Canadian Job Postings Through April 22: Elevated but Recent Momentum Mixed
Lower-paying occupations drive recent growth.
- Total Canadian job postings on Indeed were up 71% on April 22, just off a new pandemic high hit earlier in the month.
- The pace of postings growth has cooled from a strong pace in February and March.
- Job postings are elevated across Canada, with postings in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies furthest above their pre-pandemic levels.
- While hiring appetite is elevated across almost all sectors, recent momentum has been more mixed, with demand in certain health care and education roles softening, in contrast to strong growth in lower-paying fields like food services.
As of April 22, total Canadian job postings on Indeed were up 71% from their February 1, 2020 levels, after adjusting for seasonal trends, just off their highest level since the start of the pandemic hit earlier in the month. While hiring appetite is quite elevated, posting growth has cooled somewhat in recent weeks. On April 22, postings were up 2.8 percentage points from thirty days earlier, compared to a 4.9 percentage point increase over the same span before that.
One reason growth has cooled is that new postings aren’t being added to Indeed at quite the same rate as they were earlier in the year. Prior to a dip following the Easter long weekend, the number of new Canadian job postings on Indeed (seven days old or less) during the first half of April were up on average 69% from their pre-pandemic pace. While this rate was still quite strong, it’s down somewhat from the even more striking 74% increase in new posting rate than prevailed between mid-February and mid-March. Trends in new postings will remain key to watch in the coming months for signs of whether monetary policy tightening by the Bank of Canada starts to weigh on labour demand, but so far hiring appetite remains strong.
Demand elevated across provinces
Job postings have experienced different changes across provinces over the past two months, but the overall pattern since the start of the pandemic has not. Postings are elevated across the country, but are furthest above their February 2020 levels in Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, perhaps partly because job vacancy rates in these provinces were generally a bit below the national average prior to the crisis. Conversely, postings aren’t above their pre-pandemic level by as much in B.C., where vacancy rates were already quite elevated in early 2020. Trends in Ontario and Quebec are more similar to the Canada-wide numbers.
Strong levels across the board, but recent momentum concentrated in lower-paying jobs
While job postings are elevated across the wage spectrum, demand is further above pre-pandemic levels among lower- and higher-paying job types than mid-wage ones. As of April 22, postings for both low and high-paying occupations were up 82% from their February 2020 levels. That said their recent trajectories have been different: higher-wage jobs have been relatively stable in recent months, while lower-paying have grown swiftly after dipping at the start of the year, an often volatile time for job postings. Meanwhile, after rebounding from a modest drop in early January, mid-wage job postings have also been mostly flat, currently up 61% from their pre-pandemic level.
Recent momentum varies by even more across different occupational sectors. Postings in software development have crept up further over the past two months from already exceptional levels, while demand in food services has surged from earlier this year, surpassing its peaks in late 2021. Demand is also quite elevated in areas like construction, as well as in human resources, but postings have softened somewhat as of late.
Meanwhile, job postings are well above their February 2020 levels, similar to the economy-wide trend across a range of sectors. In some cases like installation and maintenance, driving, and administrative assistance, hiring appetite has been fairly stable since mid-February. Meanwhile, job postings for nurses have cooled in recent months after being one of the stand-out sectors for most of the pandemic. Lastly, job postings are above pre-pandemic levels, but not to the same extent as elsewhere in certain areas of health, like therapy, as well as in education, while aviation finally now exceeds its pre-pandemic level, after demand languished through most of last year. Overall, demand for workers in sectors most exposed to the first omicron-wave are showing ongoing momentum, while postings elsewhere have generally stabilized, at quite elevated levels.
All job postings 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. New job postings are posts that are 7-days old or less.
The number of job postings on Indeed, whether related to paid or unpaid job solicitations, is not indicative of potential revenue or earnings of Indeed, which comprises a significant percentage of the HR Technology segment of its parent company, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. Job posting numbers are provided for information purposes only and should not be viewed as an indicator of performance of Indeed or Recruit. Please refer to the Recruit Holdings investor relations website and regulatory filings in Japan for more detailed information on revenue generation by Recruit’s HR Technology segment.
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.