National Job Vacancy Rate Drops in Q2


Toronto/Calgary, August 25, 2015 – Approximately 325,200 job openings remain unfilled across the country, according to the latest Help Wanted report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Nationwide openings in full-time, part-time and temporary positions sit at 2.6 per cent, down a tenth of a percentage point from last quarter.

“Vacancy rates have held fairly steady since the end of 2014,” said Ted Mallet, CFIB chief economist and vice-president. “Weaker labour markets in Saskatchewan and Alberta have seen their vacancy rates drop back down in line with national averages, but otherwise, there has been very little change across the country.”

CFIB’s numbers were echoed by Statistics Canada’s official job vacancies first quarter report after the agency updated its methodology, which now closely aligns with CFIB’s.

Despite a second quarter decline, Saskatchewan businesses continue to have the most difficulty filling positions, with the highest vacancy rate in the country at 3.1 per cent, representing 11,100 jobs. Nova Scotia has the lowest rate in the country at 2.2 per cent, representing 6,600 jobs.

Ontario, which sits in the middle of the provincial pack with a vacancy rate of 2.5 per cent, has nearly 40 per cent of the country’s vacancies, with 121,700 openings.

Vacancy rates are higher in smaller businesses, sitting between 4.5 per cent among businesses with 1-4 employees, and 4.2 per cent for those with 5-19. Small business rates are nearly double large businesses, with firms with more than 500 employees boasting vacancy rate of 2.2 per cent.

The highest vacancy rate among industries is in personal services (4.4 per cent), followed by construction (3.8 per cent) and hospitality (3.4 per cent). Rates declined in the resources, wholesale, and information sectors in the second quarter.

The survey also found a clear relationship between job vacancies and wages. Businesses with vacancies reported planned average organization-wide wage increases of 1.9 per cent, while those fully staffed reported a half-point smaller planned increase of 1.4 per cent.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.