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Canada’s job market for immigrants

More than one million job vacancies

From getting served in a restaurant to getting a passport, people in Canada have been asking: where are all the workers?

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Employers across practically all sectors of the economy have had a ‘We’re hiring!’ sign up for some time now, but can’t seem to get enough new people to join their teams. This cuts right across the economy, including skilled work such as nursing as well as unskilled work such as waiting tables, and much more in between.

Across all sectors, employers in Canada were actively seeking to fill just over one million (1,005,700) vacant positions at the beginning of May, up 42.5% (+300,100) from May 2021. Public data show that a ramp-up in job vacancies took place through the second half of 2021, and has been simmering at the one million mark since around December, 2021.

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Some of the sectors crying out for workers include health care and social assistance (143,400), accommodation and food services (161,100), retail trade (99,200), manufacturing (86,800), construction (84,600), and transportation and warehousing (51,100).

The ongoing labour shortage is a key factor in the Government of Canada’s ambitious immigration targets, which includes admitting more than 1.3 new permanent residents between 2022 and 2024. Hundreds of thousands of temporary workers will join them through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program.

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People considering a move to Canada can consult this guide to identify an appropriate immigration pathway.

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Wage gains accelerating

Average hourly wages in Canada rose 5.2% (+$1.54 to $31.14) through both June and July, up from 3.9% in May and 3.3% in April. So, not only are wages increasing, but the pace at which they are increasing is itself increasing.

Another government report shows that average weekly wages are up 2.5% year-over-year, showing that hourly and weekly wage increases are not in perfect concert with each other. The number of hours worked by workers in Canada has been somewhat volatile through the COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated economic shutdowns and other containment measures.

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Whether you’re tracking hourly or weekly wages, however, those increases may not be enough to result in real wage increases as we all deal with . . .

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