Ottawa, ON—The construction sector is reporting the highest number of vacancies since comparable data on labour became available back in 2015. Vacancies in construction increased by 19,900 (up 46.7 per cent) over two years to 62,600 in the second quarter of 2021, reports Statistics Canada.
The increased job vacancies were led by the specialty trade contractors subsector (up by 14,300 or an increase of 53.0 per cent)—which comprises establishments primarily engaged in trade activities such as masonry, painting, or electrical work, followed by the construction of buildings subsector, which was up 4,400 or an increase of 40.8 per cent.
A large portion of the rise in job vacancies in the construction sector was made up of construction trade helpers and labourers (up by 8,900) and carpenters (up by 3,300), according to the report.
Following the data released by the Labour Force Survey (LFS), Statistics Canada reports that there were 731,900 job vacancies in the second quarter of 2021. The survey recorded that during the quarter, as public health measures were tightened in several jurisdictions, and employment fell for two consecutive months and then rebounded in June.
They report that compared to the same quarter two years earlier, there were 25.8 per cent more vacancies in the second quarter of this year. The job vacancy rate—which represents vacant positions as a proportion of all positions (vacant and occupied)—was 4.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2021.
The ratio of unemployed people to job vacancies increased from 2.0 in the second quarter of 2019 to 2.2 in 2021. Since the end of the second quarter of 2021, employment increased by 94,000 in July and 90,000 in August.
Job vacancies in all provinces
Job vacancies increased in all provinces from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021. The largest increases were seen in Quebec and Ontario. The job vacancy rate also increased in all provinces, and in the second quarter of 2021 was the highest in British Columbia and Quebec.
Hourly wage up
At $22.85 per hour, the average offered hourly wage for all job vacancies was 7.3 per cent higher in the second quarter of 2021 than in the same quarter of 2019. As well, the average offered hourly wage rose in all provinces except for Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta, with the largest increases being in Prince Edward Island and British Columbia, with British Columbia having the highest average offered hourly wage among the provinces.
The changes in the average offered hourly wage can be caused by many factors, including wage growth, shifts in the industries and occupations, or the types of jobs being filled.