According to the most recent Statistics Canada report in November, 2018, the unemployment rate in Canada is at a 40-year low of 5.8%. This is regarded as a situation of "full employment", which means that practically anyone seriously seeking a job will find one. Of course, economies work in cycles, and Canada's economy is no exception. Canada regularly experiences both recessions and periods of growth, just like any other economy in the world. The past few years have seen solid growth, leading to the low unemployment numbers.
It is interesting to note that the strong economic news comes at a time when low oil prices and delayed pipeline projects have significantly impacted the Canadian economy, particularly resources rich provinces in western Canada. Low oil prices have slowed hiring and investment and have impacted government budgets. Nonetheless, other sectors have been strong, including housing and IT.
In particular, the city of Toronto has experienced very strong growth in the high tech industry. According to some reports, Toronto is now the fastest growing tech city in North America, even surpassing Silicon Valley in terms of how fast it is growing. Several major technology companies have recently announced expansions or new headquarters in Toronto including Microsoft, Google, Uber, Intel, and Shopify. This is in addition to the hundreds of startups growing quietly in the Toronto-Waterloo high tech corridor.
Canada’s Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) reports that the unemployment rate in the IT sector is at 2.6%, but according to other estimates it is even lower. There is particularly strong demand for certain skill sets, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science where new university graduate starting salaries can range from $80,000 to more than $100,000 per year.
Meanwhile in London, Ontario, "Hiring" signs are popping up on many corners as companies struggle to fill open job postings. A number of manufacturers are offering signing bonuses in order to attract workers. But with an unemployment rate of 5.5%, it has been difficult to find new workers, even for unskilled factory jobs. Other industries in London are also facing difficulty hiring including the tech sector, construction and even restaurants. The story is the same across southwestern Ontario.
Canada has several federal and provincial immigration programs that have been tailored specifically to attract the talent Canada needs to continue growing its economy. In particular, IT workers have some specific programs that allow their applications to be fast-tracked. If you have experience in IT related fields and are interested in coming to Canada, please get in touch with us to learn more!