Unfilled Private Sector Jobs Increases – Highest in Alberta and Sask.

Nov 14, 2012

There are approximately 55,000 unfiled private sector jobs in Alberta, the highest job vacancy rate in the country.  Canada current job vacancy rate, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is 2.4% (approximately 276,000 jobs), whereas Alberta and Saskatchewan are at approximately 3.6%.

Is this good or bad? 

The percentage indicates a number of opportunities and downsides.  First, higher levels of private sector jobs suggest opportunity for those seeking a career or education with increased possibilities of gaining employment after completion.  The indicator was much higher pre-2009, so Canada is not in a boom position, although Alberta and Saskatchewan are approaching pre-recessionary levels.  A higher number also reflects the growth of a province, in this case, strong growth in the Alberta and Saskatchewan markets.

On the other hand, the higher number also reflects a constraint to growth, reflected in a shortage of labour and a possible shift to temporary foreign workers.  Part of the labour shortage is the aging population leaving the workforce, a movement of labour that will continue to impact labour availability.

“Job vacancies have increased at the same pace as the economy has grown,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “The small gain in vacancies observed in the third quarter mirrors the slow growth in GDP.”

“Smaller businesses cope with the highest average unfilled job rates. That’s a problem because labour shortages proportionately pose much greater management challenges to the owners and managers of small businesses than to larger firms.”

Indicator By Province

Alberta and Saskatchewan: 3.6 per cent each

Newfoundland and Labrador: 2.8

Quebec: 2.4

Prince Edward Island:2.2

Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia: 2.1

Nova Scotia: 1.9

New Brunswick: 1.8

Indicator By Industry

Construction industry: 3.7

Hospitality: 2.9

Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing: 2.8

Oil, Gas and Mining: 2.8

Professional Services: 2.7