Statistics Canada releases employment figures in the first week of every month. We parse the data the morning it is published, and share what we think is the most valuable overview for our clients.
Below the data charts you will also find our latest insight and analysis from Goldbeck president Henry Goldbeck, plus our featured industry leader. This month we’re featuring Aulona Noka, Head of Global Marketing at Garaventa Lift.
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Canada’s employment picture remained relatively unchanged in July, shedding 31,000 jobs, according to data released on Aug 5 by Statistics Canada.1 Unemployment held steady at 4.9%, matching June’s historic low.
Despite the tight labour market, there was no rush toward new jobs on the behalf of employees. Several statistical categories which measure ‘labour market churn’ remained flat.
There were 33,000 fewer jobs held by women over 55, mostly due to retirements among those 65 and older.
The share of employees who ‘worked most of their hours from home’ increased by 0.4% to 24.2%. Those who ‘worked some hours at home and some hours at another location’ increased 1.2% to 7.4%. This is double January’s total.
The service sector lost jobs in July, while the goods producing sector saw gains.
53,000 service jobs were shed, with losses occurring in wholesale and retail trade, health care and social assistance, educational services, and business building and other support services. The goods producing sector was up by 23,000 jobs.
The number of those working in the public sector dipped by 1.2% in July, with 51,000 jobs lost. Despite this, the total remains up 215,000 year over year.
The private sector remained flat on the month, while the number of self-employed rose by 34,000, an increase of 1.3%.
Health care and social assistance job totals were down 22,000. This marks the second straight monthly decline, despite 143,000 job vacancies in the sector.
Avoiding Candidate Loss During the Recruiting and Interview Process
While compensation is key to attracting talent in a candidates’ market, so too is a professional and transparent recruiting process.
“I would say that most of our clients have gotten that message,” explains Goldbeck Recruiting President Henry Goldbeck. “They know that it’s hard to find candidates, so once they find one, they are moving pretty quickly.”2
Goldbeck believes that communication is equally as important as expediency. “It’s important to treat candidates respectfully, and to let them know what the process is,” he advises.
Diverse Talent Found by Looking at Diverse Backgrounds
Aulona Noka, Head of Global Marketing for Surrey-based Garaventa Lift and founder of branding and earned media agency Minimal K., believes that companies often miss out on talent by conducting narrow searches.
“Recruiters should be open to candidate profiles which are less typical or traditional,” says Noka. “We mustn’t limit our searches to candidates who’ve worked for company X and company Y or who have studied at SFU or UBC.”3
Noka believes that the marketing function in particular benefits from a broad range of perspectives.
“Those with a narrow scope not only limit their opportunity to hire highly qualified people, but also their opportunity to innovate.”
Has a Candidates’ Market Led to Fewer or More Successful Placements?
One might expect expedient hiring to lead to mistakes, but this is not what Goldbeck has seen. In fact, he believes that the current jobs market is resulting in better placements.
“I think in some ways it improves the success rate, because candidates have more options right now, and as a result are more likely to be really clear on what is important to them and thus are making career decisions based on that clarity,” says Goldbeck. “I think there’s more transparency on the candidate side in terms of what they’re looking for, as well as on the part of the company attracting employees.”
Are Older Workers Being Underutilized?
One proposed solution to the labour shortage is better utilization of older workers. While companies are often called out for the lack of opportunities they present to older Canadians, Goldbeck believes that many left the job market during the pandemic over health and safety concerns. While older candidates who could afford to leave the job market did so, as Covid slowly recedes and high employment rates continue to offer more attractive employment opportunities, many of these individuals will return to work.
Could a Recession Erode Employee Advancements?
A looming recession could put employee gains in salary and work-life balance in jeopardy. While Goldbeck acknowledges this possibility, he doesn’t expect a full-scale reversal.
“Right now employers are moving their salary ranges up, or making initial offers near the top of their range,” he says. “If there is a recession leading to higher unemployment, employers would hire at the mid or lower part of their salary ranges but are unlikely to lower those ranges.”
Goldbeck doesn’t believe the hybrid work model is going anywhere. “I think everybody, including the managers, like it too much for it to disappear,” he says. “Companies that haven’t adapted well, or who moved to hybrid begrudgingly, may go back, but I believe it’s here to stay for most companies though the amount of flexibility may change.”
Pros and Cons of Virtual Events
The virtual model has also impacted conferences and other networking events. Noka believes that holding such events virtually has its pros and cons.
“Virtual events have suffered in terms of attendance, efficiency, and ROI,” she says. “If they are for the purposes of networking, retention, or lead generation, they do not work as well.” With events returning to an in-person format, Noka is excited to see numbers rebounding to pre-pandemic levels.
She believes, however, that the virtual format works well for educational events, particularly within a B2B framework.
“We lead a lunch and learn for architects which has benefited from the shift towards digital,” she says. “The advertising, subscription, and delivery are all digital, which works with a digitally literate audience. It fits better with their schedules.”