Payroll Employment

Strong Hiring Boosts Payroll Employment in Canada

This is a good indication that the hiring climate in Canada has improved in November 2022, as payroll employment (the number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer) has increased in 10 out of 15 sectors—a good indication that the Canadian economy is returning to its pre-COVID level of growth.

This resulted in an increase in the number of job openings across many industries as employers were able to hire more effectively for openings, thus alleviating the looming labour shortage, and resulting in a decrease in job vacancies. In spite of increases in the professional scientific and technical services sector, the public administration sector, the finance and insurance sector, and the retail trade sector, overall payroll employment grew by 7,100 jobs.

There were 20,700 fewer job openings across Canada in November 2022, leading to an overall decrease of 850,300 vacancies. This represents a decline of 151,900 job openings since May of 2022, which was a record high of 1 million vacancies. This is indicative of the fact that the economy is continuing to recover to pre-pandemic levels in terms of the economic production of goods and services.

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As an indication of economic growth, an increase in payroll employment is (more specifically) a good indication that companies are hiring and have a need for more workers. More people overall can contribute to the economy as a result of an increase in payroll employment. To better understand the types of businesses that are experiencing surges in hiring in Canada, it may be helpful for newcomers to understand which sectors are experiencing increases in payroll employment at the moment.

As a result of the growth in payroll employment in November, the following industries recorded the biggest gains:

  • Science and Technology (+5,600 positions);
  • The public sector (+4,800 positions);
  • The financial sector (+4,700 positions);
  • Construction (+4,300 positions)

Current Job Openings

In November 2022, Canada still faced a high number of job vacancies across multiple sectors despite strong payroll growth. Canada’s healthcare and social assistance (131,800 vacancies) are experiencing a persistent shortage of healthcare workers.

Despite decreasing vacancies by 19,300 jobs in the overall number of job vacancies in the space, the total number of job vacancies remains elevated, nearly 45% higher than in March 2020; this need for workers in the space is further reinforced by policy changes that have been made by the Canadian government, including the pursuit of more streamlined accreditation for foreign-educated healthcare professionals and a reduction of barriers to immigration for physicians.

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It is interesting to note that there are still quite a few job openings in the construction sector (79,000 vacancies). Despite making strong gains in payroll employment in November, there is still a lot of job openings in the construction sector. It is possible that this indicates both an increase in business output as well as a persistent need for workers in the area. It is important to note that the number of unfilled positions in the construction sector in November of 2021 remained almost unchanged (73,900), which indicates that this is another sector in which Canada continues to have a persistent need for workers, especially as the economic recovery continues.

The importance of such labor to the country’s economy has been clearly demonstrated again in the recent announcement by Canada that it is going to assist out-of-status construction workers. Services in the professional, scientific, and technical industries (52,000 vacancies) like the construction sector, this industry has experienced good growth in payroll employment over the last few years, but it has also been suffering from an increase in the number of job vacancies over the last year.

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This indicates strong hiring within Canada, as well as continued demand. Despite the high number of job vacancies, this is a strong indicator of long-term demand for these workers in Canada.

Current demographics cannot fill current job vacancies in Canada, so immigration will be crucial. With the enactment of Bill C-19 in 2022, the Honorable Sean Fraser (as Immigration Minister) can create groups in the Express Entry pool (based on criteria such as occupations, education, and language ability) and issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to these individuals. It is likely that these draws will target professions with persistent job vacancies.

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