Canadian Job Postings Through April 10: Slide in the New Postings Gap Slows
However, total postings continued to decline compared to last year.
This post is updated as of April 14, reflecting data through April 10. We will be regularly updating these data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. This post uses updated methodology from previous posting updates, meaning results are not directly comparable to versions before April 1.
The trend in total job postings on Indeed Canada continued to fall last week compared to 2019. The gap with last year’s path widened for a fifth consecutive week, although by slightly less than over the prior two. As of Friday, April 10th, the trend in total Canadian job postings was tracking 43% below 2019 levels. This leaves Canada on the more severe end of the trend declines seen across countries since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
Trend of new job postings starting to stabilize
While total Canadian job postings continued to slide relative to last year, the gap in new job postings that have been on Indeed Canada for a week or less is showing signs of stabilizing. New hiring intentions plunged as the economy entered its deep freeze, dropping to 57% below 2019’s trend by March 27th. The gap in trend fell further to -64% by April 3rd, but held relatively steady last week, easing to -66%. If the gap in trend of new job postings holds steady going forward, the path of total postings will likely eventually follow, though it could take some time.
Gaps widen in all provinces
The trend in total job postings compared to 2019 fell across all provinces last week, with the gap now at least 36% in all regions. Declines have been slightly less steep in less populous provinces, potentially reflecting their more rural populations. Meanwhile, Alberta stands out with the widest gap in trend, where the economy is dealing with the COVID-19 shock, but also knock-on effects from the recent plunge in oil prices.
No sector spared, but some hit less hard than others
At the broad sectoral level, job posting trends are tracking below 2019 levels across the entire Canadian economy. With the economy-wide posting trend down 43% from 2019, the sectors doing “relatively well” are ones with gaps down less than 30% from last year’s path. Continuing patterns seen in recent weeks, these areas include parts of the healthcare sector, like personal care and home health, which employs support workers and healthcare aides, as well as the pharmacy sector. Job posting trends have also declined less than average in security and public safety (which includes security guards), as well as in software development.
Posting trends have dropped similarly as the economy-wide gap in a wide range of sectors. Some of these declines highlight how the March Labour Force Survey numbers covering the week of the 15th to 21st was just an initial snapshot of COVID-19’s hit to the Canadian labour market.
Posting trends for jobs related to banking and finance, production and manufacturing, as well as civil engineering are all now down over 40% from 2019 levels. Meanwhile finance, insurance, and real estate, as well as manufacturing and construction industries, all experienced smaller than average declines in the March Labour Force Survey. This suggests we could see more substantial job losses in these areas in the April numbers.
Lastly, trends in certain sectors have fallen much further than the economy-wide average. Posting trends are down over 55% compared to 2019 in several sectors which involve considerable face-to-face interaction like dental services (which include dentists and dental hygienists), food preparation and service, as well as beauty and wellness (which include massage therapists and hairstylists). Employer hiring interest has also fallen off in the mining sector, an area particularly exposed to the deterioration of the global economy.
The public health situation and its economic spillovers continue to change on a daily basis. We’ll be regularly updating these data as conditions evolve.
To measure the trends in job postings, we calculated the 7-day moving average of the number of job postings on Indeed Canada. We index each day’s 7-day moving average to the start of February (Feb 1, 2020 = 100 for 2020 data, and so on).
We report how the trend in job postings this year differs from last year, in order to focus on the recent changes in labour market conditions due to COVID-19. For example: if job postings for a country increased 30% from February 1, 2019, to April 3, 2019, but only 20% from February 1, 2020, to April 3, 2020, then the index would have risen from 100 to 130 in 2019 and 100 to 120 in 2020. The year-to-date trend in job postings would therefore be down 8.3% on April 3 (120 is 7.7% below 130) in 2020 relative to 2019.
For new postings, we calculate a similar metric but the underlying measure is the number of postings that have been on Indeed for seven days or less.
Information based on publicly available information on the Indeed Canada website (and other countries named in the post), limited to Canada, is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.
Brendon Bernard is an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, focusing on the Canadian labour market. His research interests include analyzing how detailed trends in the job market fit in with broader developments in the Canadian economy. Brendon was previously an economist with Department of Finance Canada, where he focused on analyzing Canadian financial sector policy and the U.S. economy. He holds a Master’s in Economics from the Vancouver School of Economics at University of British Columbia, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University.