The hottest occupations for career growth, and 20 in decline to steer clear of

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Workopolis recently surveyed top employers from industries across the country about their hiring plans for the coming year and what they look for in candidates. (We also polled candidates to hear their opinions on the labour market. It turns out that there are many disparities between the opinions of employers and job seekers. We summarized these in a report called ‘Mind the Gap.’

One of the interesting points we found was that employers say many candidates are lacking in the soft skills that they would need to do the job. We take a closer look at those in an article called ‘What employers are looking for.’

Another hot topic about the labour market lately is the growing separation between the more technical hard skills that candidates on the job market have and what the needs of businesses are.

CIBC World Markets released a study earlier this week that analyzed the areas where there is a growing labour shortage and those where there is a surplus of talent on the market. The disconnect is hurting the overall economy and causing unemployment to be higher than it needs to be while jobs go unfilled.

For example, there is a growing surplus of workers looking for jobs in traditional professions such as teachers, manufacturing labourers, butchers, bakers, tailors, clerical staff and office managers.

While at the same time workers are in high demand in fields such as healthcare related occupations from doctors, dentists and nurses to a wide range of medical technicians and support workers.  Other sciences workers as well as mining and engineering professionals are also in short supply.

So here are the lists of occupations where there is expected to be solid job growth over the foreseeable future, and those fields in decline to steer clear of if you can.

Occupations Showing Signs of Skills Shortages

  • Managers in Engineering, Architecture, Science & Info Systems
  • Managers in Health, Education, Social and Community Services
  • Managers in Construction and Transportation
  • Auditors, Accountants and Investment Professionals
  • Human Resources and Business Service Professionals
  • Professional Occupations in Natural and Applied Sciences
  • Physical Science Professionals
  • Life Science Professionals
  • Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineers, Other Engineers
  • Professional Occupations in Health
  • Physicians, Dentists and Veterinarians
  • Psychologists, Social Workers, Counsellors, Clergy and Probation Officers
  • Supervisors, Mining, Oil and Gas
  • Underground Miners, Oil and Gas Drillers and Related Workers
  • Supervisors in Manufacturing


Occupations Showing Signs of Labour Surplus

  • Clerical Supervisors
  • Clerical Occupations
  • Clerical Occupations, General Office Skills
  • Office Equipment Operators
  • Finance and Insurance Clerks
  • Mail and Message Distribution Occupations
  • Secondary & Elementary Teachers and Counsellors
  • Sales and Service Supervisors
  • Cashiers
  • Occupations in Food and Beverage Services
  • Tour & Recreational Guides and Amusement Occupations
  • Other Attendants in Travel, Accommodation and Recreation
  • Technical Occupations in Personal Service
  • Other Occupations in Personal Service
  • Butchers & Bakers
  • Upholsterers, Tailors, Shoe Repairers, Jewellers and Related Occupations
  • Fishing Vessel Masters and Skippers and Fishermen/Women
  • Machine Operators & Related Workers in Metal and Mineral Products Processing


If you’re in one of these industries that is seeing too many workers compete for too few jobs, it may be time to change course. The good news is that there are just as many fields where solid growth is expected.

Download the complete CIBC World Markets report.

The Workopolis ‘Mind the Gap’ study on hiring intentions of Canadian employers and what they look for in candidates is available at:


Peter Harris

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