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Job Vacancies, third quarter 2017

The third quarter of 2017 is proving that the economy is continuing on it’s robust growth as Canadian businesses reported 468,000 job vacancies, up 62,000 (+15.1%) from the third quarter a year earlier.

The job vacancy rate represents the sum of all vacant jobs expressed as a percentage of overall labour demand.  Simply, there are more job vacancies than people to fill those vacant jobs.

British Columbia is leading the trend in Canada with a third quarter increase of 16,000 (+20.2%) job vacancies from the previous year.  BC has the highest rate at 4.2% up from 3.6% the third quarter of 2016.  Meaning, more jobs than people to fill them.

So What?

Well if the trend continues it will become increasing difficult for employers to find appropriate employees.  We will see more “Help Wanted” signs in windows.  It could make it easier for people to secure opportunities as employers may need to lower their expectations on what is an appropriate or qualified candidate.  Mid-term, it could increase wages as employers compete for the best qualified candidates.  Long term it could even slow the overall economy as businesses scale back production and services due to labour shortages.

So savvy employers are being proactive and already posting summer positions with the hope of locking up summer employees now, before it’s too late.

Now What?

The summer of 2018 looks like a great time to find a summer job as there may be more vacancies than previous years.  As always, it doesn’t hurt to start your search now and although many employers don’t know what their needs will be in May, if they are savvy they could be open to discussing summer employment already.

For you, start by preparing yourself and your marketing tools (resume, cover letter, references, portfolio).  Research and identify what organizations you are interested in working with this summer and professionally, respectfully introduce yourself.  Don’t wait for posted positions to emerge but be prepared that the organization might not be ready to accept applicants or new employees just yet.  But by introducing yourself and your interest you are potentially helping them solve a problem.  Be proactive, respectful, enthusiastic and professional, most employers would love to have summer employees like that.

November 2017 – Labour Force Survey

Labour Force Survey – November 2017


The BC economy has contributed significantly to Canadian employment increases in November 2017 dropping the unemployment rate below 6% for the first time since February 2008.  Since November 2016, a number of provincial economies have seen the number of fulltime jobs increase in Ontario by 181,000, in BC by 92,000, in Quebec by 78,000 and in PEI by 2,500.  BC’s unemployment rate remains the lowest in the country at 4.8%, followed by Manitoba, Quebec 5.4% and Ontario 5.5%.

Year over year employment gains occurred in both goods and service sector with construction adding 49,600 jobs and manufacturing 91,200, trade 82, 400, professional scientific technical 76,900, transportation 50,000 and healthcare 50,100 to November 2017.

Canadian Economy: Fall 2017

Canadian Economy: Fall 2017


Canadian full time employment for core-age workers (25-54) strengthened through the first half of 2017 and is continuing into the third quarter although at a slower pace.  Annual Canadian employment growth strengthened to above 2% during the summer months lowering the national unemployment rate.

Total employment rose by 186,000 (+1.0%) during the first half of 2017, led by gains in full-time work and among core-age individuals (aged 25 to 54). Gains in professional, scientific and technical services and in health care and social assistance, accounted for over two-thirds of the overall increase with manufacturing leading the goods sector growth.

BC Led Employment Growth

British Columbia led employment growth among the provinces during the first six months of the year; overall full-time employment in British Columbia rose by 78,000.

National Real GDP

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in a number of goods and services industries from November 2016 to June 2017, with increases occurring in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, construction wholesale trade, retail trade, and finance industries.  Overall, real GDP growth, measured year-over-year, increased steadily from January, before rising above 4% in May and June.  Over the past four quarters, economic growth in Canada has outpaced growth in the United States

Despite this robust economic growth, the consumer price inflation decelerated from 2.1% in January 2017 to 1.0% in June.  This reduced inflationary pressure appears to influence consumer spending supported by higher outlays on automobiles, clothing, footwear and housing-related expenditures.


Retrieved and adapted October 19, 2017 from

The sharing Economy in Canada

Many of us have taken an Uber or stayed at a private residence through AirBNB when we travel.  According to Statistics Canada it is estimated that in one year (November 2015 to October 2016) over $1.1 Billion was spent by Canadians domestically ($367 million) and internationally ($698 million) for private accommodations and $241 million on ride sharing. (StatsCAN, 2017,02,28).

In BC the PST (provincial sales tax) on accommodations is 8% and each typical hotel/motel room generates an additional MRDT (municipal and regional district tax) of up to 3% to raise revenues for tourism marketing, projects and programs within the municipality.

It begs the question; what are the long term implications of this trend?  Although this report targets Canadian travelers, how much accommodation revenue is lost to international travelers visiting Canada due to the sharing economy?  What are the overall tax implications to communities? How much revenue is lost?

