As the Canadian economy continues to slow, Canada’s job market is changing, and that’s had an effect on the skills that employers are looking for.
In 2023, amid record-low levels of unemployment, large swaths of the labour market faced skills and staffing shortages. But 2023 saw the labour market swing back in favour of employers as the unemployment rate ticks up.
Meanwhile, 2023 also saw the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI), as well as an unprecedented number of cyberattacks against large organizations.
Here’s a look at some of the top skills and industries that will be in high demand in 2024.
A SLOWING ECONOMY
The year started with an unemployment rate of five per cent in January, close to the record lows of 4.9 per cent that we saw in the summer of 2022. But over the course of 2023, the unemployment rate has slowly creeped up amid repeated interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada aimed at slowing down economic activity. As of November 2023, Canada’s unemployment rate stands at 5.8 per cent.
“It’s not the same job seekers’ market that it was at the start of 2022, when really across the economy employers were looking to add workers basically in almost every type of job,” said Brendon Bernard, senior economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.
The technology sector, in particular, has seen steep declines in hiring. This past year saw major layoffs at several large tech companies such as Shopify, Amazon, Microsoft and Spotify.
According to a November report from the Indeed Hiring Lab, software development and IT operations were the two sectors with the biggest declines in the number of job postings in Canada. Compared to November 2022, the number of job postings in these two sectors dropped 53 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.