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Canadian Job Postings Through April 9: Elevated Demand

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Employer hiring appetite is in solid shape.

Key points 

  • Total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 18% on April 9, compared to early February 2020. 
  • The gap over last February’s level is up 9 percentage points over the past month, while a strong pace of new postings dipped in early April, likely due to the Easter long-weekend.
  • Postings in most areas of the economy have fully recovered, with sectors like construction, loading and stocking, and nursing now standing well above their pre-pandemic levels. 

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 April 9, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 18% 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 22 percentage points since the start of February, including a 9 point gain over the past month.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings surge past their pre-crisis level.” With a vertical axis ranging from -60% to 30%, Indeed tracked the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and April 9, 2021. As of April 9, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 18% from their February 1, 2020 levels.

The pace of growth in total postings cooled to start April, likely reflecting an Easter-related drop in new postings, which had been running hot for several weeks prior.  Even with the dip, the pace that new postings are being added remains up from last year. It remains to be seen the extent to which the pandemic’s third wave will dent hiring appetite, but so far it appears many employers are looking 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 dip over Easter, but momentum remains strong.” With a vertical axis ranging from -80% to 40%, Indeed tracked the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and April 9, 2021. As of April 9, new job postings were up 2.5% 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 February, while B.C. and Manitoba, 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 April 9, 2021, across all provinces. Job postings are stronger compared to pre-pandemic levels in smaller provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada, and Quebec. 

Postings in most sectors have cleared their pre-pandemic levels 

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 have been solid rebounds similar to the overall trend across a range of areas including installation and maintenance, cleaning and sanitation, and management.  

Table titled “Pandemic-exposed sectors lagging, but making progress.” Indeed compared the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and April 9, 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 hospitality and tourism, have made solid gains in recent weeks, the former roughly matching its pre-crisis level. Whether demand for some of these roles holds up during the pandemic’s third wave will likely depend on how employers weigh the trade-off between the near term hit to activity versus the potentially brighter outlook this summer. 

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.