector continues to carry the highest vacancy rate in the country, reflecting hot demand in the natural resources sector, where companies often compete amid a scarcity of skilled workers. Some 9,000 vacancies are currently being filled across these industries.

“The survey sheds new light on demand for labour among domestic businesses,” Emanuella Enenajor, economist at CIBC World Markets said.

“While the data points to some slack in Canada's labour market, it's difficult to gauge the degree of slack, or whether the data mark an improvement or deterioration in recent months, given the historical time series,” she noted.

 

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