Employers are seeking fewer temporary workers and interns this summer, according to one of the country’s leading jobs sites, a signal that Canada’s tight labour market could be normalizing after two years of strong growth.
Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd.’s Indeed, a web-based hiring platform that connects employers with job seekers, said postings for summer jobs were down 17 per cent from 2022, while advertisements for internships dropped 19 per cent, according to a report published May 18.
The report used the week of May 12 as its benchmark for year-over-year comparisons. Total Canadian job postings were down 21 per cent over that period, the report said.
Companies’ hiring appetite was strong in 2022, despite inflation peaking above eight per cent in June, the fastest since the early 1980s. But a year on, the impact of higher costs and interest rates appear to be weighing on the labour market, said Brendon Bernard, an economist at Indeed.
“The huge boom in hiring appetite and job openings… has been fading over the past year,” Bernard said, adding that even though demand for typical summer jobs, such as camp counsellor, has cooled, it still remains elevated compared with pre-pandemic levels.
Summer job postings are 55 per cent higher than in 2019, while internships were up 18 per cent compared with that year, the report said.
“It’s not the exceptional job-seekers’ market that was prevailing last year,” Bernard said.
Canada’s labour market has remained stubbornly tight despite high inflation and policymakers lifting the benchmark interest rate 4.25 percentage points in the span of a year.
Postings for internships tend to follow a different hiring cycle than summer jobs, with hiring happening typically in fall and winter. Those postings had a strong start in 2023 but have fallen, especially in “white collar” fields such as technology, marketing and finance, Bernard said.