Canada struggled with high vacancy rates in the second quarter of 2021. The job market defines job vacancies as the total number of unoccupied positions as a part of all listed available jobs, vacant and occupied. The job vacancies of June and July were notably high on the vacancy scale, reaching 4.6 percent. The last time such high job vacancy rates were recorded in Canada was in 2015.
Experts argue that the high rates result from a low number of payroll employment and a preceding rise in vacancies. Canada has seen a steady increase in job vacancies peaking at 26 percent more than in 2019. In the first quarter of the year, there were 731,900 jobs vacancies. Shockingly, Canada did not allocate any funds towards collecting job vacancy data in March and September this year. Without this crucial data, we can only compare what we have on record with data from last year.
On a more positive note, average hourly wages went up from $21.30 in 2019 to $22.85 this year. Scientists have attributed the increase in average salary to subtle factors such as increasing working hours, wage growth, and industrial or occupational changes. Wage growth was observed in multiple provinces except for Alberta, Labrador, and Newfoundland. Prince Edward Island and British Colombia showed the most significant growth spurts in the country.
Job vacancies shot up the scales in Quebec and Ontario. British Colombia and Quebec stole the show for the highest vacancy rate in Canada. Canada has in the past worked towards using immigration to remedy the nagging job vacancy problem that has constantly plagued the country. 2020 was not a good year for immigration, only serving to make the labor shortage worse.
Canadian citizens have pointed out other factors that have contributed to the labor shortage in the country. Government-enforced employment benefits have gone a long way towards turning people away from available job vacancies. Canadian economists seem to have gone a step further, dissecting the job vacancy problem down to the affected industries. Let’s take a look at the different sectors that have been hard hit by labor unavailability.
The Construction Industry
Vacancies in construction reached 62 600 in the second quarter of 2021. unoccupied jobs included carpenters, electricians, and trade experts. These occupations made up the most significant part of the job vacancy pool.
Job Vacancies in the Health Care Industry
The health care industry suffered some of the most extreme cases of job vacancies in Canada. The Covid-19 pandemic made it hard for medical personnel to work and keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The strain in the work environment coupled with employment benefits contributed to the job vacancy crisis.
Social assistance sectors also took a hit, increasing to 108,000 job vacancies in the second quarter. Other sub-sectors such as nursing and hospitals also recorded an increase in job vacancies.
The CBC published a report identifying a pivotal contributor to the job vacancies in the healthcare industry, causing nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel to quit by the truckload. Pandemic burnout refers to extreme fatigue brought on by the high demand on health care service providers and the low supply of required personnel and equipment.