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Canada labour shortages hit 896,100 -opportunities for foreign workers


Statistics Canada reported that Canada faces massive labour shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. These labour shortages represent opportunities for economic immigration to Canada.

There were 896,100 job vacancies in Canada at the start of December 2021, 2.5 per cent or 21,400, higher than at the beginning of November.

The number of vacancies remained below the recent peak of 988,300 observed in September 2021. However, there were 87.9 per cent more vacancies in December 2021 than in December 2020.

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See StatsCan, Payroll employment, earnings and hours, and job vacancies, December 2021.

Canadian employers are desperately seeking to fill jobs in healthcare, construction, and the restaurant and hospitality sectors. The report says that these sectors are looking to temporary foreign workers and immigrants to fill the shortages.

Related: Job vacancies in Canada at near record highs – foreign workers needed and Over 1 million job vacancies in Canada – open for foreign skilled workers & students.

Key sectors with high labour shortages

Unsurprisingly, with the COVID-19 pandemic healthcare, social assistance, accommodation and food services continued to be the hardest hit with Canada labour shortages.


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Job vacancies in health care and social assistance reached a record high in December, with employers actively recruiting to fill 137,100 vacant positions.

Restaurants, bars and catering services also continued to struggle as public health restrictions continued in December last year. These restrictions are being gradually lifted. Accommodation and food services, were down by 170,500 jobs or 12.7 per cent in December 2021.

Services that were held back by public health restrictions during the pandemic should boom as those restrictions are lifted.

In manufacturing, there were 73,900 vacant positions in December 2021 while there were 103,300 job vacancies in retail trade.


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December 2021 Job vacancies in Canada and job vacancy rate, unadjusted for seasonality


Payroll employment – December 2021
Job vacancies – December 2021Job vacancy rate – December 2021
 thousandsthousands%
Sector aggregate16,341.3896.15.2
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting229.811.14.6
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction192.56.23.1
UtilitiesFFF
Construction1,119.661.85.2
Manufacturing1,532.873.94.6
Wholesale trade797.031.23.8
Retail trade2,026.1103.34.9
Transportation and warehousing777.044.95.5
Information and cultural industries369.619.35.0
Finance and insurance772.238.74.8
Real estate and rental and leasing271.311.54.1
Professional, scientific and technical services1,092.964.15.5
Management of companies and enterprises121.7EFF
Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services818.063.27.2
Educational services1,454.421.51.5
Health care and social assistance2,187.8137.15.9
Arts, entertainment and recreation249.414.75.6
Accommodation and food services1,161.2142.310.9
Other services (excluding public administration)522.035.16.3
Public administration517.810.72.0

See also Top 15 foreign workers jobs in demand in Canada – Updated.


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.