Coronavirus

Canadian Job Postings Through July 17: Back in Gear


New postings perk up after recovery paused for a few weeks.

This post is updated as of July 20, reflecting data through July 17. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of July 17th, the trend in total job postings on Indeed Canada stood at 31% below last year’s pace, continuing their gradual, but incomplete rebound. 
  • The gap in new postings narrowed slightly to 17% below 2019’s path from -23% a week earlier, bouncing back after momentum slowed at the start of July. 
  • Total postings are closer to their 2019 trends in areas like health care, software development, as well as retail, and construction (the latter two seeing strong rebounds since early May). 
  • Meanwhile, opportunities are weaker in areas of the economy hit hard by the crisis, such as food services, as well as several white collar sectors like accounting, and human resources.

Total job postings on Indeed Canada edged up compared to last year’s trend last week, as of Friday, July 17th, standing 31% below 2019 levels. The gap was -33% the previous Friday, and -49% in early-May. The pace of improvement picked up a bit after decelerating over the prior two weeks.

The slightly-faster narrowing of the total postings gap reflected a rebound in momentum in new postings. The trend in new postings narrowed to 17% below last year’s level, compared to -23% the week prior. The rebound in new postings trend had reversed somewhat in early July, but has since perked back up, edging out the previous smallest gap reached on June 28th. The rate at which new jobs are being posted is currently sufficient to maintain the recovery in total job postings, helping improve the outlook for Canadian job seekers. 

Hiring appetite closer to ‘normal’ in smaller provinces

While no provinces have fully closed the gap in total postings compared to last year’s trend, progress has been made across the country. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, job posting trends are closer to 2019 levels in smaller provinces than larger ones, generally consistent with employment changes since February. The one exception is Quebec, which is further from last year’s path despite more robust employment numbers, primarily reflecting a stronger job posting trend in 2019, rather than weaker momentum this year.

Retail and construction have both seen major rebounds

Job opportunities have improved in nearly all sectors since the gap in total postings bottomed, but momentum varies. Some sectors where hiring appetite looks relatively strong, at least compared to the overall average, are those that didn’t experience sharp declines in March and April, despite seeing limited rebounds since. Included here are healthcare related areas like nursing, and personal care and home health, as well as software development. Meanwhile, strong rebounds in sectors like construction and retail have brought postings closer to their 2019 trends than elsewhere. 

A wide range of sectors have job postings trends at a similar distance from their 2019 levels as the economy-wide average. These include installation and maintenance, driving (which includes truck drivers), management, as well as IT operations and helpdesk. While the former two have seen relatively large rebounds since early May, the latter two fell less than average earlier in the crisis. 

Lastly, posting gaps are currently wider than the overall average in several sectors. Some are areas that have been hit harder by the pandemic like sports (which includes fitness instructors and coaches), as well as food preparation and service. Others are in more white-collar areas such as accounting, as well as human resources.

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.

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