- Canadian summer job postings have soared this spring, as of mid-May standing more than double where they did at the same time last year, and up 87% from 2019.
- Opportunities for camp counsellors have bounced back strong, while seasonal opportunities in customer service and manual labour related roles have surged.
- Adding to employers’ difficulty filling these positions is tepid job seeker interest, as summer-related job searches as a share of overall activity are a tad lower than where they were last year, and still down substantially from 2019.
- Near-term job prospects are looking strong for Canadian youth, whose employment has already made a solid rebound after an early pandemic plunge.
Every spring, Canadian employers start putting their summer hiring plans in motion, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a typical seasonal cycle. In 2020, the pandemic shut down hiring before it really got started. Last year, summer job postings ramped up later than usual, as provinces gradually re-opened.
This year is also shaping up to be unique, but in a different direction. With employer demand already elevated throughout the economy and Canadians increasingly out and about, summer job postings on Indeed — job ads that include “summer” explicitly in their title — have soared. As of May 13, 2022, summer postings were up 87% from the same period in 2019, and more than double where they stood at this point last year. While part of this increase reflects a broader boom in Canadian job postings, the share of postings including “summer” in their title is also higher than it was at this time in 2019, suggesting the surge has even outpaced the economy-wide trend.
Demand for seasonal workers is up across a range of jobs. Standing near the top as always is camp counsellor, with postings in April for this quintessential summer role more than double their level last year. However, showing even stronger growth was a surge in seasonal customer service representatives, taking over the job with the most summer positions. Job ads for labourers, painters, and maintenance persons are also quite strong, both compared to last year, and 2019.
Interest in summer jobs lags prior years
Elevated competition for workers from other businesses would already be enough to cause seasonal hiring challenges for individual employers. However, filling these jobs could be even tougher this year, because Canadian job seekers aren’t as proactively looking for summer jobs as they were pre-pandemic. As of mid-May, 0.95% of Canadian job searches (i.e. 9.5 per 1,000 searches) included summer-related phrases. This share is down slightly at the same point last year, and even more noticeably compared to the 1.23% portion that prevailed in 2019.
The dip in summer-related job seeker interest likely relates to a broad increase in share of searches for remote work opportunities since the start of the pandemic. Youth who are out of school for the summer months might also be looking for different temporary positions than they have in the past. For instance, the share of searches including the terms “intern” or “internship” was up in early May compared to 2019, which could be a sign that young job seekers are increasingly looking for more career-track opportunities in the summer months.
Youth employment situation already in solid shape heading into the summer
Canadian youth employment struggled during the first year of the pandemic, but bounced back impressively last summer as provinces gradually reopened. As of this April, the share of 15-24 year olds who were working was slightly above its February 2020 level among both men and women. While fewer youth were working in accommodation and food services than pre-pandemic, more are now employed in health care and social assistance, retail trade, education, and professional services. Strong summer hiring appetite this year could help drive employment rates even higher.
On the flip-side, the surge in summer job postings combined with more limited job seeker interest suggest some employers could be out of luck trying to fill seasonal positions. With the clock for summer hiring ticking, pressure will be on businesses to make their job openings as attractive as possible to prospective candidates, whether in terms of wages or signing bonuses, or stability and flexibility around working hours. For those unable to fill job vacancies, some might have to make due with leaner staffing, or scale back operations.
We track summer hiring appetite by tallying Canadian job postings on Indeed that include the term “summer” or “été” in the job title, excluding postings with job titles that also include “intern” or “internship”. This method doesn’t capture the full extent of seasonal demand, but provides a gauge of recent trends and how season postings compare to prior year. Canadian summer-related job searches include job seeker searches on Indeed featuring the terms “summer”, “été”, “temporary”, and “seasonal”.