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Canadian Job Postings Through August 28: Ending August on a Solid Note

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As of August 28th, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood at 23% below last year’s trend, a modest improvement from the week prior.

This post is updated as of August 31, reflecting data through August 28. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of August 28th, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood at 23% below last year’s trend, a modest improvement from the week prior. Progress has resumed over the past two weeks after pausing in early August.
  • The gap in new postings widened a tad to 17% below 2019’s path, from -14% a week earlier, reflecting a jump in last year’s trend. 
  • Posting trends are now back to normal in sectors like construction, loading and stocking, and health care, while several pandemic-exposed areas and certain white collar sectors lag behind. 

Total job postings on Indeed Canada edged up compared to last year’s trend, as of Friday, August 28th, standing 23% below 2019 levels. The gap was -25% the previous Friday, up from -49% in early May. The gap in postings narrowed for a second straight week after pausing in early August, a sign that Canadian labour demand hasn’t yet plateaued in it’s gradual, yet still incomplete recovery.  

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings inching closer to normal.” With a vertical axis of -60% to 10%, the graph shows Indeed Canada total job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Aug. 28 (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 started to recover in May, reaching -23% by Aug. 28. Caption added post-publication.

Unlike total postings, new postings actually eased compared to last year’s trend, slipping from 14% to 17% below the 2019 path. The slight widening reflected a jump up in last year’s numbers rather than a deterioration in this year’s trend. 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. New postings are currently closer to last year’s trend than total postings, helping drive the latter’s recovery. However, unless they can catch some renewed momentum, it will be hard to get total postings all the way back to normal. 

Line graph titled “Gap in new job postings vs. last year holding fairly steady.” With a vertical axis of -75% to 30%, the graph shows Indeed Canada new job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Aug. 28 (Indexed to Feb-01, 7-day avg.) The gap was roughly 15% on February 07, and started dropping in March. By mid-April, the gap was -70%. The gap started to rise at the end of April, with some rises and falls, reaching -17% by Aug. 28. Caption added post-publication.

Nationwide, the total posting gap is six percentage points less than it was on July 24th, and most provinces are following suit. Total postings compared to last year’s trend have narrowed by similar degrees in Ontario, B.C., Quebec, and Manitoba over the past month, while Alberta, Saskatchewan, and P.E.I. have picked up by even more. Recent momentum has been a bit softer in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which had previously been among the provincial leaders.

Table titled “Almost all provinces made progress last month.” The table compares the Indeed Canada new job postings: 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through August 28 (7-day avg.) and the ppt. chg since July 24, between 10 provinces. Canada’s total % gap in trend is -29% and +20% ppt. chg. The smallest gap is Saskatchewan, with -8% and a +31% ppt. chg. The largest gap is Ontario with -33% and a +18% ppt. chg. Caption added post-publication.

Large posting gains for construction, as well as transport and warehousing jobs 

With the rebound in job postings about to enter its fifth month, hiring appetite in certain areas is starting to get back to normal. Postings are basically back to their 2019 trends in construction, as well as loading and stocking (which include warehouse workers and back-of-house retail roles), while cleaning and sanitation is up sharply since late July. Postings in personal care and home health, which  didn’t fall too much earlier on, are also running at last year’s trends. 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.” The table shows the Indeed Canada total job postings: 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through August 28 (7-day avg), comparing sectors with a smaller than average decline, declines similar to economy average, and larger than average decline. The sectors starting to get back to normal include Loading & Stocking (-1%), Construction (-1%), Personal Care & Home Health (-2%), and Cleaning & Sanitation (-13%). Caption added post-publication.

Meanwhile, gaps in posting trends are pretty similar to the economy-wide average across a wide-range of sectors, but the strength of recent momentum often varies across these areas. For instance, postings in driving have seen a major uptick over the past month, while gaps compared to last year in security as well as retail have held steadier, with postings in August growing more similarly to last year’s pace. 

Lastly, several of the sectors where postings are furthest from their 2019 trends were particularly hit by the pandemic, like hospitality and tourism, and sports (which includes fitness instructors and coaches). Also lagging behind are certain white-collar sectors like legal services and marketing. These latter areas often hire based on longer-term considerations, and therefore might be holding out on looking to add new workers until there’s greater certainty in the economic outlook. 

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.