Ottawa - The Conference Board of Canada’s Help-Wanted Index jumped 12.3 points in January 2013. That’s the largest gain since March 2011, and it brought the index to 139.8 -- its highest level ever.
The index has been on an upward trend over the past three years. However, the ups and downs we’ve seen in recent months point to only moderate employment growth in the near term. Based on the index, the Board expects to see a gain of 29,000 jobs for February 2013.
With the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, which had a small decline, every province posted a gain in its index in January. The largest gains were recorded in Western Canada. Saskatchewan’s index led the pack with a gain of 31.9 points. Alberta’s index was up 17.4 points and Manitoba’s registered a gain of 14.6 points. British Columbia’s index increased 7.4 points. Central Canada and the Maritimes posted healthy gains as well.
The Indicator of Labour Market Tightness – the ratio of the number of unemployed to online job postings – fell from 2 to 1.93 in January. At the provincial level, labour markets tightened in nine provinces, most of which took place in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.