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Canadian Job Postings Through May 21: Holding Steady


Postings remain well above the pre-pandemic level.

Key points 

  • Total job postings on Indeed Canada were up 18% on May 21, compared to early February 2020. 
  • The gap over last February’s level has been steady since early April, as new postings have been added at a steady, but slightly cooler pace than earlier in the year.
  • While job postings in several pandemic-exposed sectors remain weak, and still down from where they started in April, they’ve perked up over the past two 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 May 21, 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 have flattened since the start of April, but are still up a solid 23 percentage points since early February 2021.

Line graph titled “Canadian job postings steady 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 21, 2021. As of May 21, 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 (see methodology section for definition of new job postings). As of May 21, new job postings were still up an impressive 21% from February 2020, but off from the above 25% pace they were running at during March. Even at a slightly 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 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 May 21, 2021. As of May 21, new job postings were up 21% from the start of February 2020. 

All provinces have fully rebounded

Job postings remain quite elevated above last February’s level in Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan. Quebec also looks strong, even though postings have slipped slightly since April 6. Hiring appetite is solid but not quite as hot in Alberta, Manitoba, and B.C., while Ontario has also fully recovered from its pandemic drop, but stands closest to its February 2020 levels.

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 still weak

Job postings now exceed their pre-pandemic levels across most of the economy. In some cases, the gap is wide, like in nursing, loading and stocking, and software development. Demand in construction also remains quite strong, despite falling back since early April. Meanwhile, there have been solid rebounds similar to the overall trend across a range of areas including customer service, driving, accounting, 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 21, 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, are down even compared to where they were in early April. That said, there are signs over the past two weeks that their third wave dip is starting to reverse. We could see demand in these areas start to ramp up as the summer approaches and provinces provide clarity on the timeline to reopening. 

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 blog post is based on publicly available information on the Indeed Canada website and any other countries if named in the post. Job postings included are positions posted by employers on Indeed as well as other sources like employer career pages, and applicant tracking systems. New job postings are posts that are 7-days old or less. Unless specified otherwise, it is limited to Canada, is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.