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Average hourly wages in Canada rise while job openings remain high.


The Q3 job vacancy report from Statistics Canada indicates a favorable recruiting environment.


The third quarter of 2022 (Q3) job vacancy data from Statistics Canada illustrates a pattern that has been present all year. Employers in Canada are still struggling to find workers to fill nearly one million (959,600) open positions.

A position is deemed vacant if:

  • There is a specific position;

  • Within 30 days, work might begin; and

  • To fill the role, the employer is aggressively seeking candidates from outside the company.


The need for labor is still great despite a 3.3% drop from the record-high number of open positions (993,200) seen at the beginning of the year. In the third quarter of 2022, Canada had 1.1 applicants for each open position.


Average wages rise as employers seek to attract more workers.


Many employers have looked to raise the offered compensation for open positions in response to a tight labor market and increased difficulties in hiring.

The average hourly wage offered climbed by 7.5% to $24.20 per hour from the same quarter a year prior.

Several categories of in-demand occupations saw rises in offered earnings that were considerably higher than the national average, including:

  • Middle management in the production, logistics, trading, and utility sectors (+10.8% to $41.40 per hour);

  • Professions that provide assistance to healthcare providers (+10.7% to $22.45 per hour);

  • Manufacturing assemblers (+10.4% to 20.05 an hour); and

  • Operators of manufacturing and processing equipment and related production personnel saw an increase in pay of 10.2% to $20.02 per hour.


During the same time period, the average hourly wage for all workers increased by 5.3%.


Which sectors in Canada have the most job openings?


The number of open positions in Canada’s healthcare and social support industries has risen to a new record high. In the third quarter of 2022, more than 150,100 positions remained unfilled.


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an ongoing demand for more healthcare professionals. In response, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have removed restrictions on physicians obtaining permanent residence and invested millions in streamlining the accreditation of healthcare professionals with foreign education as Canada attempts to address this historic labor shortage.


Other sectors with a significant number of openings were:

  • 140,000 job openings in the hospitality and food services sector;

  • with 81,000 open positions, construction saw a historic high; and

  • 63,100 job openings in professional scientific and technical services.


Which provinces are home to the most open positions?


Although the number of unfilled positions is still high across Canada, certain provinces had a greater increase than others in Q3.


The number of open positions increased in Q3 by 10.7% and 7.5%, respectively, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The significant percentage increase from quarter to quarter is just another indication of the labor shortage.


British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec all simultaneously had fewer job openings than in the second quarter of 2022. Despite this decline, there are still many open positions in Canada:

  • British Columbia has 155,400 open positions.

  • Manitoba has 32,400 openings.

  • Ontario has 364,000 openings.

  • Quebec has 232,400 openings.

  • Saskatchewan has 24,300 openings.

  • 103,380 openings* in Alberta;

  • 16,430 openings* in New Brunswick;

  • Vacancy* in Newfoundland and Labrador total 8,185;

  • 1,820 openings* in the Northwest Territories;

  • 22,960 openings* in Nova Scotia;

  • 405 vacancies* in Nunavut, and

  • Prince Edward Island has 4,090 open positions*.

  • Yukon: 1,720 open positions.

*Not based on seasonally adjusted data.


At 6.2% and 5.8%, respectively, British Columbia and Quebec still have the highest job vacancy rates (defined as the ratio of open positions to the total labor demand, including both empty and filled positions).


Looking ahead


Immigration becomes a top priority for the government as Canada attempts to alleviate labor shortages. Targeted draws for high-demand Canadian occupations are projected to become more common in 2023 under the Express Entry system of programs.


Following these adjustments, data on job openings within a certain industry can offer some insight into the professions that the IRCC is most likely to target for ITAs in 2023.


Additionally, Canada is already taking steps to make the most of the labor force already present in the nation, including granting Open Work Permits (OPWs) to the families of individuals with LMIA-based work permits and removing the time limit on international students’ employment until December 31, 2023.


These policy improvements, combined with the aforementioned facts, point to a favorable hiring environment going into 2023.

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