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Canadian Job Postings Through May 8: Opportunities in Nursing

For International Nurses Day, we spotlight hiring conditions in the nursing field.

This post is updated as of May 12, reflecting data through May 8. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Job postings on Indeed Canada held steady last week compared to 2019 for a third consecutive week. After declining precipitously between mid-March and mid-April, the trend in Canadian postings stood at 49% below last year’s level on May 8th, where it’s been since April 19th. Total postings compared to last year have stayed flat in most provinces over the past two weeks, with an uptick in Manitoba being an exception. Overall, the dramatic decline in employer hiring interest since the acceleration of the COVID-19 crisis looks to have plateaued, at least for now.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings gap holds steady for a third week.” With a vertical axis of -60% to 10%, the graph shows Indeed Canada total job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 8 (Indexed to Feb-01, 7-day avg.) Data labels highlight every-other Friday since mid-March. The gap was at 0% on February 14, and started dropping in March. By the end of April and into May, the gap was -49% for three straight weeks. Caption added post-publication.

The plateau in total postings has been aided by a modest rebound in new postings that have been on Indeed a week or less. New postings plunged to 70% below last year’s trend in mid-April, but have bounced back somewhat, to 54% below 2019 levels. The gap on May 8th was similar to where it stood the prior Friday, partly reflecting last year’s trend temporarily being brought down by a later Easter than this year, but it’s still up 12 percentage points from where it was a month earlier. Overall, this suggests momentum in hiring appetite has perked up, but isn’t yet exceeding the pace at which existing job postings are being filled or taken down.

Line graph titled “New job postings have perked-up from their mid-April lows.” With a vertical axis of -75% to 30%, the graph shows Indeed Canada new job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 8 (Indexed to Feb-01, 7-day avg.) Data labels highlight every-other Friday since mid-March. The gap was at 15% on February 14, and started dropping in March. By mid-April, the gap was -70%. The gap started to rise at the end of April, reaching -54% by May 8. Caption added post-publication. 

What provinces are driving the rebound in new postings?

With all provinces moving towards some form of gradual re-opening in the coming weeks, new postings compared to last year’s trend have bounced back at least somewhat in all regions over the past month. That said, there remains some variation. 

Not only are total postings down less in smaller provinces, but provinces like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba have also seen larger rebounds in new postings in recent weeks. This rebound in momentum could reflect greater optimism about the prospects of re-opening, as their respective COVID-19 outbreaks have been less severe than elsewhere. Meanwhile, the increase in new hiring interest has been a bit less in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec. 

Table titled “Smaller provinces showing greater momentum in hiring appetite.” The table compares the Indeed Canada new job postings: 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 8 (7-day avg.) and the ppt. chg since April 8, between 9 provinces. Canada’s total % gap in trend is -54% and +12% ppt. chg. The smallest gap is Manitoba, with -34% and a +18% ppt. chg. The largest gap is Quebec with -58% and a +11% ppt. chg. Caption added post-publication.

Opportunities in nursing have held up more than the broader economy

Overall, total job postings have trended below last year’s levels across the economy, but job opportunities have held up better in some areas than others. With Tuesday, May 12th, International Nurses Day, we spotlight the nursing field, one of the sectors where hiring appetite has held up relatively well.

The trend in new job postings for nurses was actually softening compared to last year prior to the acceleration of the COVID-19 crisis’ economic impacts in mid-March. However since then, the gap has been relatively stable, as of May 8 standing at 22% below 2019’s trend, less than half the 54% gap in trend in new job postings for the economy overall. 

Line graph titled “New job postings for nurses have held far more than most sectors”. With a vertical axis ranging from -75% to 30%, the graph compares Indeed Canada new job postings between nursing jobs and total jobs: 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 8 (7-day avg.). While total job postings gap dropped 90% between February 14 and May 8, nursing jobs dropped 30% between Feb 14 and March 13, then remained flat through May, with a short spike up 30% and back down again between mind-April and May 8. Caption added post-publication.

Employers aren’t just trying to fill nursing vacancies by posting jobs. They’re also actively searching for workers with backgrounds in nursing in Indeed Canada’s resume database, which allows employers to proactively reach out to candidates who’ve uploaded their resume to Indeed. Over the course of mid-March and April, the share of total Canadian resume searches for Registered Nurses, Licenced Practical Nurses, and especially Registered Practical Nurses were all more than double their shares during the six weeks prior. 

Table titled “Employer resume searches have shifted towards candidates with nursing experience.” Table shows change in share of searches on Indeed Canada resume database: Mar-15 to April 26 vs. Feb-2 to Mar-15. RPN change was 660%, RN change was 235%, Nurse was 197%, and LPN was 157%. Caption added post-publication.

Already an indispensable job, the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the importance of nurses and other healthcare workers. Given their key role in these trying times, it’s important these frontline workers are both appreciated and rewarded for their sacrifices, and for policy makers to help ensure their skills are being utilized where they’re needed most. 

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.