Workopolis Labour Report: 2015 Year in Review

Job openings being advertised online declined by 20% in 2015 for most regions and sectors, with the greatest declines being felt in the West

Job posting trends for 2015

There were fewer job openings being advertised online in 2015 than there were in 2014. Year-over-year online job postings were down by 20% nationally, with the Western provinces seeing the sharpest declines in hiring.

Workopolis analyzed job opportunities being posted on all job boards in Canada as well as on government websites over the past two years to determine trends in hiring. While there was decreased hiring in most regions and sectors this year, there are still some areas of growth. Online job postings are actually up year-over-year in the fourth quarter of the year for Central Canada and the Atlantic Provinces.

For the third year in a row, Flight Attendant continues to be the most popular job for applicants. Walkie Operator (or forklift driver) was the hardest for employers to fill this year.

Workopolis is still looking into the social ramifications of the fact that apparently Canadians have stopped hiring personal trainers, hair stylists, and dental hygienists all in the same year.

In good news for younger workers starting out their careers, the words “Entry-Level” turned up in 208% more online job postings in 2015 than in 2014.

Change in overall job postings by sector nationally in 2015:

Year-over-year changes in online job postings from 2014 regionally:

  • West: -38%
  • Ontario: -8.7%
  • Quebec: Flat
  • Atlantic: -16%

Demand for specific occupations:

The top five job titles being advertised online in 2015:

  • Cashiers / Retail Clerks
  • Caregiver / Nanny
  • Sales Representative
  • Cook / Kitchen Help / Food Preparers and Servers
  • Drivers (Long Haul, Truck, and Delivery)

Job titles trending upwards for job postings in 2015:

  • Security / Loss Prevention Officers +144%
  • Licensed Mechanics (+64%) / Truck and Diesel Mechanics (+80%)
  • CNC Programmers +549%
  • Tool Die maker +305%
  • Financial Planner / Advisor (+65%) – Retirement Planning (75%) and Home Financing (+350%)
  • Web Designer +55%

The key words “Entry-Level” turned up in 208% more online job posting titles in 2015 than in 2014.

Job titles trending downwards for job postings in 2015:

  • Personal Trainer -85%
  • Stylist, hair stylist, barbers -70%
  • Welder -65%
  • Executive Assistant -64%
  • Telemarketer -62%
  • Taxi driver -57%
  • Dental Hygienist – 53%
  • Electrician -49%

As noted, Canadians have apparently stopped hiring personal trainers, hair stylists, and dental hygienists in 2015. This may affect birth rates.

The most / least popular jobs of 2015 for Canadian candidates:

The most popular jobs for candidates were: [Measured by the greatest number of applications per job posting]

    • 1. Flight Attendant
    • 2. Chemist
    • 3. Counter Sales Agent
    • 4. Courier Operations
    • 5. Mail Clerk
    • 6. Clerical Assistant
    • 7. Warehouse Operator
    • 8. Cad Technician
    • 9. Quality Assurance Technician
  • 10. Medical Administrative Assistant

The least popular / hardest to fill jobs for employers: [Measured by the lowest volume of applications per job opening]

    • 1. Walkie Operator
    • 2. EMT Paramedic
    • 3. Order Picker
    • 4. General Labour Production Rotation
    • 5. Heavy Duty Mechanic Underground
    • 6. Tool Die Maker
    • 7. Tax Manager
    • 8. Cosmetic Manager
    • 9. Pharmacist Manager
    • 10. Warehouse Inside Sales

The most in-demand skills of 2015

Communications skills were the most requested ability in Canadian job postings this year. Employers told us they were struggling to find candidates with soft skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and customer relations more than they were people with required technical abilities.

However, along with those soft skills we can see a high level of demand for digital literacy and computer skills in more and more job postings. This is particularly true in the areas of document production, filing and sharing. Among the top skills sought after in Canadian job ads in 2015 were the following collection:

  • Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Works
  • Reports
  • Documentation
  • Computer use

Digital literacy is evolving to include more advanced computer skills as well, as among the hottest of the up-and-coming skill requirements appearing in job postings are coding and social media savvy.

The Workopolis Labour Forecast for Q1 2016

Workopolis is forecasting slow increases in employment into Q1 of 2016.

The gains in online job postings that we saw in the final months of 2015, as well as other key economic indicators, continue to show positive signs for increased employment in the months ahead.

Click on the image to view the download this report as a PDF.

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