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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

March 22, 2022
JOB VACANCIES AND WAGES, Q4 2021

Statistics Canada has released its quarterly job vacancy and wage survey (unadjusted for seasonality) for the fourth quarter of 2021. Data collection activities were suspended from the start of the pandemic in March to September 2020. There remains a gap in the dataset for this survey.

This release provides data on the portion of jobs in a particular region, sector or occupation that are vacant.  It also provides information on the wages offered on vacant positions as well as education and experience requirements.  A higher job vacancy rate indicates a tighter labour market where it is more difficult for employers to find suitable candidates for the positions offered.  A lower job vacancy rate signals labour market slack and potentially more job seekers competing for each vacant position.

Nova Scotia's job vacancy rate was 4.8% in the final quarter of 2021, representing 20,330 job vacancies (these data are unadjusted for seasonality and will typically show more slack in the winter months). Nova Scotia's job vacancy rate is higher than the 2.8% vacancy rate (11,850 vacancies) observed during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The national job vacancy rate was 5.3%, up from 3.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Across Canada, Q4 2021 job vacancy rates were highest in British Columbia and Quebec. The lowest job vacancy rate was reported in Newfoundland and Labrador. Compared to Q4 2019, vacancy rates increased for all provinces.  

The average wage offered for a vacant position in Q4 2021 was $19.60 per hour in Nova Scotia, up from $18.55 in Q4 2019. The national average wage increased to $22.95 per hour from Q4 2019.

Compared with Q4 2019, the average wage offered increased 5.5% nationally. Average wages on vacant positions were highest in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, and lowest in the Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Average wages offered on vacant positions increased in all provinces, except Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba. Average wages offered on vacant positions declined in Newfoundland and Labrador and remained the same in Manitoba.

Among Nova Scotia's economic regions, Q4 2021 job vacancy rates were highest in the North Shore and lowest in Cape Breton. All regions had higher job vacancy rates compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Compared with Q4 2019, average wages on vacant positions increased in all regions except the Annapolis Valley where they declined.

Across sectors with available data, Nova Scotia's Q4 2021 job vacancy rates were lower than the national average in every category except construction, wholesale trade, information and cultural, finance and insurance, and professional and technical services. National and Nova Scotia's job vacancy rates were the same in education sector. Suppressed data are labelled as 'n/a'.

Compared to the national average, the wages offered for vacant positions in Nova Scotia were lower for all sectors in Q4 2021. The largest wage differences were found in construction, information and cultural, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and management of companies and education.

Across sectors with available data, Nova Scotia's job vacancy rates increased the most compared to Q4 2019 in accommodation and food services, construction, professional and technical services, and wholesale trade. 

For sectors with available data, Nova Scotia's average hourly wages on vacant positions were highest in professional/technical services, and finance and insurance. The fastest wage gains (Q4 2021 vs Q4 2019) were in information and cultural, arts, entertaintment and recreation, and construction sectors. Average wages on vacant positions in professional and technical services, and real estate, rental and leasing declined over this period.  

Of the 20,330 job vacancies reported in Nova Scotia during Q4 2021, the largest number (7,500) were in sales and service occupations. Sales/service vacancies increased 75.2% compared to the same quarter of 2019. Among occupations with data, vacancies were up the most trades and transportation and natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations.

Average wages offered on vacant positions in Nova Scotia during Q4 2021 were highest for natural/applied sciences and health occupations. Occupations in sales and service and manufacturing and utilites had the lowest wages offered on vacant positions in Q4 2021. 

In Q4 2021, 64.0% of vacant positions in Nova Scotia required high school lower levels of education, up from 59.0% of vacancies in Q4 2019. In percentage terms, vacancies increased the most for positions requiring university degree below Bachelor's level. 

Wages offered for vacant positions requiring high school or lower education were on average less than wages offered on vacancies requiring more education. The fastest growth in wages offered (compared to Q4 2019) were for positions requiring a post-graduate university education. Wages offered are up compared to the same quarter in 2019 for all education levels. 

The number of vacant positions requiring less than one year of experience increased 72.9% (+5,185) compared to Q4 2019. The average wage offered on vacant positions increased for all required experience levels. The largest percentage gain occurred in jobs requiring between 3 and 5 years of experience (+16.1%).

JVWS data are not seasonally adjusted. Therefore, quarter-to-quarter comparisons should be interpreted with caution as they may reflect seasonal movements.

Source: Statistics Canada.  

 


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