Canada gained 32,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 per cent, according to the most recent Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey Report.
Highlights in March
- On a year-over-year basis, total employment rose by 296,000 (+1.6 per cent), with the number of full-time workers increasing by 335,000 (+2.3 per cent).
- Over the longer term, employment has been on an upward trend since the second half of 2016.
- In the past 12-month period, total hours worked rose by 2.2 percentage points
Employment remained steady across most provinces in March:
- In Quebec, employment rose by 16,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6 per cent. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment grew by 85,000 (+2.0 per cent).
- Employment in Alberta was little changed in March. On a year-over-year basis, employment rose by 41,000 (+1.8 per cent), and the unemployment rate declined 2.0 percentage points to 6.3 per cent. The unemployment rate in Alberta has been on a downward trend since its peak of 9.0 per cent in the fall of 2016.
- Employment in British Columbia held steady in March and has been relatively unchanged since the summer of 2017. On a year-over-year basis, employment grew by 33,000 or 1.3 per cent. British Columbia continued to have the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces at 4.7 per cent in March.
- In Ontario, employment was virtually unchanged in March and the unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province grew by 130,000 (+1.8 per cent), mostly in full-time work (+118,000 or +2.0 per cent).
Hiring Trends and Career Tips
Employers impressed by a job candidate’s resume often discover the person isn’t such a good match for the position after all, research shows. Nearly one-third of senior managers in Canada (29 per cent) said in a recent survey that it’s common for an applicant with a promising resume to not live up to expectations when interviewed.
The survey also looked at how much time employers spend assessing job candidates. Findings include:
- On average, managers review 34 resumes per job opening and spend 13 minutes looking at each one.
- Managers interview an average of 13 people per open position, and those meetings take an average of 26 minutes each.
- Verifying relevant experience is the top reason employers interview job candidates (57 per cent), followed by assessing soft skills and corporate culture fit (23 per cent) and technical skills (21 per cent).
A few tips for streamlining your recruiting process:
- Cultivate a talent pipeline — Odds are, you still have a list of former job applicants who didn’t make the final cut but were a good fit for your company. Update the list with referrals from your employees and networks.
- Create solid job descriptions — Be as specific as possible to capture the essence of the job, including key responsibilities and skill sets you need.
- Enlist help from your team — Your most senior staff members can save you precious time by helping process applications, reviewing resumes and narrowing down the list to your top candidates.
- Boost your recruitment — Gone are the days when you could put up a job posting, and the applications would come streaming in. You need to cast a wide net to get the word out, using job boards, social media, networking and advertising.