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August Job Search Survey: Confidence Rises Among Employed Job Seekers

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Overall job search activity ticked down slightly.

Key points

  • The share of Canadians searching for work edged down in August, from 27% to 26%, according to the Indeed August Job Search Survey. 
  • The minor decline in search activity was led by workers currently employed, while the share of jobless adults searching ticked up, though neither shift was statistically significant. 
  • While search activity among the employed didn’t change much, the share who were confident about quickly finding a new job rose to 52% in August, in contrast to unemployed job seekers, whose share remained at 35%.

The first installment of our Indeed Job Search Survey in Canada in July found that most Canadians weren’t actively searching for work. This trend was little changed in our most recent online general population survey of 4,000 adults ages 18 to 64, between August 9th and 23rd. In fact, the share actively searching ticked down slightly from 27% to 26%, though the drop wasn’t statistically significant. Similar to July, roughly two-thirds of those searching for work indicated that their search was “not urgent”. 

Bar chart titled “Share of Canadians on the job hunt fairly stable in August.” With a vertical axis ranging from 0% to 40%, Indeed compared the job search status among Canadians, both employed and non-employed between July and August 2021 with different coloured sections of each bar representing “searching, not urgently” and “searching, urgently.” As of August 2021, the share actively searching ticked down slightly from 27% in July 2021 to 26%.

The slight downtick in overall search activity was driven by a modest decline in searching among those currently employed, from 25% to 24% of workers. Meanwhile, search activity among the jobless edged up slightly to 33%. Neither change was statistically significant. Even among the unemployed, a majority describe their job search as not urgent, due to a range of factors

Bar chart titled “Slightly fewer employed workers searching in August.” With a vertical axis ranging from 0% to 40%, Indeed compared the job search status of Canadians by employment status between July and August 2021 with different coloured sections of each bar representing “searching, not urgently” and “searching, urgently.” As of August 2021, search activity among those employed ticked down from 25% to 24%, while among the jobless it edged up slightly to 33% from 32% in July 2021.

Employed workers on the job hunt more confident they can land new work

While overall changes in search activity were modest, confidence among employed job seekers showed notable improvement. In July, 46% of those currently working but seeking new work either agreed, or strongly agreed that they were confident they “can find a new job in the next month.” That share rose to 52% in August, a statistically significant gain. While it’s unclear what specifically drove the August increase, ongoing strength in hiring appetite among Canadian employers makes for a more auspicious environment to search for new work.

Line graph titled “Employed job seeker confidence rises in August.” With a vertical axis ranging from 25% to 55%, Indeed compared the share of job seekers confident they can find a job in the next month by employment status between July and August 2021 with different coloured lines representing employed and not employed. As of August 2021, 52% of respondents currently working but seeking new work either agreed or strongly agreed that they were confident they “can find a new job in the next month,” up from 46% in July 2021.

On the flip side, confidence in job finding remained stable at lower levels among unemployed job seekers, with just 35% confident they’d be able to find a job in the next month. This substantial gap in optimism compared to employed job seekers remains even after accounting for other factors like age, gender, family status, and education. Confidence was especially low among unemployed job seekers who’d been searching for over six months, at 25% in August, compared to 39% among those who hadn’t searched as long. 

Rising confidence could bode well for recent upswing in job switching

Job hopping from employer to employer rose in August, according to the Labour Force Survey, after a period of relatively low job switching throughout the pandemic. Rising confidence that opportunities for work are readily available could help this trend continue. Meanwhile, those out of work, especially those who’ve already been searching for an extended period, are less optimistic. The rebound in Canadian job postings helps, but so far, progress in reducing long-term joblessness has been relatively slow

Methodology

This blog post is based on an online survey of 4,000 Canadian adults ages 18-64 conducted August 9-23. The survey was conducted among various general population survey panel audiences. Indeed awareness, use, or otherwise was not a requirement for participation. There was no mention of Indeed or any other job sites in the survey and respondents were not aware that the survey was sponsored by Indeed. 

Weights were applied to match respondent distributions across age, educational attainment, and time spent in Canada with the Labour Force Survey public-use microfile data from January 2021 through June 2021.