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

October 26, 2023

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

Monthly (August 2023 vs July 2023, seasonally adjusted)

Nova Scotia had 17,380 job vacancies in August 2023 with a vacancy rate of 3.7%. Nova Scotia job vacancies were at their lowest level since August 2021. 

Canadian employers were actively recruiting for 682,390 positions in August with a vacancy rate of 3.8%. For Canada, job vacancies in August 2023 were at their lowest level since May 2021. The highest vacancy rates were reported in Saskatchewan while the lowest vacancy rate was reported in Prince Edward Island.

Job vacancy rates declined 0.2 percentage points in Nova Scotia and declined 0.1 percentage points nationally compared with July 2023. Job vacancy rates declined in six provinces and increased in four provinces compared to the previous month. 

When compared to July 2023, the number of job vacancies in Nova Scotia rose 1.5% or 265 jobs. National job vacancies declined 2.2% or 15,555 jobs. Over the same period, vacancies decreased in six provinces led by Prince Edward Island. The largest increases were in Saskatchewan and Alberta. 

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

When compared to August 2022, job vacancy rate in Nova Scotia declined 1.0 percentage points. Nationally, job vacancy rate declined from 5.2% to 3.8%. Compared to one year earlier, the job vacancy rate declined in all provinces except Saskatchewan where it was unchanged. 

When compared to August 2022, the number of job vacancies in Nova Scotia declined 16.6% or 3,465 vacancies. National job vacancies declined 26.1% or 240,835 vacant jobs. All provinces except Saskatchewan saw declines in the number of vacancies over the twelve month period. In percentage terms, Prince Edward Island declined the most.


Nationally, job vacancy rates peaked in March-May 2022 and have steadily declined since. Nova Scotia's job vacancy rates 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 18,605 in March 2023, picked up to 20,645 in May 2023 before declining to around 17,000 in recent months.

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

Nationally, the accommodation and food services sector (6.1%) and health care and social assistance (5.6%) had the highest job vacancy rates. 

After accommodation and food services, and health care and social assistance, the next highest job vacancy rates in Canada were reported in personal, repair services, construction, and admin, support and waste management. The lowest vacancy rates were in utilities, education and information and culture.

Health care and social assistance had the highest number of vacancies at 136,030 in August. The number of vacancies declined in health care and social assistance while the job vacancy rate decreased compared to August 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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