Canadian job vacancies rise in Q3: CFIB

SMEs coping with highest average shortage of qualified employees.

November 13, 2012   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO — The percentage of unfilled private sector jobs have increased slightly from 2.3% in Q2 to 2.4% in the July-to-September period, according to data compiled by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Job vacancies have increased at the same pace as the economy has grown,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “The small gain in vacancies observed in the third quarter mirrors the slow growth in GDP.”

Overall, the vacancy rate has risen from 1.7% at the end of 2009, although it’s still down from where it was before the recession.

The 2.4% vacancy rate is equivalent to approximately 275,900 full- and part-time private sector jobs.

The Toronto-based CFIB says Canada’s construction industry has the country’s highest vacancy rate at 3.7%. Manufacturing is 2.1% other sectors display current levels that are at or beyond their pre-recession highs. “It suggests some structural or technological changes have perhaps changed the nature of skills needs in these sectors.”

In other sectors hospitality had a 2.9% vacancy rate, agriculture, forestry and fishing 2.8%, oil, gas and mining 2.8% and professional services 2.7%.

Provincially, Alberta and Saskatchewan have the highest vacancy rates (3.6% each), while Newfoundland and Labrador (2.8%) is also above the national average. Quebec (2.4%), PEI (2.2%), Ontario (2.1%), Manitoba (2.1%), BC(2.1), Nova Scotia (1.9%) and New Brunswick (1.8) match, or fall short of the overall rate.

“Smaller businesses cope with the highest average unfilled job rates,” added Mallett. “That’s a problem because labour shortages proportionately pose much greater management challenges to the owners and managers of small businesses than to larger firms.”

Job vacancies are defined as openings that have been vacant for at least four months because business owners have been unable to find suitable employees.

The third quarter findings are based on 2,518 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.

Click here for a copy of the report.

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