Full disclosure, I have stayed at an AirBNB’s while traveling and found the experience to be positive and at the time I did it purely to save money while in North Vancouver ($50 a night for a private room Queen bed and shared bathroom compared to  $120 plus $15 parking Queen bedroom).  Truthfully at the time I didn’t really consider the implications of my actions. I hadn’t considered the tax revenues lost to the province or the municipality. I was just looking for a cheap place to stay near the North Shore mountain biking trails.  Through this experience I gave up my typical autonomy and anonymity associated with hotel travel and gained a unanticipated experience meeting travelers from India, USA and UK. I was able to hear through their international eyes, and experiences what they thought of Vancouver, BC and Canada.  So I have seen both sides, but I will likely limit my shared accommodations adventures in the future

What are your thoughts? What are your experiences?


July 2014 Labour Force Survey

July 2014 Labour Force Survey
Brief adapted from

Summer employment for students*
Age Unemployment Rate
20 – 24 8%
17 – 19 16.8%
15 – 16 28%

30,000 more students aged 20 to 24 were employed in July 2014 compared to July 2013 resulting in an unemployment rate of 8% and employment rate of 70%, little changed when compared with a year earlier.
According to the LFS most of the increase occurred in part-time employment.

For students aged 17 to 19, the July 2014 unemployment rate was unchanged at 16.8% with an employment rate of 58.5% both rates similar to those observed in July 2013.

Students aged 15 to 16, suffered an unemployment rate of 28.0%, with an employment rate of 29.6%, virtually unchanged compared with July 2013.
*NOTE: The Labour Force Survey collects labour market data from May to August, about young people (students) aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March and who intend to return to school full time in the fall. Statistical comparisons are on a year-over-year basis, as the published data is not seasonally adjusted.

Province Unemployment rate
BC 6.1
Alberta 4.5
Saskatchewan 3.3
Manitoba 5.1
Ontario 7.4
Quebec 8.1
New Brunswick 9.8
Nova Scotia 9.1
Prince Edward Island 9.4
Newfoundland/Labrador 11.9

Canada-US comparison**
Canada 6.0%
US 6.2%
**Note: Adjusted to US concepts
For further information, see “The labour market in Canada and the United States since the last recession, 2007 to 2014.”

Canadian Employment Trends, June 2014

Canadian Employment Trends, June 2014
Employment increased by 60,000 in June for people aged 55+ dropping their unemployment rate down to 5.8%.

The unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1% as employment declined by 26,000 for people aged 25 to 54, mostly among women.

44,000 fewer Canadians aged 15 to 24 were employed in June increasing the unemployment rate to13.4%.

Student summer employment*
The unemployment rate for students aged 20 – 24 was 12.0%, little changed from 12 months earlier with the number of employed, as a percentage of their population, was 67.4%, similar to that of June 2013.
*Note: May to August The Labour Force Survey collects and compares year over year data (not seasonally adjusted) for Canadians aged 15 to 24 who were attending school full time in March with the intend to return full time in the fall. As many students aged 15 to 19 are still in school, the June survey results provide the first indicators of the post-secondary summer job market, especially for students aged 20 to 24.
Retrieved and edited July 11, 2014 from

Best and Worst Words Used in a Resume

This is not original from me but I thought it was helpful for students as they write resumes, Source: Career Builder

Hiring Managers Rank Best and Worst Words to Use in a Résumé in New CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO – March 13, 2014 – One in six (17 percent) hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less, on average, reviewing résumés, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. A majority (68 percent) spend less than two minutes. With so little time to capture interest, even a candidate’s word choice can make a difference. The nationwide sample of employers identified which commonly-used résumé terms are overused or cliché and which are strong additions.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 6 to December 2, 2013, and included a representative sample of 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

“Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”

The Worst Résumé Terms

The following terms are résumé turn-offs as selected by respondents:

1. Best of breed: 38 percent

2. Go-getter: 27 percent

3. Think outside of the box: 26 percent

4. Synergy: 22 percent

5. Go-to person: 22 percent

6. Thought leadership: 16 percent

7. Value add: 16 percent

8. Results-driven: 16 percent

9. Team player: 15 percent

10. Bottom-line: 14 percent

11. Hard worker: 13 percent

12. Strategic thinker: 12 percent

13. Dynamic: 12 percent

14. Self-motivated: 12 percent

15. Detail-oriented: 11 percent

16. Proactively: 11 percent

17. Track record: 10 percent

The Best Résumé Terms

There are, however, several strong verbs and terms candidates can use to help describe their experience. The following are terms employers would like to see on a résumé:

1. Achieved: 52 percent

2. Improved: 48 percent

3. Trained/Mentored: 47 percent

4. Managed: 44 percent

5. Created: 43 percent

6. Resolved: 40 percent

7. Volunteered: 35 percent

8. Influenced: 29 percent

9. Increased/Decreased: 28 percent

10. Ideas: 27 percent

11. Negotiated: 25 percent

12. Launched: 24 percent

13. Revenue/Profits: 23 percent

14. Under budget: 16 percent

15. Won: 13 percent

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals between November 6 and December 2, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,201, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-2.09 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Ryan Hunt


CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164

7 Summer Job Search Strategies

Summer has arrived and it’s the time of year when students and graduates are looking for work.
The Canadian unemployment rate among returning students aged 20 to 24, was 14.4% in May 2014, little changed from May 2013.
So what can you do to improve your chances of landing a summer or post-graduation job?

