Vacancies in Canada maintained last quarter's record high of 3%, with about 407,000 private sector jobs remaining unfilled for at least four months

Mario ToneguzziThe rate of job vacancies in Canada maintained last quarter’s record high of three per cent, with about 407,000 private sector jobs remaining unfilled for at least four months, according to the latest Help Wanted report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The report, released on Tuesday, said the observed job vacancy rate – the proportion of unfilled jobs relative to all available jobs in the private sector – is still markedly up from the 2.6 per cent rate observed in the first quarter of 2017.

In Alberta, the job vacancy rate was 2.4 per cent with 38,800 unfilled jobs.

“We are still seeing a high number of job vacancies, though the strong rise observed through 2017 has levelled off,” said Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist at CFIB. “Small businesses are feeling the pressure of prolonged job vacancies, especially in British Columbia and Quebec, where the record high vacancy rates are still on the rise. Affected businesses are responding with wage increases, or adjustments to their product lines or capital spending in some cases.”

British Columbia had a job vacancy rate of 3.8 per cent with 68,100 unfilled jobs, followed by Quebec at 3.7 per cent and 103,100 unfilled jobs. Ontario’s vacancy rate was 3.2 per cent with 163,100 unfilled jobs.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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