There are nearly 16 million estimated jobs for employees in the Canadian economy. That’s a small increase over 2013, and a continuation of a trend that has seen the total jobs in Canada grow gradually every year since 2009. There are now almost a million more jobs in Canada than there were six years ago, and almost two million more than 10 years ago. But while the total number of jobs is increasing gradually, there are many sectors in the economy that are adding new jobs more rapidly. To find them, we used EMSI’s recently released 2014.1 dataset for Canada to identify the occupations that are projected to add the most jobs from 2013 to 2014. The data revealed some perennial favourites, as well as some surprises. Here are the top 10 (complete data on the top 20 may be found in the table below).
Leading the pack are low-paying jobs such as food counter attendants and kitchen helpers, which pay a median wage of a little more than $10 an hour — only a notch above minimum wage in most provinces. Administrative officers are second, though, with over 6,000 projected new jobs, and jobs in that occupation pay more than twice as much, with a median wage of $21.63. In third place are secondary and elementary school teachers, who are expected to add 5,480 jobs and earn a very healthy median wage of $35.62. And, rounding out the top five, registered nurses and nurse aides, orderlies, and patient services are projected to add over 5,000 jobs apiece with median wages of $35.58 and $18.72, respectively.
By and large, these occupations are low- and middle-skilled jobs with wages to match. To some extent this is because the classification system tends to lump these kinds of jobs together (e.g., food counter attendants), while the wide range of higher-skilled jobs may be growing at a faster percentage rate, but will have smaller growth numbers because of their specialization and small size. Even in smaller occupations, however, EMSI projects very few growth rates of above 5% for 2014. That’s hardly surprising, given that the workforce as a whole is only expected to grow by 1.7% from 2013 to 2014. Viewed against that slow growth, the top 10 occupations are in fact quite healthy, with all but one of them growing at a projected pace of at least 2%
It’s worth pointing out that these numbers only tell part of the story on job development. In many occupations, like nursing and teaching, the data appears to contradict both personal experiences (“my sister has a nursing degree and she can’t find a job”) and highly publicized labor shortages and hiring cuts. While any number of factors may be involved in that apparent disparity, one of the most important things to remember is that the growth in jobs that the data presents is only an increase in demand, and says nothing about how that demand relates to the available supply of qualified or interested workers. To get some perspective on why it may seem like jobs are few and far between in occupations that are actually growing, we turned to EMSI’s data on postsecondary program completions for some of those occupations. The chart below compares the estimated 2013-2014 job growth for four of the top 10 occupations to the number of postsecondary completions in related fields.
In these four cases especially there are significantly more students being trained with the qualifications for the jobs than there are actual openings available. This data isn’t precise, since there is a difference between total new jobs and actual openings (which, thanks to turnover and workers changing occupations, may be higher). As well, data on the number of relevant annual completions is not precise — many degrees and certifications qualify graduates for jobs in a variety of occupations, leading to a certain amount of double-counting between occupations — but the overall picture is clear: Canadian institutions appear to be overtraining for many popular occupations.
NOC-S Description 2013 Jobs 2014 Jobs Change % Change 2013 Median Hourly Earnings Regional Completions (2011) Completion / Change Gap
Source: Employees - EMSI 2014.1
G961 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related occupations 343,564 349,816 6,252 2% $10.54 3,931 2,321
B311 Administrative officers 229,312 235,472 6,160 3% $21.63 41,894 (35,734)
E130 Secondary and elementary school teachers and educational counsellors, n.e.c. 175,395 180,875 5,480 3% $35.62 24,958 (19,478)
D112 Registered nurses 295,474 300,843 5,369 2% $35.58 36,650 (31,281)
D312 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates 242,967 248,222 5,255 2% $18.72 36,618 (31,363)
G311 Cashiers 367,595 371,977 4,382 1% $10.39 0 4,382
H821 Construction trades helpers and labourers 132,877 136,896 4,019 3% $19.09 0 4,019
H711 Truck drivers 243,887 247,802 3,915 2% $20.29 597 3,318
E212 Community and social service workers 132,465 136,146 3,681 3% $20.67 29,118 (25,437)
G972 Grocery clerks and store shelf stockers 187,250 190,893 3,643 2% $11.10 0 3,643
C071 Information systems analysts and consultants 133,860 137,438 3,578 3% $35.05 39,756 (36,178)
E217 Early childhood educators and assistants 148,794 152,341 3,547 2% $16.78 37,658 (34,111)
G011 Retail trade supervisors 181,812 185,326 3,514 2% $16.05 33,134 (29,620)
B011 Financial auditors and accountants 177,242 180,731 3,489 2% $29.38 22,876 (19,387)
G211 Retail salespersons and sales clerks 560,496 563,917 3,421 1% $11.47 32,914 (29,493)
G931 Light duty cleaners 169,793 173,030 3,237 2% $13.60 0 3,237
G933 Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 198,246 201,464 3,218 2% $16.51 4,447 (1,229)
H812 Material handlers 206,869 210,042 3,173 2% $15.87 0 3,173
C181 Computer network technicians 65,481 68,357 2,876 4% $27.47 7,605 (4,729)
G412 Cooks 197,567 200,075 2,508 1% $11.87 4,937 (2,429)
Total 4,390,946 4,471,664 80,718 2% $18.39