Ontario and Saskatchewan

The Ontario and Saskatchewan Economies Add 400,000 Jobs as Vacancies Remain High

Currently, Canada is grappling with an acute labour shortage. And, the crisis got worse in the month of September for Ontario and Saskatchewan. In Ontario (+7.4% to 375,700) and Saskatchewan (+12.2% to 26,700), job vacancies increased month-over-month, while in the other provinces they decreased or were little changed.

Statistics Canada’s latest data show an average of 1.0 unemployed people for every job opening in Canada, down from 1.3 in August.

The unemployment-to-job vacancy ratios varied across Canada.

According to the bureau of labor statistics, the job vacancy rate for Quebec and British Columbia dropped to 0.7 in September, after reaching 1.0 in August. Newfoundland and Labrador continued the province with the highest unemployment-to-job vacancy ratio in September. 

Sectors With Highest Job Vacancies

A job position will be considered vacant by Statistics Canada, if:

  • A particular job position currently exists
  • Work for the job position can be started within 30 days
  • The employer is looking for workers from outside the organization to fill the position.
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In this situation, certain sectors of the economy continued to have high job vacancies.

Healthcare and Social Assistance

Health care and social assistance witnessed 159,500 vacant job positions in the month of September, up from a record-high number of vacancies in August.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector saw an increase of 25% in job vacancies, likely due to the continued high demand for professionals in this field, (including doctors, nurses, physicians, surgeons, etc.).

Accommodation and Food Services

The sector of accommodation and food services saw 152,400 vacant positions in September, an increase of 12% from August.

Retail Trade

Retail trade experienced a slight spike in job vacancies, with 117,300 vacant positions in September. This sector has a continued need for workers, as evidenced by the 5.5% vacancy rate, which is in line with the national average across all industries.

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Professional Scientific and Technical Services

Professional scientific and technical services, another sector that has experienced a consistent need for labour, encompasses legal services, accounting, architectural and engineering, computer systems design, management consulting, advertising, public relations, and more.

This sector has a job vacancy rate of 5% with 61,900 job vacancies reported in the month of September.


Manufacturing was the only industry to experience consistent declines in job vacancies, which plummeted from 92,100 to 76,000 in September.

An Update on Payroll Increases

 An employer’s payroll is the number of employees receiving pay or benefits. Payroll employment can be viewed as a marker of the good health of a business, industry, or even the economy, regardless of the reasons for the increase (such as hiring to fill vacant positions).

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In September, payroll employment increased by 0.5% nationally, with Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta posting the largest gains.

The sectors that saw the largest increase in employment were:

  • Healthcare and social assistance (+ 20,700 employees)
  • Accommodation and food services (+ 8,400 employees)
  • Retail Trade (+ 8,200 employees)

When considered in light of the fact that all of these industries saw increases in vacancies, these are very encouraging signs for professionals in these industries. By comparing these figures with the RGDP of each industry in August, we can see that:

  • Rise in job vacancies
  • Spike in payroll employees
  • Increases in the overall value of goods and services produced

Canada continues to move out of pandemic protocols and towards pre-pandemic levels of economic output.

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