Strong hiring continues in Canada | 150,000 jobs filled!

Strong hiring continues in Canada | 150,000 jobs filled!

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 17 Feb, 2023 | 07:20 AM]
About Author - 5 min read

“Work and Study Visa holders see huge gains in employment – as strong hiring continues in Canada”

Canada started 2023 with a bang – and saw substantial growth in several industries and provinces. There was an increase in overall employment as 150,000 jobs (+5% of total employment) across the country were filled in the first month of 2023. 

The increase in hiring yielded big results in employment for many groups, primarily workers aged 25-54 - with non-permanent residents (non-PRs) either on a Work or Canada Study Visa contributing to the highest increases in labor force engagement.

Canada’s national unemployment rate was recorded at a historically low 5% - reflecting an abundance of job opportunities throughout the country.

In January, non-PRs filled 79,000 positions. Also, since international students with a valid Study Visa can now work an unlimited number of hours – they are likely a contributor to this increase. Non-PRs are currently the biggest proportion of Canada’s population and labor force as well.

Industries that hired non-PRs

The drastic increase in non-PR employment was reflected in multiple industries. The ones that saw the greatest increase were:

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services - 10,349 people hired.
  • Retail Trade - 9,717 people hired.
  • Accommodation and Food Services - 8,848 people hired.
  • Health Care and Social Assistance – 7,742 people hired.

In total, this group makes up 3.4% of the total employment in Canada – showcasing their importance & contribution to the country’s labor force.

line chart&8211;Chart2, from January 2018 to January 2023

Industries with strong hiring gains in January 2023

The month of January 2023 saw booming hiring gains in the:

  • Wholesale and Retail Trade - 59,000 jobs filled and hiring for 128,960 vacancies.
  • Health Care and Social Assistance - 40,000 jobs filled and hiring for 131,775 vacancies.
  • Educational Services - 18,000 jobs filled and hiring for 20,180 vacancies.
  • Construction - 16,000 jobs filled and hiring for 79,025 vacancies.
  • Other Services - 16,000 jobs filled and hiring for 34,985 vacancies.

The average hourly wage for workers in Canada is currently $33.01 CAD, but average purchasing power has decreased since wage growth has lagged behind rising inflationary pressures with the Bank of Canada raising interest rates at the beginning of February.

Many of the above-mentioned industries reported urgent and ongoing employment openings. For instance, one of the few industries in November that witnessed a rise in vacancies was Construction. On the other hand, a lack of healthcare personnel remains an issue for the country, as Canada works to address the ongoing labor shortages that have sabotaged the healthcare industry since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The gravity of this situation is reflected in policy changes the government has made.

Immigration accounts for nearly 100% of the growth in the Canadian labor force. Canada has made it easier for temporary foreign healthcare workers to immigrate and work in Canada by extending these measures to workers in caregiver pilot programs as well. Canada has also extended immigration options for out-of-status construction workers, in an effort to maximize its labor force at home.

Provinces that saw the greatest increase in hiring

In January, five Canadian provinces experienced the greatest increase in hiring.

  • Ontario - 63,000 positions filled.
  • Quebec - 47,000 positions filled.
  • Alberta - 21,000 positions filled.
  • Nova Scotia - 9,400 positions filled.
  • Saskatchewan - 4,500 positions filled.

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are currently the primary pathway for economic immigration to Canada.

The details of each province's PNP will be determined as the year goes on by job openings, particular in-demand occupations, and hiring. In fact, targeted draws are becoming more common for Express Entry-based programs as well, with in-demand occupations being one of the major factors for earning a targeted Invitation to Apply (ITA) under this policy.


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