Canadian businesses reported 221,000 job vacancies in March, down 24,000 from a year ago; number of unemployed people per vacancy rises to 6.4 from 5.9: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , June 18, 2013 (press release) – There were 221,000 job vacancies among Canadian businesses in March, down 24,000 from March 2012. There were 6.4 unemployed people for every job vacancy, up from 5.9 a year earlier, as the decline in vacancies was at a faster pace than the decline in unemployment.

Ratio by province

Provincially, Newfoundland and Labrador had the most notable increase in the unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, going from 16.6 unemployed people for every job vacancy in March 2012 to 21.8 in March 2013. The rise in the ratio was because the number of job vacancies in the province declined while the number of unemployed people was little changed.

The ratio in Prince Edward Island rose from 8.5 to 10.4 over this same period. Alberta's unemployment to job vacancies ratio also went up, from 1.8 to 2.3, as the number of job vacancies fell faster than the number of unemployed people. Despite the increase in Alberta's ratio, it remains among the lowest of all provinces.

Chart 1 
Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, all unemployed, by province, three-month average, March 2012 and March 2013
Bar clustered chart – Chart 1: Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, all unemployed, by province, three-month average, March 2012 and March 2013

In Saskatchewan, the ratio declined from 2.8 unemployed people for every job vacancy to 1.9, all a result of fewer unemployed people in the province.

In Ontario, there were 8.8 unemployed people for every job vacancy and in Quebec, the ratio was 7.5. These ratios were little changed from 12 months earlier. The ratios in the remaining provinces were also little changed compared with March 2012.

Ratio by sector

Construction had the highest number of unemployed people for every vacancy among the large industrial sectors, at 14.3 in March, up from 9.8 in March 2012. The increase was all a result of a decline in the number of job vacancies in this sector.

Manufacturing had a ratio of 6.5 unemployed people for every vacant job in March, up from 5.2 a year earlier, as there were fewer vacancies in this sector.

Chart 2 
Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, by largest industrial sector, unemployed people who last worked within past 12 months, three-month average, March 2012 and March 2013
Bar clustered chart – Chart 2: Unemployment-to-job vacancies ratio, by largest industrial sector, unemployed people who last worked within past 12 months, three-month average, March 2012 and March 2013

The ratio in transportation and warehousing declined from 3.7 in March 2012 to 2.6 in March 2013, all a result of more job vacancies in the sector.

Health care and social assistance had a ratio of 1.1 in March, the lowest of all industrial sectors. This ratio was little changed from 12 months earlier.

Among the smaller industrial sectors, the ratio for arts, entertainment and recreation fell from 10.8 to 6.6 over the 12-month period, as the number of job vacancies increased at a faster pace than the number of unemployed people who last worked in this sector.

Job vacancy rates

The national job vacancy rate among Canadian businesses was 1.5% in March, down from 1.7% a year earlier.

Chart 3 
Job vacancy rate, by province, three-month average, March 2012 and March 2013
Bar clustered chart – Chart 3: Job vacancy rate, by province, three-month average, March 2012 and March 2013

Provincially, the job vacancy rate declined in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, and was little changed elsewhere. In Alberta, the job vacancy rate declined from 3.4% to 2.5%. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it decreased from 1.2% to 0.9%, the lowest of all provinces.

Job vacancy rates by sector

Compared with 12 months earlier, the job vacancy rate increased in two sectors, declined in eight and was little changed for the other sectors.

Arts, entertainment and recreation had 6,300 job vacancies and a job vacancy rate of 2.7% in March, up from 1.3% in March 2012. The transportation and warehousing sector also saw its rate increase, from 1.6% to 2.2% over this same period, with 15,000 job vacancies as of March 2013.

The job vacancy rate in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction declined from 3.5% to 1.7% in the 12 months to March, the largest decline of all sectors. Finance and insurance saw its rate decline from 1.9% to 1.1%, with 7,700 vacancies in March 2013, and the vacancy rate in construction fell from 1.9% to 1.3% with 11,000 vacancies.

There were also rate declines in information and culture; manufacturing; both retail and wholesale trade; as well as regional and Aboriginal public administration.

The lowest job vacancy rate by sector was in educational services, at 0.4% in March 2013, with 5,000 job vacancies in this sector.

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