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Canada’s job vacancies maintain record high for a fourth consecutive quarter: 429,000 jobs went unfilled in Q2 2019

Manitoba job vacancy rate increased slightly with 11,500 unfilled jobs

Winnipeg, August 8, 2019 – Canada’s private sector job vacancy rate maintained its record high of 3.2 per cent for the fourth quarter in a row, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s latest Help Wanted report. In total, 429,000 private sector jobs—23,000 more than in the second quarter of 2018—went unfilled for at least four months in the second quarter of 2019. 

In Manitoba, the private sector job vacancy rate climbed to 2.6 per cent in Q2, representing 11,500 unfilled jobs.

“Job vacancy rates advanced in five provinces and remained stable or declined slightly in the other five last quarter, although Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario continue to drive the trend. We’re also seeing a strong pressure to increase wages in those firms that had vacant positions,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s Vice-President and Chief Economist. “While this rate of job vacancies can be a sign of a growing economy, we don’t want labour shortages to become an obstacle to business success. CFIB is asking all parties to commit to measures tackling the labour shortage in the upcoming federal election.”

Employers with at least one vacancy expected to push average organization-wide wage levels up by 2.3 per cent compared to the 1.5 per cent gain planned by businesses without any job openings. Firms with fewer than five employees were the hardest hit, reaching a job vacancy rate of 5.4 per cent.

Job vacancies by province

Quebec and British Columbia were tied for the tightest labour markets, with 3.9 per cent vacancy rates. Ontario’s vacancy rate dropped but remained above the national average at 3.2 per cent. New Brunswick (3.1 per cent), Manitoba (2.6 per cent), Prince Edward Island (2.2 per cent) and Newfoundland & Labrador (2.0 per cent) saw their vacancy rates rise, but remained below the national average. Nova Scotia’s vacancy rate remained stable at 2.3 per cent, while rates in Saskatchewan (2.1 per cent) and Alberta (1.9 per cent) dropped.

Provinces Vacancy rate Change Unfilled jobs
Quebec 3.9%   116,000
British Columbia 3.9% +0.1% 74,700
Ontario 3.2% -0.1% 169,900
New Brunswick 3.1% +0.1% 7,400
Manitoba 2.6% +0.1% 11,500
Nova Scotia 2.3%   7,100
Prince Edward Island 2.2% +0.2% 1,000
Saskatchewan 2.1% -0.1% 7,400
Newfoundland & Labrador 2.0% +0.1% 3,000
Alberta 1.9% -0.1% 31,300

Job vacancies by industry

The personal services industry maintained the highest vacancy rate at 4.9 per cent, followed by construction (4.8 per cent). Hospitality (3.7 per cent), agriculture (3.4 per cent), transportation (3.4 per cent), enterprise management (3.4 per cent), professional services (3.4 per cent) and health services (3.4 per cent) also trended above the national average. The information sector had the lowest vacancy rate at 2.1 per cent.

For information on the overall results by province and industry, please consult the Q2 2019 Help Wanted report.

For media enquiries or interviews with Ted Mallet, please contact: Milena Stanoeva, Media Relations Specialist, at 647-464-2814 or email [email protected].

To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba, on the provincial findings, please call 204-982-0817 or email [email protected]. You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. 


August 8, 2019

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