According to Statistics Canada’s latest data on job openings, payroll, and earnings, companies in Canada were actively trying to replace more than one million unfilled positions at the beginning of March 2022.

In March, the number of job vacancies in Canada reached a new high of 1,012,900, surpassing the previous high of 988,300 set in September 2021. Between February and March, there was an increase of 186,400 vacancies. The job vacancy rate, which compares the number of empty positions to the total number of vacant and filled posts, matched the previous high of 5.9% set in September (not seasonally adjusted).

Vacancies in the hospitality and food services industries, as well as retail trade, climbed by more than a third. Employers in the hospitality and food services industries were looking to fill 158,100 positions, while retailers had 109,200 openings.

Job openings in health care and social support, as well as construction, reached new highs. Employers in the health-care and social-assistance industries needed to fill 154,500 positions, while construction companies needed to hire an unprecedented 81,900 people.

All provinces saw an increase in job openings. Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador saw the highest month-over-month increases. In Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, the number of job openings reached an all-time high.

In March, there were 1.2 unemployed people for every job opening, compared to 1.4 in February. The drop corresponds with a record-low unemployment rate of 5.3 percent and a nearly 87 percent core-age labour force participation rate.

Quebec and British Columbia, which both have an unemployment-to-job-vacancy ratio of 0.8, were particularly hard hit by labour shortages. A lower ratio indicates that the labour market is tighter. Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest, at 4.3.

On June 24, Statistics Canada is anticipated to announce job vacancy data for April 2022. On June 21, the results of the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey for the first quarter of 2022 will be announced.