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Job vacancies in Canada hit 1 million in March, StatCan says


The number of job vacancies in Canada hit an all-time high in March, ending a five-month decline, Statistics Canada announced Thursday.

The agency said employers were looking to fill more than a million positions at the start of March, up 186,000 positions or 22.6% from February and 382,000 or 60.5% from last month. last year.

The unadjusted job vacancy rate, which measures the number of job vacancies as a proportion of all jobs, was 5.9% in March, matching the September 2021 record.

Vacancies rose by more than a third in accommodation, food services and retail, while there were record vacancies in healthcare, social assistance and construction.

Employers in the accommodation and food service sector were seeking to fill 158,000 positions, with the vacancy rate of 12.8% the highest of any sector for the 11th consecutive month.

There were 109,000 vacancies in retail and a record 154,000 vacancies in healthcare and 82,000 in construction.

Job vacancies increased in all provinces, with the largest increases seen in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Prior to March, job vacancies had declined for five consecutive months due to seasonal trends with increased economic activity leading to higher labor demand.

A record unemployment rate of 5.3% and a record participation rate of 88.6% led to an average of 1.2 unemployed for every job vacancy in March, compared to 1.4 in February and 2.6 in March 2021.

The ratios were lowest in Quebec and British Columbia and highest in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Meanwhile, average weekly earnings rose 0.9% from February and 4.3% year over year, double the increase seen a month earlier. The consumer price index rose 6.7% in March, compared to March 2021.

Statistics Canada also said the number of people working in retail exceeded its pre-pandemic level for the first time in March.

Retail trade jobs rose 0.7% or 14,800 positions from February to move 9,600 jobs ahead of their February 2020 level.

Employment in the sector was at or above two years earlier in all provinces except Ontario and Manitoba, which were down 5,400 and 2,100 respectively from what they were. before the COVID-19 pandemic led to mass layoffs.

More than half of the retail trade subsectors saw gains in payroll employment in March, led by food and beverage stores (up 7,400 jobs) and clothing and accessories stores ( increase of 3,300).

Employment at grocery stores was 2.8% higher than its pre-pandemic level in March, but employment at beer, wine and liquor stores was 5.1% or 2,600 jobs lower at its February 2020 level.

Overall, the agency said employment rose by 118,000 or 0.7% between February and March to 17.3 million as public health measures eased and capacity limits generally lifted. .

Gains were led by the service sector, with seven provinces seeing increases led by Quebec which reopened bars, taverns and casinos on Feb. 28.

All provinces except Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador exceeded pre-pandemic levels in March.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 26, 2022.

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