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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

August 29, 2019

In the 3 months ending in May 2019, there were an average of 8,300 job vacancies in Nova Scotia (unadjusted for seasonality).  This is 2,900 more than reported in the same period of 2018.

Nova Scotia's job vacancy rate, the share of labour demand that is unfilled, rose to 2.1 per cent in the three months ending in May. This is 0.7 percentage points higher than observed for the same period in 2018. Job vacancy rates were lower in the early months of 2018, but rose through the second half of the year.  Nova Scotia's May job vacancy rate reached a new high in records dating back to 2011.  The previous high was reported during the three month period ending in April of 2019. 

The national job vacancy rate was 2.2 per cent, down from 2.3 per cent at this time last year.

Across Canada, job vacancy rates are highest in British Columbia (2.9 per cent), followed by Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The lowest job vacancy rates were in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Compared with the same period last year, the job vacancy rate has increased in six provinces with the largest increase in Nova Scotia. 

There was an average of 4.2 unemployed persons per job vacancy in Nova Scotia in the 3 months ending in May 2019, down from 7.1 in the three months leading up to May 2018.  The ratio of unemployed persons per vacancy has fallen substantially over the last year, with the May result setting another new low since monthly job vacancy data started in 2011 (previous low was reported in April). 

The national ratio of unemployed persons per job vacancy (3.3) was the same as in the March-May period of 2018.

Eight provinces reported fewer unemployed persons per job vacancy in May 2019 compared with the same period last year. The largest declines were in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.  

British Columbia currently reports the tightest labour market conditions in Canada, with a job vacancy rate of 2.9 per cent and just 1.9 unemployed persons for each job vacancy. Newfoundland and Labrador reported the most labour market slack, with 13.3 unemployed persons for each job vacancy and a job vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent.  Both Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia reported substantial tightening of labour markets over the last twelve months.   

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  14-10-0224-01   Job vacancies, labour demand and job vacancy rate, three-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality





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