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Canadian Job Postings Through November 13: Holding Up

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Postings are returning to last year’s trend despite the surging pandemic.

This post is updated as of November 16, reflecting data through November 13. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of November 13, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 8% below last year’s trend, a decent improvement from the week prior. 
  • The total posting gap has narrowed 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 9% above last year’s trend. 

Total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 8% below last year’s trend on November 13, up from -10% the prior Friday. The closing of the gap reflected a slight increase in this year’s numbers, combined with a dip in last year’s trend, continuing a general pattern seen since the start of October. The result has been that the gap between trends has narrowed six percentage points over the past month.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings continue to recover”. With a vertical axis of -60%-10%, the graph shows the Indeed Canada total job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Nov. 13 (Indexed to Feb-01, 7-day avg.) 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 -8% by Nov. 13. Caption added post-publication. 

Helping narrow the total postings gap was ongoing momentum in new postings, which were 9% above last year’s trend, up from 8% above 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, so far, it hasn’t had much of an impact on overall hiring appetite.

Line graph titled “New job postings trend back to normal.” With a vertical axis of -75% to 30%, the graph shows Indeed Canada new job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Nov. 13 (Indexed to Feb-01, 7-day avg.) The gap was at 15% on February 14, and started dropping in March. By mid-April, the gap was -70%. The gap started to rise at the end of April, reaching +9% by Nov. 13. Caption added post-publication.

Progress continues in most provinces

Provincial-level postings trends are generally following the Canada-wide pattern. Despite

rising COVID-19 cases west of the Maritimes, and new restrictions in certain provinces, gaps in total posting trends continue to narrow across nearly all provinces. P.E.I. and Saskatchewan,  where postings were already either at or above trend, were the only two provinces that didn’t improve compared to last year’s trend, while momentum in Manitoba has also been a bit soft in recent weeks. 

Table titled “Posting gaps continue to close in most provinces.” The table compares the Indeed Canada new job postings: 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Nov. 13 (7-day avg.) and the ppt. chg since Oct. 16, between 10 provinces. Canada’s total % gap in trend is -8% and +6% ppt. chg. The largest positive gap is P.E.I., with +20% and a -6% ppt. chg. The largest negative gap is Manitoba with -14% and a +5% ppt. chg. Caption added post-publication.

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. Postings in food service actually narrowed the gap against last year’s trend over the last month, but only because they were falling at a faster rate at this time last year, albeit from a much higher level. 

Table titled “Pandemic-exposed sectors lagging posting recoveries elsewhere.” The table shows the 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Nov. 13 (7-day avg), comparing sectors with a smaller gap than average, gap similar to economy average, and wider gap than average. The sectors with a wider gap than average- the pandemic-exposed sectors- include Legal (-16%), Accounting (-19%), Food Preparation & Service (-35%), Hospitality & Tourism (-43%), and Sports (-47%). Caption added post-publication.

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, human resources, and management.

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.