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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

May 25, 2023

Statistics Canada released today monthly job vacancy results for March 2023. The data in this article refers to seasonally adjusted data. 

Month-over-month (March 2023 vs February 2023, seasonally adjusted)

Nova Scotia had 18,495 job vacancies in March 2023 with a vacancy rate of 4.0%.  Canadian employers were actively recruiting for 815,295 positions in March with a vacancy rate of 4.5%. The highest vacancy rates were reported in Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Quebec while the lowest vacancy rate was reported in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Job vacancy rates declined 0.3 percentage points in Nova Scotia and declined 0.2 percentage points nationally compared with February 2023. Job vacancy rates declined in a total of seven  provinces and increased in Prince Edward Island (0.4 percentage points), New Brunswick (0.1 percentage points), and Manitoba (0.2 percentage points).

When compared to February 2023, the number of job vacancies in Nova Scotia declined 8.1% or 1,635 jobs - the fastest decline among provinces.  National job vacancies declined 2.1% or 17,270 jobs. Over the same period, vacancies only increased in 3 provinces. In percentage terms, Manitoba reported the largest gain.

Year-over-year (March 2023 vs March 2022)

When compared to March 2022, job vacancy rate in Nova Scotia declined 0.8 percentage points. Nationally, job vacancy rate declined from 5.7% to 4.5%. Job vacancy rates declined in all provinces, with the exception of Prince Edward Island. 

When compared to March 2022, the number of job vacancies in Nova Scotia declined 15.4% or 3,360 jobs.  National job vacancies declined 17.6% or 174,720 jobs. Over the same period, vacancies only increased in Prince Edward Island. All other provinces declined in the number of vacancies. In percentage terms, Newfoundland and Labrador declined the most.


Nationally, job vacancy rates peaked in March 2022 and have steadily declined since. Nova Scotia's job vacancy rates are volatile and trended up for most of 2021 and early 2022 before declining through early 2023. The number of job vacancies in Nova Scotia peaked in May 2022 at 23,105 and slowly declined to 18,495 in March 2023.

Canada job vacancy rate and job vacancies by industry, March 2023

Nationally, the accommodation and food services sector had the highest job vacancy rate (7.6%) and the second highest number of job vacancies at 109,080. This industry has had the highest vacancy rate among all industries for over a year.

After accommodation and food services, the next highest job vacancy rates in Canada were reported in personal and repair services, health care and social assistance, and construction. The lowest vacancy rates were in education, utilities and public administration.

Health care and social assistance had the highest number of vacancies at 144,480 in March. Both the number of vacancies and the job vacancy rate (6.0%) declined compared to March 2022.

Notes: The job vacancy rate is the percentage of job positions (both filled and vacant) that are vacant. 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.

Information on monthly job vacancies will continue in future Statistics Canada releases, and a more detailed analysis will be released with quarterly estimates from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey.

Sources: Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0432-01 Job vacancies, payroll employees, and job vacancy rate by provinces and territories, monthly, adjusted for seasonalityTable 14-10-0406-01 Job vacancies, payroll employees, and job vacancy rate by industry sector, monthly, adjusted for seasonality

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