Several Canadian industries are experiencing a decline in unfilled positions and have very low vacancy rates. Industries related to natural resources have a miniscule vacancy rate of 1.8%, while the retail sector is only slightly higher at 2.5%. Businesses in wholesale and transportation industries have consistently low rates of unfilled positions at 2.8% and 2.6%, respectively.

Quebec still has Canada’s tightest labour market with only a 4% vacancy rate across the province. Ontario’s 3.2% rate matches the national average. British Columbia has not seen many changes in its labour market and continues to have a 3.8% vacancy rate. Newfoundland, Labrador, and Prairies experienced minor increases in job vacancies, but all three provinces still have rates below the national average. No other provinces experienced changes in the labour market in 2019 during the second or third quarter.

Vacancy rates affect wages for the entire Canadian workforce. A business with at least one vacancy tends to increase wages by approximately 2.3% across the entire organization. Businesses at 100% employment capacity with no unfilled positions are projected to increase wages by 1.4% or less.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business analyzes several factors that influence the percentage of job vacancies across various industries. The most significant factors include future outlook, business size, and predicted growth rates. Jobs that are unique to one industry or require specialized skills are a factor in vacancy rates as well.

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