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Canadian Job Postings Through June 5: Moving in the Right Direction


Recovery in employer hiring appetite still has a long way to go.

This post is updated as of June 8, reflecting data through June 5. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of June 5th, the trend in total job postings on Indeed Canada stood at 43% below last year’s pace, showing some progress compared to the 49% gap a month prior.
  • The gap in new postings held steady during the week at 37% below 2019’s path, reflecting further progress in this year’s trend offset by a rebound in last year’s, following a later Victoria Day. The trend compared to last year has narrowed 17 percentage points from four weeks earlier.   
  • The new posting gap is now less than 25% in certain smaller provinces. Nationally, some sectors have seen pickups in new job postings after large declines earlier during the crisis, like retail, construction, as well as in beauty and wellness. Meanwhile, there’s very little hiring momentum in hospitality and tourism, as well as aviation.

Total job postings on Indeed Canada made gains last week, as of Friday, June 5th, standing 43% below last year’s trend. The gap was 45% the previous Friday, and 49% in early May. Overall hiring interest remains subdued compared to last year, but the pace of recovery in total postings has started to improve, especially over the past two weeks.

Helping push the total posting trend higher was continued momentum in new job postings, that have been on Indeed a week or less. Overall, the trend in new postings held steady from a week earlier at -37% last year’s level. However, the prior week had seen the gap temporarily narrow due to a dip in last year’s trend surrounding Victoria Day, which landed later in the month than this year. While the 2019 trend bounced-back last week, ongoing momentum in this year’s trend kept the gap between them steady. Further gains in new postings, already 17 percentage points closer to 2019’s path then four weeks ago, will be key to drive total job postings higher, and for improving the outlook for Canadian job seekers.

Employer appetite showing greater momentum 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. Smaller provinces in particular are seeing new postings being added at rates more similar to 2019, with the gap in trend less than 25% in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. Among the larger provinces, new postings are closer to last year’s trend in B.C. and Alberta, while the gap in Ontario is wider than the national average. Quebec’s gap looks similar to Ontario’s, partly reflecting a particularly strong 2019.

New postings show rebounds in some, but not all hard-hit sectors

In recent weeks we’ve highlighted sectors where total job postings have held up better than others. Job opportunities have, and continue to hold up better than average in parts of the health care sector like nursing and personal care, security and public safety, as well as software development. However with new job postings showing some momentum, it’s also important to track areas of the economy starting to show momentum, as well as those that aren’t.

Nursing stands out as the sector with new posting trends closest to its 2019 path, because it never experienced a substantial decline to begin with. However, we’ve also seen new postings in other areas of the economy temporarily shuttered have rebounded to above the economy-wide average. These include retail, loading and stocking, which include warehouse workers, as well as construction. 

Not quite as strong, but still showing some progress are sectors where new postings look more similar to the national average. In this category falls cleaning and sanitation, which includes cleaners and housekeepers, installation and maintenance, which includes technicians and mechanics, as well as arts and entertainment, which includes artists and designers. Joining this group more recently after experiencing a severe decline earlier on in the crisis is beauty and wellness, which includes jobs like hairstylists and massage therapists. 

Lastly, momentum in hiring appetite remains quite soft across several areas of the economy, with new postings both further from trend than average, and the gap not showing much improvement over the past month. Some are white collar sectors, like accounting, as well as banking and finance, while others are sectors that face particular challenges in a time of social distancing, like hospitality and tourism, and aviation. 

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.

Methodology

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.