Canadian Job Postings Through October 9: Recovery Continues
Job postings cap off a solid September.
This post is updated as of October 13, reflecting data through October 9. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market.
- As of October 9, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 15% below last year’s trend, up slightly from the week prior.
- New job postings edged up to 4% above last year’s trend after matching the 2019 path the previous two weeks.
- The arrival of fall and an upswing in new COVID-19 cases has yet to slow the ongoing rebound in overall job postings.
- However, momentum has been noticeably weaker in pandemic-exposed sectors like food preparation and service than the rest of the economy.
Total job postings on Indeed Canada rose compared to last year’s trend, as of Friday, October 9, standing 15% below 2019 levels, up from -16% the week prior. The slight closing of the gap reflected a steady level in this year’s trend combined with a slight easing of last year’s trend. Last week’s progress followed a strong September, which saw the posting gap shrink six percentage points from earlier in the month.
New postings continue to show strength
Helping drive the trend in total postings was strength in new postings, which edged up to four percent above last year’s trend after matching 2019 during the last two weeks of September. This pace remains more than 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 an upswing in new COVID-19 cases, and new public health restrictions in certain provinces leave us waiting to see if recent momentum can be maintained.
Gaps closing across the country
While recent increases in COVID-19 cases have been most notable in Quebec and Ontario, these surges have yet to dent their job posting recoveries. Gains compared to last year were seen across almost the country between September 11 and October 9, with Canada’s largest two provinces no exception. P.E.I. saw its posting gap sharply turn sharply, reflecting a drop-off in its 2019 trend. Saskatchewan also stands out with postings nearly back to normal.
Momentum weaker in pandemic-exposed sectors
Most sectors have seen job postings improve compared to last year in recent weeks. Among the exceptions, though, are areas of the economy especially hard-hit by the pandemic that were already lagging the broader recovery. Since mid-September, the gap in postings compared to last year’s trend has widened in food preparation and service, as well as hospitality and tourism, while it was flat in sports-related jobs (which includes fitness instructors). Aviation, the sector furthest from last year’s trend, also deteriorated.
At the same time, these pockets of weakness aren’t the norm. In fact, progress since early September has brought postings back to last year’s trend across an increasing number of sectors. Nursing, as well as loading and stocking, closed their posting gaps a few weeks ago, and they’re starting to be joined by others like construction, as well as security and public safety.
Lastly a range of sectors are following the economy-wide trend, showing improvement since mid-September, though postings still have a way to go to reach last year’s trend. Included in this group are IT operations and helpdesk, installation and maintenance, administrative assistance, and retail.
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.