Congratulations, you’ve graduated! Now, wouldn’t it be nice to land a job so you can start paying off those student loans? Unfortunately for you, the global economy more-or-less tanked while you were hitting the books. I can relate: I graduated university in the mid-1990s when 10 journalism grads were applying for every lowly beat gig at a community newspaper. That’s why I ended up freelancing. Even if you’re not willing to take the plunge into self-employment, relax. There are industries and regions of the country where business is booming. Here’s where to find those jobs:
Employment Rates Are Up – Really!
First off, some good news if you’re an older graduate: According to the May 2012 Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada, 19,000 more men aged 25 and older found work that month. In the past year, there’s been a 1.6 per cent increase in job grow for a total of 129,000 new jobs for this sector. For women, the rate in May was unchanged, but the employment rate for the past 12 months is up 1.7 per cent, correlating to 121,000 additional jobs.
Students aged 20 to 24 also seem to be faring a bit better in the summer (May through August) work market. The unemployment rate for that age group was 14.9 per cent in May, down significantly from the 18.2 per cent rate – that’s almost one in five – back in May 2009.
Industry Specific Job Growth
Statistics Canada highlighted four specific industries seeing the most growth. In order, they are manufacturing, educational services, retail and wholesale trade, and agriculture. Not surprisingly, jobs in the resources sector (forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas) are up 12.1 in the past year.
One surprising sector for job growth is in the call centre industry. While it’s traditionally been a tactic for companies to outsource overseas, higher wages and dissatisfaction with service have lead many companies – including BCE Inc and Sears Canada – to repatriate those jobs, which has been a real boon to job-depressed Atlantic Canada.
Go West Young Men And Women
It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of job you’re looking for if you’re willing to relocate to Alberta – particularly in and around Calgary. With the local oil and resources industries in a seemingly endless boom, there’s been spillover into related industries (like trucking and construction) and beyond into service industries and housing to feed and shelter the growing ranks of the gainfully employed – success that is reflected by Cowtown’s housing market.
Neighbouring Saskatchewan is also in the midst of an oil-exploration boom. Good news for job seekers; bad news for those who’d actually like a roof over their heads at the end of the workday. The CMHC calculates that the rental vacancy rate in Regina is a miniscule 0.6 per cent.
As of May 2012, Alberta’s unemployment rate was a mere 4.5 per cent – almost a third of the 12 per cent unemployment rate in Newfoundland and Labrador – and the lowest it’s been since December 2008. The entire Atlantic region continues to face high unemployment rates, with PEI at 11.3 per cent, New Brunswick at 9.4, and Nova Scotia not much better at 9.2. Back out West, Saskatchewan (4.5 per cent) and Manitoba (5.1 per cent) enjoy rates comparable to those in Alberta. The outlook isn’t as rosy in B.C., where the unemployment rate jumped more than a full point to 7.4 percent. So if you’re looking for work, migrating to Western Canada seems to be the best option. Just stop before you hit the B.C. border.