December Job Search Survey: Job Seekers Were Increasingly Confident Ahead of Omicron Wave
Job search activity was elevated in December.
- The share of Canadians actively looking for work rose in December, from 28% to 34%, with greater job search activity among those both working and not.
- Urgent unemployed job search has been elevated since October, when it jumped prior to the wind-down of the Canada Recovery Benefit.
- Job seeker confidence in finding new work was up in December, with a full 59% of employed job seekers indicating they’re relatively confident in finding a new job quickly.
Canadian job search activity rose in December according to the latest Indeed Job Search Survey. Overall, 34% of adults aged 18 to 64 surveyed between December 6-29 reported actively looking for work, a statistically significant increase from the 28% on the job hunt in November.
Search activity was up among both those working and not, both increases statistically significant. The share of jobless Canadians actively looking rose to a new high over the past six months to 42% from 35% in November. Meanwhile, the share of employed workers on the job hunt climbed from 25% to 31%.
Among unemployed job seekers, 58% described their job searches as “urgent” in December, well above the 43% average share during the third quarter, prior to the wind-down of the Canada Recovery Benefit. The rise in urgency could be a sign of increased financial strain among those out of work, as 59% of those not working but searching urgently mentioned dwindling financial cushions as a reason for their urgency. This raises the stakes that the Canadian labour market achieves further declines in long-term unemployment, progress which could be stalled depending on the impacts of the latest wave of COVID-19 cases.
Job seeker confidence at solid levels
Both employed and unemployed job seekers were more confident in finding work quickly in December, compared to November, although due to a greater sample size, the rise was only statistically significant among those currently working. With ongoing labour market progress in recent months, the share of employed job seekers at least somewhat confident they could find work within the next month rose almost 5 percentage points to 59%, while confidence was also up similarly, albeit from lower levels, to 44% among those unemployed. The question for the months ahead is whether job search activity and confidence can remain robust through the near-term economic hit from the surge of new COVID-19 cases that began towards the end of the year.
This blog post is based on separate online surveys of 4,000 Canadian adults ages 18-64 conducted on July 15-20, August 9-23, September 13-29, October 11-20, November 8-25, and December 6-29. 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. Due to a slight change in methodology in calculating population weights, numbers may not exactly match prior reports.
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.