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Canadian Job Postings Through August 14: A Second Flat Week

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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. 

Key points:

  • 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. 

Line graph shows Canadian job postings recovery pauses for a second week.
Line graph titled “Canadian job postings recovery pauses for a second week.” With a vertical axis of -60%-10%, the graph shows the Indeed Canada total job postings of 2020 vs. 2019 % gap in trend from February through August 14th. There was a 0% gap until March, when it dropped to -25% by end-of-month. The gap continued to drop to -49% in April, and started rising again at the end of May. By August 14th, the gap was -26%. Caption added post-publication.

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. 

Line graph titled “New job postings momentum has plateaued”. With an axis ranging from -75% to 30%, the graph shows Indeed Canada new job postings, 2020 vs. 2019 % gap in trend through Aug. 14. Graph shows gap was trending at 15% higher in February. From March 2020 to April 17th, the gap dropped to -70%. It started to rise again up to -1% at the end of July, and dropped again plateauing at -13% in August. Caption added post-publication.

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.

Table titled “Job postings recovery has cooled in most provinces.” Table shows Indeed Canada total job postings: 2020 vs. 2019 % gap in trend and ppt. Change since July 31 through August 14th (7-day avg) in 11 provinces. Canada in total had a -26% gap in trend and a +0% ppt. chg since July 31. P.E.I. had the lowest % gap in trend with -12% and +1% ppt. chg since July 31. Quebec had the highest % gap in trend with -29% and +1% ppt. chg. Caption added post-publication.

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. 

Table titled “Posting trends in some sectors starting to get back to normal”. Table shows Indeed Canada total job postings: 2020 vs. 2019 % gap in trend through Aug. 14 (7-day avg). Table shows three categories- Smaller gap than average, Gap similar to economy average, and Wider gap than average. Each category contains four sectors. The smallest gap is in Nursing, with a 1% gap in trend and a +15% ppt. chg since May 8. The sector with the widest % gap in trend is Sports, with -42% and a +11% ppt. chg sine May 8. Caption added post-publication.

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.

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.