Canadian Job Postings Through August 14: A Second Flat Week
Progress starts to cool in August.
This post is updated as of August 18, reflecting data through August 14. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market.
- As of August 14th, the trend in total job postings on Indeed Canada stood at 26% below last year’s trend, a slight uptick from the week prior. The gap compared to last year has been steady over the past two weeks, after recovering steadily over the prior three months.
- The gap in new postings, which has been volatile in recent weeks, narrowed somewhat to 13% below 2019’s path, from -17% a week earlier.
- Job postings are fairly close to last year’s trend in a range of sectors, most of which typically require people to actually visit their workplace, such as in healthcare, construction, and loading and stocking.
Total job postings on Indeed Canada edged up compared to last year’s trend, as of Friday, August 14th, standing 26% below 2019 levels. The gap was -27% the previous Friday, up from -49% in early May. The recovery in posting trend relative to last year has paused over the past two weeks, after consistent progress over the prior three months.
The slower pace of recovery in total postings reflects some volatility in new postings. The trend in new postings narrowed to 13% below last year’s level, after widening to -17% the prior Friday, putting the gap back to where it was on July 24th. The pace that new job postings are being added is a key driver of total postings, and by extension, the amount of opportunities available to Canadian job seekers. If the new posting trend can’t return to its previous momentum, it will be harder to get total postings back to normal.
The pause in recovery of total posting gap over the past two weeks is evident across most provinces. In general, total postings remain closer to their 2019 trends in smaller provinces, with Nova Scotia the exception, having weakened since the start of August.
Some sectors have seen major rebounds in postings
Despite the pause in recovery of total postings, job opportunities have seen substantial rebounds across many sectors of the economy. Gaps compared to last year’s trend have nearly closed in construction, as well as loading and stocking, (which include warehouse workers, and back-of-house retail roles). In addition, posting trends in both nursing as well as personal care and home health, which didn’t fall much earlier in the pandemic, are either at, or just shy of their 2019 levels. One point in common across these sectors is that they feature jobs that usually aren’t done remotely.
Meanwhile, a wide range of areas are tracking the broader rebound in economy-wide postings. These include installation and maintenance, driving, and retail. Lastly, several of the sectors where postings are furthest from their 2019 trends are in sectors particularly hit by the pandemic, like food preparation and service, and sports (which includes fitness instructors), as well certain white collar sectors like legal services, and marketing.
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.