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Canadian Job Postings Through December 4: Looking to Next Year?

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Job postings holding up well for this time of year.

This post is updated as of December 7, reflecting data through December 4. We will be regularly updating this data as we track how COVID-19 impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • As of December 4, total job postings on Indeed Canada stood 5% below last year’s trend, edging up slightly from the week prior. 
  • The total posting gap has narrowed five percentage points in the past month, as job postings have held fairly steady at a time when they’re typically falling. 
  • New postings lost a bit of momentum, but overall are doing fairly well, a sign that many employers are looking ahead to next year.

Total job postings on Indeed Canada stood -5% below last year’s trend on December 4, up slightly from -6% the prior Friday. The closing of the gap reflected the trend easing slightly less than it did at the same time last year. This has generally been the pattern since the start of October, with current hiring appetite steady at a time when job postings are well into their typical end-of-year slide. The result has been that the gap between trends has narrowed five 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 Dec. 4 (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 -5% by Dec. 4. Caption added post-publication. 

Momentum in new postings cooled a bit, but still stood at 9% above last year’s trend, compared to 13% above the week prior. New postings are fairly quick to react to changing events, as we saw in late-March. Their current stability relative to typical seasonal trends suggests that many employers are looking through the recent upswing in new COVID-19 cases and resulting economic restrictions to what’s hopefully a brighter outlook in 2021. 

Line graph titled “New job postings being added at a solid pace vs. last year’s trend.” With a vertical axis of -75% to 30%, the graph shows Indeed Canada new job postings, 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through June 12 (Indexed to Feb-01, 7-day avg.) Data labels highlight every-other Friday since mid-March. 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 Dec. 4. Caption added post-publication.

A range of sectors are getting back to normal

Over the past month, job postings have continued to improve compared to last year’s trend across most sectors. Some, like nursing, as well as loading and stocking, saw hiring appetite return to last year’s trend fairly quickly, and postings are now well above their 2019 path. However, an increasing number of areas have also closed their gaps in recent weeks. These span a range of sectors, including production and manufacturing, customer service, and software development. 

Table titled “Pandemic-exposed sectors lagging posting recoveries elsewhere.” The table shows the 2020 vs 2019 % gap in trend through Dec. 4 (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 Industrial Engineering (-15%), Media & Communications (-20%), Food Preparation & Service (-33%), and Aviation (-62%). Caption added post-publication.

At the same, postings remain quite weak in several pandemic-exposed sectors like food preparation and service, which were a third less than their 2019 trend as of late November. The gap was actually slightly smaller than a month earlier, but not because of a stronger hiring appetite this year. Rather, postings in the sector were falling at a faster pace over this time last year, albeit from a much higher level. Hiring appetite also remains quite depressed in sports, as well as aviation. 

Lastly, a range of sectors have gaps similar to the economy-wide trend, albeit showing a bit less momentum in recent weeks. Included in this group are several white collar and office-related areas like administrative assistance and management, and others like installation and maintenance, as well as retail.

The public health situation and its economic spillovers continue to change on a daily basis. This is our last update for the year. We will return in January to track how Canadian employer demand is evolving. 

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.