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Job Posting Trends in Canada: 2021 Update

As the COVID-19 pandemic entered its second year in 2021, there continued to be significant impacts on the labour market. Focusing on the demand for labour, this report examines trends for 2021.

Report title page with text "Job posting trends in Canada" showing a business owner with a mask on assisting a customer with payment

Key insights

In 2021, there were over 2.8 million online job postings across Canada, a 38% increase from 2020.

The health care and social assistance sector had the largest number of job postings in 2021, with over 220,000 job postings.

Applying an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens to labour market analysis and program development is important for ensuring an equitable economic recovery. The implications of an EDI analysis include, but are not limited to, the provision of the tools, resources, and social and digital infrastructure various groups need to access skill development and job opportunities.

As the COVID-19 pandemic entered its second year in 2021, there continued to be significant impacts on the labour market. Case counts and hospitalizations continued to rise across the country, and by the end of 2021, Canada had endured two more waves before ending the year with the rapid rise of the Omicron variant. Many parts of the country continued to face closures, lockdowns, capacity limits, and, eventually, vaccination mandates. However, with the increased rollout of vaccinations, governments and policymakers revisited plans to re-open the economy. By June of 2021, armed with increasing vaccination rates and rising optimism, several provincial governments announced a loosening of public health restrictions.

Throughout the year, the federal government continued to offer a suite of financial supports for businesses and workers to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. These measures sought to support individuals and families who could not work due to COVID-19 and prevent businesses from closing their doors permanently. In conjunction with the public health restrictions put in place by the provinces, these various benefits no doubt had an impact on the supply and demand of labour. Indeed, the number of job vacancies increased to record levels in the fourth quarter of 2021, and by December 2021, the unemployment rate was 5.9%—only slightly above the pre-pandemic level.

Focusing on the demand for labour, this report examines trends for 2021. Specifically, this report aims to:

  • Describe trends in online job postings in Canada in 2021 by sector, industry, and occupation
  • Identify the top skills sought in 2021
  • Compare trends in job postings and skills sought between 2019, 2020, and 2021

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