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Job Vacancy Rates in Canada

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Vacancy rates are an indication of how many jobs are available in the market. They are also an indicator of how the economy is doing. A low rate may mean a booming economy, while a high rate may mean a recession. The rate is usually estimated from employer surveys. Job vacancy data is typically available quarterly and is typically tabulated by economic region, occupation and sector. The data is also available for each month. The vacancy rate is measured by the fraction of open jobs compared to total employment.

Several Canadian institutions collect information on job vacancy levels. The Conference Board help-wanted advertising index, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Online Job Vacancy Statistics Dashboard and the SEPH are all useful sources for determining the current level of vacancies in the country. However, the SEPH is preferred because it is a more timely and accurate source for measuring the evolution of vacancy levels in Canada.

SEPH uses a sample of 1/12 each month. The sample is based on respondents’ payroll responsibilities. This limits the localness of vacancy estimates, but provides useful information on the evolution of vacancy levels over time.

The Online Job Vacancy Statistics Dashboard is part of Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight(tm) Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool. It uses Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) universe filter, which includes traditional job boards, niche job sites, corporate boards and other job sites. It also provides data on unmet labour demand in Canada.

The Oregon Employment Department surveys all private and public employers to determine the number of job vacancies in the state. The survey provides employers with a business perspective on their need for workers. Employers are also asked to describe the primary challenge of filling a specific opening. The results are then categorized into 12 common reasons for difficulty.

The Oregon Employment Department’s survey also identifies employers’ hard-to-fill vacancies. In the fall 2021 survey, nearly 103,000 vacancies were reported by Oregon businesses. However, employers were more concerned with the number of applicants than the actual number of vacancies. The top occupations for vacancies filled without difficulty were light truck drivers, retail salespersons, personal care aides, office workers and cashiers.

The SEPH sample is rotated with one quarter each month and includes job vacancies in both the service and non-service sectors. This sample includes newly created positions and positions that have not been filled for more than four months. SEPH is also useful for measuring stability and assessing trends in vacancy levels. However, it does not include breakdown by National Occupational Classification. The SEPH component of the survey was last updated in November.

The Online Job Vacancy Statistics dashboard uses data from Help Wanted OnLine to provide timely monthly measures of labor demand. It also uses a universe filter to gather real-time job ads from online job domains. It also includes data from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive overview of the Canadian labour market. Among other features, the dashboard allows users to filter the data to display only positions in certain sectors.