Job vacancies in Canada have reached record highs. Exceptionally high vacancy rates have held steady or increased throughout five continuous quarters. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business keeps track of employment statistics and labour markets in the Help Wanted Report. A recent report found that 433,000 jobs were left vacant in Canada’s private sector in the most recent quarter. The number of vacancies increased by 15,000 compared to the vacancies during the same quarter in 2018.

Overall job vacancies have increased by 1,500 since the second quarter in 2019. Small businesses with less than five employees have the most difficulty finding candidates to fill open positions. This trend means that industries made up of numerous small businesses have more job vacancies than large corporations.

The largest percentages of unfilled positions are found in personal service industries. The vacancy rate for occupations such as dry cleaners, funeral services, and hairdressers was at 4.9% between July and October in 2019.

The construction industry has the second greatest need for employees with a vacancy rate around 4.7%. Businesses within the hospitality industry have an average vacancy rate of 4.0%. The agricultural sector has an overall vacancy rate of 3.7%. Industries in the information sector have a 2.4% vacancy rate after experiencing a sharp increase in the number of unfilled positions during the third quarter of 2019.

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