Two men city street scene crowd

Job vacancies vs. unemployment – Where the competition for jobs is heating up

Peter Harris|

Statistics Canada has released its job vacancies report comparing the number of open positions by region and industry to the number of corresponding unemployed people. In positive news, the number of unemployed people for each available job has decreased in most regions across the country – with the notable exception of Quebec. In that province the ratio went from 6.1 unemployed people for every job vacancy in December 2011 to 7.7 in December 2012.

Regional unemployment to job vacancy ratio

Ratio of unemployed people per vacant job regionally

While there was little year-over-year change, the Maritime provinces continue to have the highest ratios of unemployed people to job vacancies. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 16 unemployed people for every available job, followed by New Brunswick with 10.5 and Nova Scotia at 9.4.

The job-vacancy-to-unemployed ratios were the lowest in the three Prairie provinces. Alberta and Saskatchewan had only 1.9 unemployed people for every job vacancy, down from 2.3 in December 2011. Manitoba had 3.5 unemployed people for each available job.

In British Columbia, the ratio declined from 6.7 unemployed people for each job vacancy in December 2011 to 4.7 in December 2012.

Ontario had 8 unemployed people for every available job, roughly the same as it had last year at this time.

Overall, Canadian businesses had 221,000 job vacancies in December, the same number as in December of 2011. There were 5.7 unemployed people for every job vacancy, only slightly fewer than the 5.8 we had one year earlier.

Competition for jobs by industry

Ratio of unemployed people per vacant job by industry

Construction had the highest number of unemployed people for every job among the large industrial sectors, at 8.2 in December. However, since unemployment patterns in the construction industry are seasonal, this ratio tends to be higher during the winter and much lower in the summer.

The ratio in transportation and warehousing fell from four unemployed people for every available job to 2.7 in December, all a result of more jobs being created. At only 1.3 unemployed people per job, health care and social assistance had the lowest ratio of all industrial sectors.

Source: Statistics Canada, Job Vacancies

Peter Harris
Peter Harris on Twitter


Category: Latest News & Advice,