Record Job Vacancies in Canada

The number of job vacancies reached a new high in the last quarter of 2017, totaling 399,000 jobs left unfilled in Canada's private sector, according to CFIB's latest Help Wanted report. The job vacancy rate—the proportion of unfilled jobs relative to all available jobs in the private sector—reached 3%, well above the 2.4% rate for Q4 2016.

British Columbia, which already had the tightest labour market, experienced the largest jump (+ 0.3 points) of all the provinces, with a vacancy rate of 3.9% in Q4 2017. Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta and Manitoba saw a more modest increase of 0.1 percentage point.

The job vacancy rate rose in eight out of 14 industry sectors in Q4 2017, with the most significant increases occurring in the personal services, information, arts/recreation and retail sectors.

Labour shortages continue to put upward pressure on wages, with companies having unfilled jobs expecting to offer an average wage increase that is 0.5% higher than those businesses without such vacancies.