Canada has long had scarce information available on where the jobs are – until now.
A U.K. job-search website called Adzuna has entered the Canadian market as part of a global expansion, and has new data for job seekers, to be released Thursday.
Based on its tracking of 36 Canadian job websites, it finds the best place to be looking for a job right now is Saskatoon and the worst is the St. Catharines/Niagara, Ont., region.
Detailed public information about current job demand has been in short supply in Canada. Statistics Canada releases data on vacancy trends, but it is by province, while the Conference Board's help-wanted index tracks change, but not by industry. It's a vital piece of missing information about the labour market, as these data can help job seekers make more informed decisions on whether to move, stay put or, in some cases, change careers.
Adzuna ranked the top 45 cities in Canada by comparing current job vacancies listed on Canadian website job boards, including Workopolis, Monster, CareerBuilder and regional sites, with the number of people claiming jobless benefits, culled from Statscan's latest employment insurance data. The report also looks at salaries and which skills are in hottest demand by city.
It found the cities in which competition for jobs is least intense are Saskatoon, where there are about four job-seekers for every job opening, followed by Nanaimo and Kamloops, B.C.
The worst spot to find work is the St. Catharines/Niagara area, with nearly 100 job seekers for every job vacancy, Adzuna said. The Niagara region, which is coping with factory closings and fewer American tourists, has an unemployment rate of 8.6 per cent (compared with 7.2 per cent nationally).
The Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo area (where Research In Motion has been cutting positions) is next worst, along with the Cape Breton area of Nova Scotia. Toronto has the country's biggest number of job seekers, Adzuna said.
Recent graduates take note: Montreal has the highest portion of advertised jobs that are for graduate positions and internships.
Not all jobs in Canada are posted on online job boards, and many are advertised through social media or word of mouth. But Adzuna said its Canadian database of 100,000 current jobs is large enough to indicate clear trends. "We have good coverage and are confident that our numbers are correct," said country manager James Maskell.
Adzuna, a two-year-old London-based firm now expanding into Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Germany, combs through the Internet for job openings and posts them, in real time, on its site. It's essentially an aggregator, "like Google, for jobs," Mr. Maskell said.
It supplies its data to the British government, and garnered publicity last year with news the Prime Minister used its data in an iPad app which provides the latest figures on economic performance. Mr. Maskell said the company would like to "establish a similar relationship with the Canadian government."
Listing real-time vacancies in Canada "gives us an up-to-the-minute view of how the employment market is changing across the country," said Andrew Hunter, the company's co-founder. "In times of economic uncertainty, job seekers should be looking to arm themselves with data to help them target their job search in parts of Canada where they have the best possible chance of finding work."
For those curious about earnings, a separate Statscan report on payrolls highlights the difference between sectors. Earnings are soaring in two sectors: management and forestry. Managers in companies have seen earnings jump 11.3 per cent in the past year. That amounts to average weekly earnings of $1,276.59, including overtime, as of March. That's the biggest increase, percentage-wise, of any sector save forestry and logging, where pay also rose 11.3 per cent (to $1,089.17) as demand picks up.
Managers may be earning more, but they don't top the list of sectors with the loftiest earnings. Mining and energy has the highest weekly pay, at $1,869.23, while utilities along with professional and scientific services come next.
The lowest-paid sector is accommodation and food services, where pay averages just $375.48 a week. And workers in four industries are seeing pay actually slide from last year's levels. Earnings have fallen in utilities, retail trade, and arts and entertainment. The biggest slide, at 2.7 per cent, is in real estate – reflecting slower activity in the housing market.