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Canadian Job Postings Through February 26: Job Postings Now Above Pre-Crisis Levels


Job postings finally cleared their pre-pandemic level on February 14.

Key points 

  • Total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 3% on February 26, compared to early February 2020. 
  • Activity has bounced back since dipping at the start of the year, and strong new posting numbers suggest further momentum. 
  • Hiring appetite remains mixed across sectors, with strength in areas like healthcare, loading and stocking, as well as construction, while postings are weak in several pandemic-exposed services. 

We regularly update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the labor market. Our methodology changed at the start of 2021, as explained in the methodology note at the end of the post.

As of February 26, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 3% from their February 1, 2020 levels, after adjusting for seasonal trends. Postings cleared their pre-pandemic level midway through the month, a milestone, after plunging 47% at the start of the pandemic. Overall, job postings are up a solid 16 percentage points since the start of November, despite Canadian employment easing since then.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings are now above their pre-crisis level.” With a vertical axis ranging from -50% to 10%, Indeed tracked the change in total job postings along a horizontal axis ranging from February 1, 2020 to February 26, 2021. As of February 26, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 3% from their February 1, 2020 levels. Caption added post-publication.

Recent growth in total job postings has been driven by strong momentum in the number of new job postings being added to Indeed Canada. As of February 26, new job postings were up 23% from the start of February 2020, an acceleration since the beginning of the year. It appears many employers are looking through the second wave’s hit to the economy, and ahead to a brighter outlook. Further growth in employment opportunities will likely be important in helping the elevated number of jobless Canadians find new work. 

Line graph titled “New postings have accelerated since the start of 2021.” With a vertical axis ranging from -80% to 40%, Indeed tracked the change in new job postings along a horizontal axis ranging from February 1, 2020 to February 26, 2021. As of February 26, new job postings were up 23% from the start of February 2020. Caption added post-publication.

Employer demand elevated in smaller provinces and Quebec

Across Canada, job postings are generally stronger compared to pre-pandemic levels in smaller provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada. Meanwhile, Quebec stands out among the four larger provinces, with postings up from where they stood last February. Not only are posting levels higher in Quebec and Atlantic provinces compared to last year, but growth in recent months has also been a bit stronger than Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

Bar chart titled “Atlantic Canada and Quebec are leading the rebound in job postings.” Indeed compared the change in total job postings in Canadian provinces between February 1, 2020, November 1, 2020, and February 26, 2021. Across Canada, job postings were generally stronger compared to pre-pandemic levels in smaller provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada. Caption added post-publication.

Job postings strong in some sectors, still weak in pandemic-exposed areas

The strength of employer hiring appetite varies widely depending on where you look. Postings in some areas are now well above where they were in early 2020. Nursing stands out in particular. Not only did demand not plunge as much as other areas last spring, but postings have actually surged in recent months. Recent momentum has also been strong in loading & stocking, construction, and software development.

Bar chart titled “Pandemic-exposed sectors lagging posting recoveries elsewhere.” Indeed compared the change in total job postings in Canadian provinces between February 1, 2020, November 1, 2020, and February 26, 2021, divided by “stronger than average,” “similar to average,” and “weaker than average.” Recent momentum has also been strong in loading & stocking, construction, and software development. Caption added post-publication.

On the flip-side, job postings remain quite weak in several pandemic-exposed sectors like food preparation and service, beauty and wellness, as well as hospitality and tourism. Progress in these areas in recent months has also been slow, as the pandemic’s second wave has weighed on employer demand.

Lastly, job postings in a wide range of fields, such as installation and maintenance, marketing, and administrative assistance stand pretty close to their early February 2020 levels, similar to the trend in economy-wide job postings. 

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

All figures in this blogpost are the percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since February 1, 2020, using a seven-day trailing average. February 1, 2020, is our pre-pandemic baseline. We seasonally adjust each series based on historical patterns in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Each series, including the national trend, occupational sectors, and sub-national geographies, is seasonally adjusted separately. 

This blogpost is based on publicly available information on the Indeed Canada website and any other countries if named in the post. Unless specified otherwise, it is limited to Canada, is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.