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The most in-demand jobs in Canada show the effects of three years of COVID-19 and our hurried shift to e-commerce, experts say, though the recent layoffs in the technology sector hint at the economy moving back to a pre-pandemic condition.

On Randstad Canada’s list of the top 15 most in-demand jobs for 2023, there are technical occupations such as software developer, which is in the top spot. But there are also a number of jobs that require less technical training such as driver, customer service representative and warehouse worker.

Nick Montesano, executive vice president of the central region at Randstad Canada, said this is partly because more companies were embracing e-commerce, with many of them having record-breaking years in terms of revenue. That means companies needed more people to get their product out the door and to the homes of consumers as quickly as possible. They also needed more people with online skills to provide customer service.

Mr. Montesano said more people in entry-level positions were taking advantage of the “hot market” in the first six months of 2022. For example, if you were a general labourer or warehouse worker, there was a lot of incentive and opportunity to move into a higher-level, higher-paying job quickly, leaving those spots to be backfilled.

With that in mind, “It’s not surprising to see this kind of mixed bag that we see in terms of what skills are in demand,” he said.

But the demand for certain skills could all be changing now. Nathir Haimoun, an economist and board member at e-commerce store, said the first few months of 2023 could affect the top jobs and salary ranges going forward and that the landscape for e-commerce has already shifted.

The growth of e-commerce “peaked, but it seems like that sort of boom is not there anymore,” he said. “It’s kind of like getting back to the pre-2020 status.”

Even as companies such as Shopify, Clearco, Amazon and Google announced layoffs, Mr. Haimoun said “the market is still booming” for software developers.

However, he cautioned that software developers can’t expect the same big-tech salaries in other industries, or when working for small or medium-sized companies.

He added that roles such as customer service representative, driver and sales associate probably won’t slip much from the list year-over-year: “Typically the economy can’t function without these professions or positions.”

Overall, Mr. Haimoun said one trend of concern is stagnant wages coinciding with rising inflation: “This is going to impact consumer confidence and the purchasing power of so many of these families across the country.”

However, the economic downturn has yet to affect job seekers in a widespread way, according to Mr. Montesano.

“Despite the fact that we’ve heard a lot of noise around the looming recession, we haven’t yet seen anything translate in terms of demand for talent,” he said.

That said, while these trends and data can help inform job seekers on what occupations are booming, and what the general salary ranges are, he said the landscape is always shifting.

“Maybe that changes as we go forward,” he said, adding that if things slow it will be more of a “balancing effect.”

“Talent scarcity is a real thing, and it’s only going to continue to get worse as boomers retire at an unprecedented rate.”

On that front, Mr. Montesano said immigrant workers will continue to be key to bolstering the Canadian labour force.

The top 15 most in-demand jobs in Canada, according to Randstad:

Data was obtained by reviewing data from Randstad’s clients and analyzing the roles posted in the previous 12 months. For all of the roles below, salary ranges represent entry-level as one to three years of experience and senior level with five or more years of experience.

1. Developer: Tech talent was harder to attract and retain as digital projects accelerated for many businesses during the pandemic.

Salary range: $68,000-$155,000

2. HR manager: HR is top of mind as the pandemic recedes as companies grapple with challenges such as worker shifts in expectations, hybrid work and budget constraints.

Salary range: $75,000-$156,000

3. Mechanical engineer: The growing renewable energy sector, and other STEM industries, has caused a rise in demand for these skills.

Salary range: $66,000-$131,000

4. Welder: Because much of our blue-collar workforce is retiring, and high schools have not been encouraging students to consider the skilled trades, there have been decades of shortages in the sector.

Salary range: $40,000-$74,000

5. Accounting technician/bookkeeper: Although there has been an influx of new workers in this sector, there is still a significant need and these roles are part of the Canadian immigration Express Entry System.

Salary range: $61,000-$114,000

6. Registered nurse: Randstad sees nurses on the list of in-demand health care jobs every year, and there is a massive shortage.

Salary range: $68,000-$94,000

7. Warehouse worker: There is a demand for goods, which means there is a demand for talent across the supply chain.

Salary range: $17-$29/hour

8. Customer service representative: Customer service looks different than before, as people now need to be able to work from home, and to use new technology and software platforms to provide personalized experiences.

Salary range: $43,000-$74,000

9. Driver: Randstad calls this shortage a “complex problem” and says we see even more need for truckers and drivers as online shopping increases.

Salary range: $42,000-$65,000

10. Sales associate: Many sales associates found new jobs during the pandemic when in-person shopping shut down – now stores are back up and running, and demand has increased.

Salary range: $46,000-$84,000

11. Administrative assistant: This role has shifted in the workplace over the past several years, leading to higher demand.

Salary range: $47,000-$99,000

12. Business analyst: More companies are relying on big data to inform growth strategies and going through digital transformations, making this role more popular.

Salary range: $62,000-$142,000

13. Production supervisor: More people are ordering online and they want their products quickly, leading to more demand for this type of role.

Salary range: $53,000-$114,000

14. Digital marketing coordinator: This role is no longer just found in agencies, but nearly every company now has a need for an in-house digital marketing coordinator to help with critical projects.

Salary range: $62,000-$122,000

15. Construction project manager: This role is needed mainly to take on the massive housing boom we continue to see across Canada.

Salary range: $61,000-$150,000