Think critically and act strategically.
Common sense may suggest that you apply for as many jobs as possible; however, this approach may prove counterproductive. If this is your current strategy, you may not realize how much time you’re wasting in your job search.
Job search experts often state that only 15 – 20% of jobs are ever advertised, and the typical jobseeker spends a majority of their valuable job search time and energy competing with other job seekers for these limited number of posted jobs.
A more successful approach would be to critically think about what you would like to do and carefully research the positions and employers that seem the best fit in your chosen arena. Strategically begin networking to locate the unadvertised positions and to learn about the key people who work there. Target those appropriate employers and customize (target) your resume and cover letter to each employer and politely follow up each and every contact. This strategy requires you explain your relevant skills and experience for each position and how you qualify or meet the needs of the position. Although this might be more time consuming, this is a much more effective approach then blasting your resume to every email address you can find at your dream company.

Meet professionals for coffee.
In addition to searching for jobs, successful professionals leverage and build personal/professional networks. Society today relies heavily on technology to make connections (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.) While it definitely helps to send networking emails and interact with professionals on social media, there’s an added value when you meet a person for coffee.
Successful job seekers realize the importance of in-person connections; therefore, they take advantage of every opportunity they can to meet professionals for coffee. Meeting professionals’ in-person increases value to your job search. Potentially you multiply the number of people supporting you in a job search, these professionals may not have a position to offer you, but they may know of an opportunity or someone in their network who does.

Understand your job search limitations.
Are you fixated on finding the perfect job? Are you overwhelmed when it comes to writing a perfect resume and cover letter? Does taking someone for coffee cause you to panic? Moving out from your computer traumatize you? Do you feel over or under qualified?
When stressed, successful job seekers face the problem instead of avoiding it; they realize they are not the perfect candidate. However, when there is an obstacle or stressor blocking them from finding a job, they do their best to remove the problem from their search. They seek support from others, tackle one task at a time, and acknowledge their limitations.
Paying attention to your weaknesses creates the self-awareness required to keep you moving forward in your job search rather than taking steps backwards.

Exude a positive attitude.
When your job search doesn’t materialize as planned, it can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Discouragement can emerge even to the most prepared and optomistic, whether you’re not landing interviews or you’re getting interviews but no one wants to hire you.
Successful job seekers who experience low points in their job search don’t allow it to consume their search or their positive attitude. They realize every employer has a specific candidate in mind and you can’t always be all things to all employers. If an interview doesn’t end in a job offer, consider using it as an opportunity to learn how you can improve for next time.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, successful job seekers adopt a proactive and professional approach through requesting a five (5) or ten (10) minute follow-up discussion with the interviewer to explore ways to improve interview skills or to prepare for future opportunities. This exudes a positive and professional attitude that may not turn the “No” to a “Yes you’re hired,” but it does present you as a positive person. Most employers like to hire positive professionals.

Persist and remain patient.
No one can predict how long your job search will take, but you have to remember to be patient and persistent. Successful job seekers realize it could take weeks, months, or even a year to find a job that meets their goals. However, they don’t let time get the most of their job search.
Although you feel the pressure to find a job, and even if you’ve continuously applied for jobs for six months and haven’t had any luck, you need to stay focused. Don’t give up on your job search and change your plans just because you haven’t found a job. If you’re struggling, reach out to your alumni networks, mentors, and friends who might be able to connect you with a job.

Consider an internship, co-op or volunteer.
Especially if you’re in university/college or a recent grad with little experience, it can be difficult to land an entry-level career position right away. An internship or co-op may provide some of the very valuable experiences that augment your education.
Occasionally, successful job seekers realize they may need to go the extra mile to land a job and volunteering in the community or with a company provides the experience, validates skills and makes professional connections that facilitates an entry way into a career.

Maintain an open mind.
Landing your dream job is definitely a goal for most students or grads. Although it’d be awesome to land the perfect job that fulfills your passions and provides a nice paycheck, you might not find that job for a few more years.
Successful job seekers realize finding your dream job is a journey. Just because you don’t land your dream job immediately after college doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goals or should stop your job search. Every professional needs to start somewhere, which is why it’s important to maintain an open mind when searching for your first job. Keep yourself open to other opportunities, keep connected with your network, update your skills, take professionals for coffee, exude a positive attitude, remain persistent and keep an open mind.

What are your thoughts to these strategies?
What have you done to be successful?

Blog post influenced by The Brand Muse