Quebec tops Canadian provinces with 37% jump in job vacancies in first quarter of 2018
Quebec set to overhaul immigration system in bid to address labour force shortages.
There were 462,000 job vacancies across Canada in the first quarter of 2018, with Quebec reporting the largest year-over-year increase for the three-month period, according to new figures from Statistics Canada.
Job vacancies in Quebec were up by 25,000 in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 37 per cent over the first three months of 2017.
The new data show job vacancies rising across most provinces, industrial sectors and occupational groups compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Job vacancies rose in eight Canadian provinces and Canada’s three territories, with Quebec and British Columbia posting the greatest increases.
Statistics Canada says this was the seventh consecutive quarter to show a year-over-year increase in the number of job vacancies in Quebec, with vacancies in the manufacturing and accommodation and food services industrial sectors increasing the most. Montreal was the economic region in Quebec that posted the greatest increase in job vacancies (+8,700) during the quarter.
Quebec’s unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent for the quarter, compared to 6.2 per cent in the first three months of 2017.
Quebec’s Liberal government has estimated that more than one million jobs will need to be filled by 2024, and says immigration has a major part to play in filling this gap.
To this end, major changes to Quebec’s immigration system will be unveiled next month, including a new Expression of Interest system.
Job vacancies also up in B.C., Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba
British Columbia posted similar numbers to Quebec, reporting 24,000 more job vacancies in the first quarter of this year, an increase of nearly 36 per cent over 2017.
Statistics Canada says job vacancies in B.C. increased in 19 of 20 industrial sectors in the province, with vacancies concentrated in the province’s Lower Mainland-Southwest economic region, which includes Vancouver. Sales and service occupations, trades and equipment operators posted the largest increase in vacancies over the first quarter of 2017.
Job vacancies in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, increased by 9,800 in the first quarter of 2018, a difference of +5.7 per cent over 2017. More than 40 per cent (4,200) of those vacancies were in the transportation and warehousing industrial sector and another 2,400 were in the health care and social assistance sector.
Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie were the economic regions of Ontario that recorded the largest increases in job vacancies.
Alberta posted a year-over-year increase of 7,500 jobs in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 18.5 per cent. The most growth in job vacancies in Alberta occurred in the health care and social assistance industrial sector, as well as construction; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; and administrative support services.
Manitoba reported an increase of 2,800 job vacancies, an increase of 26.4 per cent over the first quarter of 2017 that Statistics Canada says was driven by job vacancies in the health care and social assistance sector.
9 of Canada’s 10 largest industrial sectors see increases
Canada’s health care and social assistance sector saw job vacancies increase by 11,000 over the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 27.3 per cent over 2017. Job vacancies were up in all four Health Care and Social Assistance sub-sectors, including ambulatory health care services and nursing and residential care facilities.
Transportation and warehousing experienced an increase of 9,300 job vacancies (+46 per cent) over the first three months of 2017 and an increase of 7,800 job vacancies, or 23 per cent, was reported for Canada’s manufacturing sector, notably transportation equipment, fabricated metal product manufacturing and food manufacturing.
The professional, scientific and technical services sector saw job vacancies increase by 5,660 compared to the first quarter of 2017.
In terms of broad occupation categories, Statistics Canada reported an increase of 9,030 job vacancies in the Business, Finance and Administration category and 8,080 job vacancies in the Natural and Applied Sciences category in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year.