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Canada: Labour shortages ease for first time since 2016 but 409,000 jobs unfilled in Q4

Staff Writer |
The national job vacancy rate in Canada eased slightly to 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, down 0.1 percent since the previous quarter, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)'s Help Wanted report.

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In total, 409,000 private sector jobs sat vacant for at least three months, nearly 41,000 more than a year ago.

Vacancies continued to put pressure on wage levels, but to a lesser degree than in previous quarters.

Employers with at least one vacant post expected to increase average organization-wide wage levels by 2.3 percent, compared to 1.6 percent for employers with no job openings.

Quebec continued to experience the highest vacancy rate at 3.9 percent, followed by British Columbia at 3.5 percent.

Ontario's vacancy rate was unchanged at 3.1 percent.

Manitoba (2.4 percent), Alberta (2.3 percent), Nova Scotia (2.2 percent) and Newfoundland & Labrador (1.5 percent) each experienced a decline in vacancy rates.

New Brunswick (2.7 percent), Saskatchewan (1.9 percent) and Prince Edward Island (1.8 percent) did not experience a change this quarter and maintained vacancy rates below the national average.

Vacancy rates advanced in agriculture, construction and wholesale, while resources, manufacturing, professional services and personal services saw decreases.

Despite the decline, personal services maintained the highest vacancy rate at 4.6 percent, followed by construction (4.5 percent).

The information (1.7 percent) and finance (2.2 percent) sectors had the lowest vacancy rates.

Businesses with fewer than 20 employees generally reported the highest vacancy rates.

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