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Job vacancies decline while unemployment remains high: StatCan


According to new data released by Statistics Canada, Canadian job vacancies declined for the fifth consecutive quarter, a steady trend since a job vacancy record was set in 2022.


The data also shows that as job openings drop, the number of people looking for work is rising.


StatCan says in the third quarter of 2023, there were 69,900 fewer job vacancies for a total of 706,100 job openings. This is a sharp decline from the second quarter of 2022, which had a peak of 990,900 vacant jobs.


The report also showed that the number of people with jobs increased by 117,600 in the third quarter of 2023, which marks the 10th consecutive quarter of job growth. However, Statistics Canada reports employment has increased at a “slower pace than the population aged 15 years and older” since the fourth quarter of 2022, despite that growth.


The data also shows that there are fewer job opportunities in recent years, and that the proportion of vacant jobs compared to all available jobs has been steadily declining.


In the last three months, for instance, the total number of job openings grew only 0.3 per cent, a rate that is slower than it was in the same three months last year, when it was 1 per cent.


StatCan reports that, while job vacancies declined in the third quarter of this year, the number of unemployed people increased by 79,500, resulting in 1.7 unemployed people for every job vacancy in the third quarter.


Despite sustained quarter-over-quarter increases in the rate of unemployed people, Statistics Canada said the unemployment-to-job vacancy in the third quarter of 2023 hovered beneath “pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, which were typically above 2.0.”


In a Statistics Canada survey on business conditions for the fourth quarter of 2023, results showed that 40.3 per cent of businesses anticipate at least one “labour-related obstacle over the next three months, down from 47.7 per cent in the third quarter.” According to respondents of this survey, the most commonly expected obstacle was “recruiting skilled employees.”


Statistics Canada also reports that, on a year-over-year basis, the average offered hourly wage grew at a faster pace in the third quarter compared with the second quarter.



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