Canadian Job Postings Through April 24: Starting to Settle?
Canadian job postings hold fairly steady at 49% below last years trend.
This post is updated as of April 28, reflecting data through April 24. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. This post uses updated methodology from previous posting updates, meaning results may not be directly comparable to previous versions.
Job postings on Indeed Canada started to plateau last week compared to 2019 for the first time since mid-March. As of Friday, April 24th, the trend in Canadian postings stood at 49% below last year’s level, little changed from the week prior. Employer hiring interest remains far below levels that prevailed before the acceleration of the COVID-19 crisis, but the deterioration has paused, at least for now.
As the gap in total postings showed signs of plateauing, new job postings actually perked up relative to last year’s trend. As of April 24th, the trend in new postings was down 58% from 2019, still a large gap, but up 11.4 percentage points from -70% the week prior. While part of the narrowing gap over the past week reflected the later date of Easter in 2019, the number of new postings still perked up to its highest level since late March.
Same story across provinces
Similar to the Canada-wide numbers, total job postings flattened out compared to 2019 levels across most provinces last week. Overall, the trend remains down at least 41% relative to last year in all regions. Declines have been slightly less in less-populous provinces, potentially reflecting their more rural populations. Meanwhile, Alberta continues to show a somewhat wider gap than elsewhere, where the economy is dealing with both the COVID-19 shock, and knock-on effects from the recent plunge in oil prices.
Personal services among the hardest hit, health care among the least
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 49% from 2019, the sectors doing “relatively well” are ones with gaps down less than 35% from last year’s path. Continuing patterns seen in recent weeks, hiring intentions have held up to a greater degree in areas of the healthcare sector, like personal care and home health, which employs support workers and healthcare aides, as well as in nursing. Job posting trends have also declined less than average in security and public safety (which includes security guards), as well as in software development.
On the flip-side, many of the sectors seeing the largest drop-offs in posting trends are in personal services requiring face-to-face interaction. These include hospitality and tourism, food preparation and service, as well as beauty and wellness (which include massage therapists and hairstylists). Job postings in education and instruction are also down sharply compared to last year’s trend.
Lastly, posting trends have followed a similar path as the overall economy across a range of sectors. Banking and finance, arts and entertainment (which includes artists and designers), civil engineering, as well as community and social service jobs (which include social workers and counselors) have all seen comparable drop-offs in job posting trends relative to 2019 levels as the broader economy.
The public health situation and its economic spillovers continue to change on a daily basis. We’ll be regularly updating this 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 labor market conditions due to COVID-19. For example: if job postings increased 30% from February 1, 2019, to April 10, 2019, but only 20% from February 1, 2020, to April 10, 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 7.7% on April 10 (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.