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Canadian Job Postings Through March 26: Capping off a Strong Month

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New postings continue to be added at a fast pace.

Key points 

  • Total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 15% on March 26, compared to early February 2020. 
  • The gap over last February’s level has surged 11 percentage points over the past month, led by elevated numbers of new postings. 
  • Pandemic-exposed sectors, like food preparation and service continue to lag the broader recovery, but have also shown momentum in recent weeks. 

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 March 26, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 15% from their February 1, 2020 levels, after adjusting for seasonal trends. Postings cleared their pre-pandemic level midway through February, after plunging 47% at the start of the pandemic. Overall, job postings are up a solid 21 percentage points since the start of December, including a 11 point gain over the past month.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings surge past their pre-crisis level.” With a vertical axis ranging from -50% to 20%, Indeed tracked the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and March 26, 2021. As of March 26, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 15% from their February 1, 2020 levels.

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 March 26, new job postings were up a strong 28% from last February, similar to the pace they’ve been running at in recent weeks. 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 are being added at a strong pace.” With a vertical axis ranging from -80% to 40%, Indeed tracked the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and March 26, 2021. As of March 26, new job postings were up 28% from the start of February 2020. 

Strength across provinces

Job postings are furthest above last February’s level in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Still, momentum has been solid across the board, with Ontario and Alberta making impressive gains since December, while B.C. and Mantioba, have improved a tad more slowly.

Table titled “Job postings above pre-pandemic levels in all provinces.” Indeed compared the change in Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and March 26, 2021, across all provinces. Job postings are stronger compared to pre-pandemic levels in smaller provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada, and Quebec. 

Pandemic-exposed sectors now climbing out of a deep hole

Job postings now exceed their pre-pandemic levels across most of the economy. In some cases, the gap is wide, with nursing, construction, loading and stocking, and software development all well above their February 2020 level. Meanwhile, there’ve been solid rebounds similar to the overall trend across a range of areas including installation and maintenance, accounting, and administrative assistance.  

Table titled “Pandemic-exposed sectors lagging, but making progress.” Indeed compared the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and March 26, 2021, across various sectors divided into sections “Stronger than average,” “Similar to average.” and “Weaker than average.” Postings in some areas are now well above where they were in early 2020. 

Momentum is also starting to improve in several pandemic-exposed sectors. While they lag the broader recovery, job postings in both food preparation and service, as well as sports have made solid gains in recent weeks, the former now almost matching its pre-crisis level. While employment in these areas won’t return to normal as long as the pandemic persists, some businesses are now setting staffing plans for at least a partial resumption of pre-crisis life.  

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.