The market for internships has cooled by 19 per cent from last year’s levels as demand softens in fields such as tech and marketing, while summer job openings fell by 17 per cent, according to a new report by Indeed.com.
The study, which assessed job postings on Indeed.com between 2019-23, showed that postings appeared to be on a trajectory toward lower, prepandemic levels.
“The types of internships we’ve seen fall off are marketing interns, communication interns and also those in the financial world – banking advisers and accounting interns,” said Brendon Bernard, senior economist at Indeed.com in an interview. “And these are some areas where we’ve actually seen job postings cool off more broadly, so it’s not just internships.”
According to Indeed, jobs in software development saw a 61-per-cent dip, followed by marketing, banking and finance, all dropping by more than 40 per cent in May.
The cooling in the job market is part of an overall trend that has the potential to disproportionately affect young Canadians, the report suggested.
On the upside, internship postings remain 18 per cent above prepandemic levels and summer job openings and seasonal employees remained in high demand, at 55 per cent above prepandemic levels.
“When it comes to summer jobs, we’re still in a good place,” Mr. Bernard said. “In 2021, and especially 2022, demand across the board was so hot – now demand is coming back down to Earth but still quite strong from the perspective of the typical prepandemic summer.”
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The main reason for the discrepancy between internship rates and overall seasonal employment is the job sector these roles occupy as well as their time horizon. “Demand for work on the seasonal and more temporary side of things is to satisfy conditions right now,” Mr. Bernard said. Whereas many other roles require a long-term investment on the part of employers, especially within the fields of business and finance, he said.
Career counsellors agree that the time investment required by employers can make them wary of taking on interns.
“Deloitte doesn’t want an intern to go work with them for the summer and then go and work full-time for a competitor at KPMG,” points out Mark Green, director of career services at the Rotman School of Management.
Despite the overall drop in postings, career counsellors aren’t worried yet. “In April last month, we posted the most jobs I’ve ever seen in the last 12 months for our students,” said Darlene O’Neill, director of employment and student entrepreneurial services at Fanshawe College. “In fact, we’re hearing from employers saying, ‘Why are students not applying?’” Ms. O’Neill said.
But these trends don’t ring true across all sectors. “Opportunities for computer science have decreased,” said Chris Sale, a co-operative education co-ordinator at University of Winnipeg’s Faculty of Business and Economics.
Despite some signals of a downturn in certain sectors, the dips don’t seem to spell trouble for students just yet. “It’s still a great time to be a student and to be graduating,” Ms. O’Neill said. “But of course, we do expect labour market trends to catch up.”
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