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Canadian Job Postings Through November 6: Closing the Gap

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Getting closer to last year’s trend.

This post is updated as of November 10, reflecting data through November 6. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of November 6, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 10% below last year’s trend, a slight improvement from the week prior. 
  • The total posting gap narrowed almost six percentage points in the past month, as job postings have held steady at a time when they’re typically falling 
  • New job postings, which can be volatile, edged up to 8% above last year’s trend. 

Total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 10% below last year’s trend on November 6, up from -11% the prior Friday. The closing of the gap reflected this year’s numbers edging down, but by less than the dip in last year’s trend, continuing a general pattern seen throughout October. The result has been that the gap between trends has narrowed by almost six percentage points over the past month.

Helping narrow the total postings gap was ongoing momentum in new postings, which were 8% above last year’s trend, up from 5% the week prior. The recent pace at which 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 in 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. and Saskatchewan, where postings are either at or above trend, Manitoba is the only province where the rebound has stalled.

Wider range of sectors getting back to normal

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.

At the same time, demand is stronger elsewhere, and we’re seeing posting trends return to normal levels in a growing number of areas, including ones outside of sectors like health care and loading and stocking that closed their gaps earlier. Over the past month, postings trends are either at, or close to last year’s levels in areas like production and manufacturing, customer service, driving, and software development. 

Meanwhile, a range of sectors are following the economy-wide trend, showing improvement in recent weeks, though still yet to have fully recovered. Included in this group are several white collar and office-related areas like administrative assistance, and management, but also other sectors like installation and maintenance, as well as arts and entertainment. 

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.