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Canadian Job Postings Through September 25: Not Done Yet

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Job postings continue their rebound.

This post is updated as of September 28, reflecting data through September 25. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of September 25th, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 19% below last year’s trend, up slightly from the week prior. 
  • The gap in new postings, which can be volatile, narrowed to match 2019’s path, from -13% a week earlier. The arrival of fall and an upswing in new COVID-19 cases leave us waiting to see if this pace can be maintained. 
  • Recent momentum has been broad-based, with posting gaps closing over the past month across provinces, as well as jobs of varying wage levels.

Total job postings on Indeed Canada edged up compared to last year’s trend, as of Friday, September 25th, standing 19% below 2019 levels, up from -21% the week prior. While last year’s trend edged down, most of the progress was from continued momentum in this year’s numbers. Momentum resumed after the posting gap failed to close over the week of the 18th. So far, every time the recovery has looked like it was plateauing, hiring appetite has kicked back into gear.

Helping drive the trend in total postings was a strength in new postings, which were running at last year’s trend on September 25th, up from -13% the week prior. While new postings have reached last year’s path at other points over the past few months, this was the first time we’ve seen it happen absent a substantial dip in the 2019 trend. In general, the pace that new jobs are being posted has been sufficient to move the total postings gap, and by extension, the amount of opportunities available to Canadian job seekers, in the right direction. However, the arrival of fall, and an upswing in new COVID-19 cases leave us waiting to see if recent momentum can be maintained. 

Recent progress in closing the nationwide job postings gap isn’t coming from just one region. Rather there was improvement across all provinces over the past month. P.E.I and Saskatchewan currently stand closest to last year’s trend, consistent with other economic data. Meanwhile, Quebec is a bit further from last year’s trend, reflecting the it’s particularly strong 2019. 

Posting gaps closing across wage tiers

Not only are job opportunities expanding across regions, they’re also improving across different types of jobs. Grouping job titles across wage tiers, postings for low, mid, and higher-paying jobs have all narrowed by five percentage points since late August. That leaves high and mid-wage job types down 16 and 17 percent compared to last year’s trend, while lower-wage roles were still off by 23%. This larger gap for lower-wage roles became noticeable in early August, resulting from a pick up in last year’s trend around that time, rather than weaker momentum this year. 

With the rebound in job postings in its fifth month, hiring appetite in a few areas has actually returned to normal. Postings are back to their 2019 trends in construction, as well as loading and stocking. Less surprising is relatively strong demand for workers in health care, with postings in nursing as well as personal care and home health both near last year’s trends. 

Meanwhile, like the economy-wide trend, there has been improvement across a range of sectors in recent months, but far from sufficient to bring them back to last year’s levels. These include installation and maintenance, banking and finance, retail, and management. Postings for these groups were still roughly 15 to 20% below last year’s trend in late September, despite showing progress closing their respective gaps over the month prior.

Lastly, several of the sectors where postings remain furthest from their 2019 trends are particularly hit by the pandemic, like hospitality and tourism, and food preparation and service. While postings in food services are in fact up significantly from their early pandemic lows, they still look quite weak compared to their much stronger pace last year. Also lagging behind are certain white-collar sectors like accounting and insurance. 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.