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Job vacancy rate sees third consecutive decline in Q1

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Toronto, June 7, 2016 – The national private sector job vacancy rate declined for the third straight quarter, dropping to 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s (CFIB) latest Help Wanted report. The 2.4 per cent vacancy rate among full time and temporary jobs accounts for roughly 301,000 positions across Canada.

“The vacancy rates in the prairies are the lowest in the country – a complete reversal of what we saw just before the oil shock at the end of 2014, when they were the highest,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB chief economist. “Only 1.9 per cent of jobs in Alberta and Manitoba are vacant, while Saskatchewan’s rate is slightly higher at 2.0 per cent.”

British Columbia continues to have the highest vacancy rate in the country, though it too dropped in the first quarter of this year and now sits at 2.8 per cent, representing 48,400 positions.

Among industries, vacancy rates rose in the agriculture, information and healthcare sectors, and notably declined in the resources, manufacturing, transport, hospitality and personal services sectors. Rates in micro businesses are double those in larger enterprises, therefore sectors with high proportions of micro businesses tend to have higher vacancy rates overall.

The survey also found a continuing clear relationship between vacancies and wages. Businesses with at least one vacancy reported a planned average organization-wide wage increase of 1.7 per cent in the first quarter, while those fully staffed reported increases of 1.1 per cent.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or email [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.