This post is updated as of May 19, reflecting data through May 15. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Total job postings on Indeed Canada edged up slightly last week, as of Friday May 15th standing 48% below last year’s trend. The trend had stood 49% below 2019 levels throughout the prior three weeks. The slight narrowing of the total postings gap since the start of May reflects upticks in most of the smaller provinces as well as Alberta, and slight progress in Ontario and B.C., while the gap in Quebec remained steady.

Line graph Canadian job postings inch up mid-may
Line graph titled “Canadian job postings inch-up in mid-May.” With a vertical axis of -60% to 10%, the graph shows Indeed Canada total job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 15 (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%. The gap inched up on May 15, with a -48% gap. Caption added post-publication.

The minor narrowing in total postings gap has been aided by a moderate rebound in new postings that have been on Indeed a week or less. After declining even more than total postings through mid-April, new postings have bounced back somewhat, as of May 15th standing 49% below their 2019 trend, up from -66% on April 10th. Overall, this suggests momentum in hiring appetite has perked up, but remains well below its typical trend, and isn’t yet substantially exceeding the pace at which existing job postings are being filled or taken down.

Line graph shows new job postings have perked up from their mid april lows
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 15 (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 -49% by May 15. Caption added post-publication.

New posting trends stronger in smaller provinces 

With all provinces moving towards some form of gradual re-opening, the gap in new postings compared to last year has narrowed across the country. New postings in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick, have all improved to the point they stand less than 40% below last year’s trend. At the other end, trends in new postings remain down over half from 2019 levels in Ontario and Quebec, the provinces that have seen both the worst COVID-19 outbreaks and the largest drops in hours worked since February. Meanwhile, momentum in hiring appetite in B.C. and Alberta stands in between less populous regions and Canada’s largest two provinces. 

Table shows hiring appetite momentum stronger in smaller provinces
Table titled “Hiring appetite momentum stronger in smaller provinces.” The table compares the Indeed Canada new job postings: 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 15 (7-day avg.) and the ppt. chg since April 10, between 9 provinces. Canada’s total % gap in trend is -49% and +17% ppt. chg. The smallest gap is Nova Scotia, with -36% and a +22% ppt. chg. The largest gap is Quebec with -54% and a +16% ppt. chg. Caption added post-publication.

Personal services among the hardest hit, healthcare 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 48% from 2019, the sectors doing “relatively well” are ones with gaps down less than 40% 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. 

Table shows some sectors hit harder than others
Table titled “Some sectors offering hit harder than others.” The table shows the 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through May 15 (7-day avg), comparing sectors with a smaller than average decline, declines similar to economy average, and larger than average decline. The sectors that were hit harder than others include Hospitality & Tourism (-63%), Marketing (-64%), Food Preparation & Service (-65%), and Beauty & Wellness (-65%). Caption added post-publication.

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). With consumer spending down, job postings in marketing are also well below 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), retail, as well as cleaning and sanitation 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.

The number of job postings on, whether related to paid or unpaid job solicitations, is not indicative of potential revenue or earnings of Indeed, which comprises a significant percentage of the HR Technology segment of its parent company, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. Job posting numbers are provided for information purposes only and should not be viewed as an indicator of performance of Indeed or Recruit. Please refer to the Recruit Holdings investor relations website and regulatory filings in Japan for more detailed information on revenue generation by Recruit’s HR Technology segment.