Statistics Canada just released the January 2019 , reporting an increase in employment of 66,800 as more people joined the workforce. At the same time, the unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 per cent.
Highlights in January
- The number of people employed increased by 66,800 in January, mostly among youth aged 15 to 24 and in the services-producing industries
- On a year-over-year basis, total employment was up 327,000 or 1.8 per cent
- Over the same period, total hours worked were up 1.2 per cent
Employment rose in six provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec. At the same time, employment declined in Alberta while it was little changed in British Columbia.
- In Ontario, the number of people employed rose by 41,000 in January, the result of an increase in full-time work. At the same time, more people looked for work (+31,000), pushing the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 5.7 per cent.
- Employment was up 16,000 in Quebec in January, driven by younger workers. The unemployment rate in the province was little changed at 5.4 per cent.
- Employment in Alberta declined for the second consecutive month, down 16,000 in January. Unemployment in the province was up 9,500 and the unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 6.8 per cent.
What employers need to know
If your business is falling short of its recruitment goals, the tight employment market may only be partly to blame. Another possibility is that your hiring requirements are too stringent.
You should apply high standards when hiring talent for your firm, of course. But you must be careful not to set the bar so high that you overlook promising applicants who could do the job but may not meet all your must-have requirements. You also risk deterring skilled candidates from even applying.
When creating your job posting and evaluating applicants, carefully select the skills and attributes that a professional absolutely needs to perform the job well. Remain flexible on everything else. This can help shorten how long it takes to hire.
It’s also worth enlisting the help of a recruiter, who can dig deep into a candidate’s qualifications and assess other important hiring factors, like organizational culture fit.
Recruiters may also know of professionals who would be ideal for your team but whom you might have overlooked. These candidates may need only a little training and extra ramp-up time to succeed.
What job seekers need to know
No doubt you’re aware that the employment market is in your favour. But what if you’ve applied to several positions and heard nothing back?
Here are a few things that could be undermining your job search success:
- You don’t include keywords in your job application materials. Many employers use tools to scan resumes and cover letters, looking for the same words that they’ve used in their job postings. If you’re not working in relevant keywords, your application may be getting dismissed right from the start.
- You’re not highlighting your soft skills. Interpersonal skills are essential for success in today’s collaborative work environment. So, while an employer will want to know that you can handle the technical duties of a job, they’ll be just as interested in your communication skills, customer service mindset and ability to empathize with others.
- You’re not explaining how you’ve created value in previous roles. Your resume should not be a laundry list of all the responsibilities you’ve managed in the past. Yes, you should describe the key duties of the roles you’ve held. But, when possible, tie those responsibilities to clear outcomes.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to have help. Building a strong relationship with a recruiter can help ensure you’re marketing your skills and experience most effectively. A recruiter can also identify job opportunities you might not have considered. And, most important, a recruiter can help an employer see your potential — even if you don’t meet all the criteria on paper.