December 2022 marked another productive month for Canada’s post-COVID recovery efforts. Total job vacancies fell to 848,000, while payroll employment (the number of people receiving either
pay or benefits from their employer) increased as 91,400 positions were filled in the final month of 2022.While the Canadian labour market progresses towards increasing payroll employment and
decreasing job vacancies, several industries continue to have concentrated and persistent vacant positions in the face of labour shortages. Month-to-month, the effect of these factors has yielded
little change in total job vacancies from November (849,200) to December of 2022—meaning that many in demand positions remain vacant and labour is a key concern.
Which sectors continued to have vacancies, despite employment increases?
Note that a job is considered vacant if:
A specific position exists;
Work could start within 30 days; and
The employer is actively looking for workers from outside the organization to fill the position.
Five sectors accounted for 55% of all vacancies in Canada. These were:
Health care and social assistance (149,800 vacancies);
Accommodation and food services (108,000 vacancies);
Retail trade (100,200 vacancies);
Manufacturing (71,700); and
Professional scientific and technical services (58,100).
Health care and social assistance
Most pressing for Canada is the continued shortage of health care and social assistance workers across the country. After seeing positive gains in payroll employment for four consecutive months,
problems for this sector rebounded—as vacancies in December increased again by 18,200 positions. This rise in vacancies has almost completely offset the 19,400 workers who had been hired in
Total job vacancies in the sector stood at 149,800 as of December 2022—the highest vacancies of any sector in Canada. Moreover, despite a net growth of 190,600 jobs in the last two years, the
health care and social assistance industry has seen little change in overall vacancies—a strong sign of demand for these workers in Canada.
Similarly, Canada’s construction industry saw consistent gains in payroll employment in the last four consecutive months—yet still suffers from persistent vacancies. Total open positions in this sector
have been largely unchanged from November of 2022 (79,000 vacancies) and elevated from December of 2021 (61,800)—a strong sign of both increased demand and labour issues in this space as