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Canadian Job Postings Through October 30: Holding Up

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Job postings aren’t showing their usual fourth-quarter slide.

This post is updated as of November 2, reflecting data through October 30. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of October 30, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 11% below last year’s trend, a decent improvement from the week prior. 
  • The total posting gap narrowed five percentage points in October, as job postings held steady throughout the month, while they fell over the same period in 2019. 
  • New job postings, which can be volatile, fell back compared to last year’s trend, but remained up 5%. 
  • Momentum continues to be weaker in certain pandemic-exposed sectors like food preparation and service, and sports, than the rest of the economy.

Total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 11% below last year’s trend on October 30, up from -13% the prior Friday. The closing of the gap reflected a steady level in this year’s trend combined with a dip in last year’s, continuing a pattern we’ve seen throughout October. The result has been the gap in trends has narrowed by five percentage points since the start of the month.

Helping narrow the total postings gap was ongoing momentum in new postings, which were up 5% compared to last year’s trend, down somewhat from the week prior. The recent pace that new jobs are being posted has been sufficient to keep total postings moving in the right direction. While the upswing in new COVID-19 across most of Canada puts this progress in jeopardy, it hasn’t had much of an impact on overall hiring appetite.

Progress continues in most provinces

Rising COVID-19 cases west of the Maritimes, and new restrictions in provinces like Ontario and Quebec are a serious potential headwind to the rebound in job postings. However, like the nationwide trend, these developments haven’t made much of a dent to postings across most provinces. While Ontario and Quebec posting gaps relative to last year have narrowed a tad less than in Alberta and B.C over the past month, they’re still making progress. Rather, besides P.E.I., where postings were already above trend, Manitoba is the only province where the rebound stalled in October.

Food services struggling

Job postings continue to improve compared to last year across most sectors. That said, a few areas are showing weaker momentum. Included in this group are food preparation and service, as well as sports (which include fitness instructors), both vulnerable to a pickup in the pandemic, and resulting restrictions on activity.

Demand is stronger elsewhere. Postings in both personal care and home health, as well as loading and stocking are up in October, and now well above last year’s trend. Production and manufacturing jobs have also shown solid momentum, while construction is also running above last year’s trend. 

Lastly, a range of sectors are following the economy-wide trend, showing improvement this month, though still yet to have fully recovered. Included in this group are several white collar and office-related areas like administrative assistance, banking and finance, management, as well as installation and maintenance.

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.