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Canadian Job Postings Through May 7: Momentum Pauses


Postings have plateaued at an elevated level over the past month.

Key points 

  • Total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 18% on May 7, compared to early February 2020. 
  • The gap over last February’s level has edged down over the past month as the pace of new postings have cooled from a rapid clip. 
  • Job postings are down in several pandemic-exposed sectors since early April, reversing some of their earlier gains. 

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 May 7, 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 2021, but have edged down slightly over the past month.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings plateau at an elevated 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 May 7, 2021. As of May 7, total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 18% from their February 1, 2020 levels.

The flattening in total job posting partly reflects cooler momentum in the number of new job postings being added to Indeed Canada. As of May 7, new job postings were still up an impressive 18% from February 2020, but off from the 30% pace they were running at two weeks prior. Even at a somewhat slower pace, the strong growth in employment opportunities since the winter should be an important boost in helping the elevated number of jobless Canadians find new work.

Line graph titled “New postings edge down but are elevated.” With a vertical axis ranging from -80% to 40%, Indeed tracked the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and May 7, 2021. As of May 7, new job postings were up 18% from the start of February 2020. 

Ontario falls back

Job postings are quite elevated above last February’s level in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Meanwhile postings have trended further upward in Alberta, Manitoba, and B.C. On the flip side, momentum in Ontario has slipped over the past month, and Canada’s largest province now lags the rest of the country. 

Table titled “Ontario job postings fall behind other provinces.” Indeed compared the change in Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and May 7, 2021, across all provinces. Job postings are stronger compared to pre-pandemic levels in smaller provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada, as well as Quebec. 

Pandemic-exposed sectors reverse earlier gains

Job postings now exceed their pre-pandemic levels across most of the economy. In some cases, the gap is wide, like in nursing, and loading and stocking, while certain white collar areas like banking and finance, and human resources have made strong gains recently. Meanwhile, there have been solid rebounds similar to the overall trend across a range of areas including driving, accounting, marketing, and management.  

Table titled “Job postings strong outside pandemic-exposed sectors.” Indeed compared the percent change in total Canada job postings between February 1, 2020 and May 7, 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, but remain weak in areas like food preparation and service. 

On the flip side, hiring appetite remains weak in several pandemic sectors. Postings in areas like food preparation and service, as well as hospitality and tourism, have declined in recent weeks, after perking up earlier this year. As the pandemic’s third wave and resulting restrictions continue to constrain activity, more employers in these sectors are holding off on looking to hire until the path forward is clear. Overall activity in these industries is likely to remain weak in the near term before a 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 week we applied our quarterly revision, which updates seasonal factors and fixes data anomalies. Historical numbers have been revised and may differ from originally reported values.

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.