BC Leads Country in Job Vacancies
Prince George, B.C. – There is mixed news in the latest job vacancy rate in B.C.
B.C. has the highest job vacancy rate in the private sector in the country at 3%, meaning there are just over 50 thousand job openings. The national vacancy rate is 2.5%.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business Economist Aaron Aerts says the BC rate is a mixed blessing. “On the surface, it indicates the provincial job market is tight and the economy is doing relatively well. The downside is it’s also a clear indication many entrepreneurs are encountering a great deal of difficulty finding enough qualified people to work in their businesses.”
Aerts says having a vacant position for months on end can be a real detriment for businesses trying to grow. On the positive side, businesses often offer higher wages in order to attract people to fill those vacancies. According to the CFIB, businesses with job vacancies planned organization wide wage increases of 1.9%, compared to a 1.3% increase planned by businesses which are fully staffed.
Aerts says the vacancy rate in B.C. is expected to increase as the greying population retires “That’s why there is definitely a need to be cognisant that there should be action to train those who are unemployed. In B.C the unemployment rate is 6.6% which is relatively low compared to the rest of the country, but clearly there is a miss-match in skills and location of those veteran employees. Ideally you would like to see the unemployment rate come down and the vacancy rate come down, so that is just about a skill miss-match and location miss-match. ”
He says governments can encourage job training and offer re-location assistance for the unemployed He says government should also try to “work with businesses to try and figure out just exactly what they’re looking for. There’s also the ability of the provincial government to work with the federal government to try to fix the temporary foreign workers program and find ways to get workers from abroad to fill vacant positions.”
The CFIB survey also shows vacancy rates have gone up modestly in services sectors, and declined among goods producers.