Statistics Canada’s latest employment figures reveal labour shortages are growing ever more acute in Canada and providing foreign nationals with tremendous opportunities to immigrate to the country and gain their permanent residency here.
“The number of job vacancies in Canada reached an all-time high of 912,600 in the third quarter of 2021, as employers and workers continued to adjust to easing public health restrictions and rapidly-evolving economic conditions,” reports the national agency which provides demographic data in Canada.
“Like other economies recovering from the labour market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, record-high job vacancies coincided with growth in overall employment and falling unemployment.”
A quick solution for many employers facing labour shortages is the Global Talent Stream (GTS) of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) under which Canadian work permits and visa applications are processed within two weeks.
Express Entry and Global Talent Stream
Launched in 2017, the GTS was made a permanent program two years later, after proving to be hugely popular with some of Canada’s largest technology companies.
Another good way for foreign workers to immigrate to Canada is through the Express Entry system, which manages Canada’s immigration applications intake and allows applicants who meet eligibility criteria to submit an online profile, known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal Canada immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program to the Express Entry Pool.
If you are a candidate looking for a Canada job, or an employer looking to recruit foreign talent from abroad, immigration.ca can help. Access our expertise through our in-house recruitment enterprises, www.grnmontreal.com and our newest asset, www.skilledworker.com, “the leader in foreign recruitment”.
Candidates’ profiles are then ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are considered for Invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay the processing fees, within a delay of 60 days.
The federal government aims to process these permanent residency applications in six months.
Job Vacancies Hit All-Time High
With the total number of job vacancies in Canada hitting an all-time high of 912,000 in the third quarter of 2021, many Canadian businesses have an urgent need for workers.
Job vacancies in Canada in the third quarter of 2021 were 62.1 per cent higher than in the same quarter in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The job vacancy rate, the number of job vacancies as a proportion of labour demand … was 5.4 per cent (during that period), also a record high and 2.1 percentage points higher than in the third quarter of 2019,” reports Statistics Canada.
The boom in available jobs in Canada is being felt across the country and in almost all sectors of the economy.
The biggest percentage growth in available jobs from the third quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2021 was in the Prairie province of Saskatchewan which saw a surge of 82.7 per cent in open positions. The francophone province of Quebec came in second with growth in job vacancies for the period of 73.1 per cent, followed by Ontario at 64.5 per cent.
Out of 20 industry sectors, 18 saw growth in job vacancies.
Five industry sectors saw the biggest growth in available jobs.
Restaurants, catering and hotel businesses more than doubled their vacant positions during that time period with 86,400 job vacancies, a growth of 112.8 per cent. Healthcare and social assistance job vacancies rose by 78.8 per cent, or 52,100 positions. The construction sector’s vacant jobs increased by 83.7 per cent, or 34,300 positions, retail by 45.2 per cent or 32,400 job openings, and the manufacturing sector by 62.4 per cent or 31,200 open jobs.
“Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and real estate and rental and leasing were the only sectors where vacancies were not up in the third quarter compared with the same period two years earlier,” noted Statistics Canada.
Nurses and Orderlies In Big Demand
Hospitals and clinics in Canada are now all but screaming for nurses and orderlies.
“In the healthcare and social assistance sector … payroll employment from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls, and Hours had reached its pre-COVID level in December 2020, indicating that this sector was facing challenges including unmet labour demand in the context of increasing economic activity,” noted Statistics Canada.
“Prior to the unprecedented demands placed on the healthcare system by the pandemic, employment in the sector had been increasing steadily since the third quarter of 2017, partly the result of an aging population. Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (which saw an increase in open positions of 24,100) as well as registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (where vacancies rose by 22,800) in the third quarter were among the occupations with the most vacancies.”
In the food services and hospitality sector, the labour shortage in the third quarter of this year was due to restaurants, bars and hotels ramping up operations again as they re-opened or increased business after COVID-19 public health restrictions, including lockdowns, during the pandemic.
Construction firms looking for workers are having a hard time in many cases because those with the needed skills and experience are quite simply not where the companies want them to be.
“Increased vacancies (in the construction sector) were due in part to labour market imbalances such as shortages of specific skills or geographic mismatches between vacant positions and the workers available to fill them,” noted Statistics Canada. “Within the sector, the largest two-year increases were recorded in the economic regions of the Lower Mainland-Southwest in British Columbia … and Toronto.”
Wages For More Than Half Of Open Jobs Rise Faster Than Consumer Price Index
Due to the labour shortages, Canadian employers are left with no other option but to up the wages they offer. In more than half of the positions that were open in the third quarter of this year, the higher wages gave workers more purchasing power than they would have had two years ago.
But the labour situation is not just a one-way street with only the employers giving more. Hiring managers are also demanding their workers have solid job skills.
“As demand for skills shifts, the ability of employers to find workers to fill vacant positions is influenced by a number of factors, including the extent to which positions require specialized skills,” notes Statistics Canada.
“Of the 495 occupations included in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) for which skills profiles are available, 226 require at least one specific technical skill for the performance of the job. For example, computer programmers and interactive media developers require technical skills related to programming and operations analysis, while electricians require technical skills related to troubleshooting, repairing and quality control analysis.”
Job vacancies in those 226 occupations combined were up 56.7 per cent, to 242,200 in the third quarter of 2021 compared with the same period two years earlier, and they accounted for 25.1 per cent of the total two-year increase in job vacancies.
There is, however, also plenty of opportunity for less-skilled workers in Canada.
“In contrast to occupations requiring specific technical skills, 40 occupations in the NOC require no technical skills and five or fewer non-technical skills. Vacancies in these occupations, which include food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support, construction trades helpers and labourers, and light-duty cleaners, increased by 73.7 per cent to 234,600 on a two-year basis in the third quarter of 2021, and accounted for 28.5 per cent of the all-industries two-year increase.”