Alberta had the highest rate of unfilled jobs in the country in the third quarter of this year, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. In a new report, the group said 66,700 positions in the private sector were unfilled in the quarter, for a job vacancy rate of 3.9 per cent. Saskatchewan’s vacancy rate was second highest in the country, at 3.7 per cent, while the national average was 2.7 per cent.
Nationally, an estimated 322,000 private sector jobs were awaiting qualified employees.
According to the CFIB, nationwide openings in full, part-time and temporary positions increased by 7,000 jobs compared with the second quarter, the largest quarterly increase measured by CFIB in the past two years.
“A tightening labour market means that employers have a harder time finding the qualified employees they need; especially small businesses,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist. “Generally, businesses with fewer than 20 employees are reporting vacancy rates more than double that of businesses employing 50 or more.”
The CFIB said that in the past five years, the vacancy rate has climbed from a low of 1.7 per cent in late 2009 and early 2010, rising to 2.6 per cent by 2012. It added that prior to the recession, the rate of private sector job vacancies reached a maximum of three per cent through late 2007 and early 2008.
Despite fewer vacancies in agriculture, wholesale trade, business services and hospitality, the CFIB said there were fractional increases in unfilled jobs in oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and financial services. “Alberta’s private sector job vacancy rate remains the highest in the country and has been on a slow, steady climb. The new breakdown by census division also clearly confirms hiring difficulties have been severe for employers across most of the province for the past couple of years,” said Richard Truscott, the CFIB’s Alberta director.
Source: Calgary Herald