August Job Search Survey: Confidence Rises Among Employed Job Seekers
Overall job search activity ticked down slightly.
- 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brendon Bernard is a Senior Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, focusing on the Canadian labour market. His research interests include analyzing how detailed trends in the job market fit in with broader developments in the Canadian economy. Brendon was previously an economist with Department of Finance Canada, where he focused on analyzing Canadian financial sector policy and the U.S. economy. He holds a Master’s in Economics from the Vancouver School of Economics at University of British Columbia, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University.