Express Entry Category-Based Draws

Express Entry Category-Based Draws: Which Categories Have the Most Job Vacancies?

Recently, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser unveiled the categories that will be targeted in the category-based Express Entry draws, set to commence this summer. These draws will be conducted alongside general draws and program-specific draws. While general draws invite high-ranking candidates to apply for permanent residence, program-specific draws are limited to the highest-ranking candidates in specific programs. The category-based draws will invite the highest-ranking candidates proficient in French or possessing work experience in the following fields: healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), trades, transportation, and agriculture/agri-food.

Immigration plays an essential role in fulfilling the labour shortage so the selection of these categories was created to fill the job vacancies in Canada. The chosen categories were determined through legislative requirements, involving consultations with provinces and territories, industry members, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.

To comprehensively understand the Canadian job market for each category, it is extremely important to evaluate the availability of jobs across all Canadian provinces and territories. Here’s a breakdown of information by region. This data is provided by Statistics Canada.

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Healthcare:

The healthcare and social assistance category has experienced a significant number of job vacancies, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these vacancies, Canada heavily relies on immigration to fill positions in the healthcare system. At present, a quarter of registered nurses and 36% of physicians working in Canada were born in a different country. In recognition of this, IRCC is implementing measures to facilitate the immigration process for foreign-trained healthcare professionals, including the removal of certain barriers for physicians already in Canada on temporary residency visas.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Healthcare and Social Assistance category had a total of 143,695 job vacancies, resulting in a vacancy rate of 6%. The distribution of job vacancies by province was as follows:

Ontario55,250
Quebec40,105
British Columbia17,705
Alberta9,770
Saskatchewan2,955
Manitoba6,790
Newfoundland2,250
Nova Scotia4,780
New Brunswick2,630
Prince Edward Island685
Northwest Territories565

STEM Professions:

STEM occupations, falling primarily within the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services category, have also experienced growing demand in Canada. According to a report released by Statistics Canada in November 2022, the combination of high retirement rates and evolving technology has created a skills gap in Canada’s labor force, making STEM professionals increasingly sought after. Last year witnessed 56,915 job vacancies in STEM professions, resulting in a vacancy rate of 4.6%. The distribution of job vacancies by province was as follows:

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Ontario24,525
Quebec14,725
British Columbia8,115
Alberta5,515
Saskatchewan895
Manitoba630
Newfoundland405
Nova Scotia1,110
New Brunswick595
Prince Edward Island200

Trades:

The trades category encompasses both wholesale trades and retail trades, as per Statistics Canada’s data. Wholesale trades had a total of 30,930 job vacancies, while retail trades had 108,795 job vacancies. The distribution of job vacancies by province was as follows:

Wholesale Trades:

Ontario55,660
Quebec34,495
British Columbia19,215
Alberta15,545
Saskatchewan4,665
Manitoba3,025
Newfoundland895
Nova Scotia3,065
New Brunswick2,155
Prince Edward IslandN/A (retail trade only, no wholesale trade job vacancies)

Retail Trades:

Ontario55,660
Quebec34,495
British Columbia19,215
Alberta15,545
Saskatchewan4,665
Manitoba3,025
Newfoundland895
Nova Scotia3,065
New Brunswick2,155
Prince Edward Island520

Transportation:

The transportation and warehousing category had a total of 43,700 job vacancies, resulting in a vacancy rate of 5%. Thus, it is important to note that the job vacancy rate mentioned in this particular sector has been decreasing as compared to the year 2021. The distribution of job vacancies by province was as follows:

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Ontario15,110
Quebec7,950
British Columbia9,060
Alberta6,445
Saskatchewan915
Manitoba1,915
Newfoundland210
Nova Scotia1,055
New Brunswick720
Prince Edward Island115

Agriculture and Agri-food:

According to the data, there were 10,535 job vacancies in the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting categories. This resulted in a 3.9% of vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2022. The job vacancy rate in this category has been declining since 2021, with a highest of 7.2% in the second quarter of 2022. The distribution of job vacancies by province was as follows:

Ontario3,070
Quebec1,950
British Columbia2,475
Alberta940
Saskatchewan540
Manitoba550
Nova Scotia425
New Brunswick720
Prince Edward Island130

Minister Fraser has emphasized that inviting skilled workers from these professions through category-based draws will help communities across Canada by bringing in professionals who are in high demand. While the exact date for the commencement of the category-based draws is not yet available, they are scheduled to begin this summer.

The category-based Express Entry draws will target candidates with high French proficiency or work experience in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transportation, or agriculture/agri-food. These categories were chosen to address job vacancies in Canada. By examining the data on job vacancies across provinces and territories, it becomes evident where the demand for skilled professionals is the highest. Through these targeted draws, Canada aims to address labor shortages effectively and attract individuals with the necessary skills and expertise to contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.

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