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Canada’s 2024 Job Market Forecast: Key Skills and Booming Industries

January 16, 2024

6- minute read

The professional landscape of Canada in 2024 presents a dynamic and evolving job market, with particular industries playing crucial roles in the country’s growth.

The labour market outlook for various professions, including Healthcare, Skilled Trades, Cybersecurity professionals, and others, indicates a range of conditions, from balanced markets to skilled worker shortages. This underscores a significant opportunity for individuals considering a career in these areas. It also signals to educators and policymakers the need for targeted initiatives to address labour gaps.

1. Healthcare Professions

Roles: Registered Nurses (RNs), Medical and Health Services Managers.
Skills and Qualifications Required: Strong healthcare background, up-to-date certifications, leadership and communication skills.

With an aging population, the demand for healthcare professionals remains robust. Registered Nurses and Health Services Managers are pivotal in providing quality care and managing healthcare facilities efficiently. The demand for registered and psychiatric nurses significantly outpaced the supply between 2019 and 2021. Looking ahead to 2031, this trend is expected to continue. In Canada, there are anticipated to be 155,400 new job openings in these fields, yet only 143,700 new job seekers are expected to emerge. In Manitoba, an annual labour gap of 295 registered nurses and psychiatric nurses is expected to 2026.

2. Information Technology and Software Development

Roles: Software Developers, Data Scientists/Analysts, Cybersecurity Specialists.
Skills and Qualifications Required: Proficiency in programming languages, data analysis skills, and cybersecurity certifications.

Looking ahead to 2031 presents a unique scenario for software developers, particularly computer programmers and interactive media developers. Recent labour market assessments, considering factors like job vacancies, employment growth, and unemployment rates, indicate that from 2019 to 2021, the demand in this field substantially exceeded the supply. In Canada, there are projected to be 80,500 new job openings due to market expansion and the need for replacements. However, the number of new job seekers from graduates, immigrants, and other sources is expected to be higher, at 89,900. Despite this, the labour shortage seen in recent years is anticipated to continue until 2031.

3. Skilled Trades

Roles: Mechanics, Carpenters, Electricians.
Skills and Qualifications Required: Technical certifications, hands-on experience, and problem-solving abilities.

Skilled trades continue to be indispensable. Electricians, mechanics, and carpentry professionals are vital in various industries, contributing to maintenance and infrastructure development. In Manitoba, a combined annual labour gap of 451 for these occupations is expected to 2026. Key insights for these occupations include predominantly working in construction with trends driven by robust construction activity and infrastructure investments and employed in manufacturing, engineering services, and utilities, influenced by advanced manufacturing processes and automotive industry investments.

4. Finance and Accounting

Roles: Accountants, Auditors.
Skills and Qualifications Required: Accounting degrees, professional certifications, and attention to detail.

For the occupation group of financial auditors and accountants, the labour market is expected to remain balanced between demand and supply at the national level from 2024 to 2031. New job openings for financial auditors and accountants are expected to total 88,000, arising from both expansion and replacement demand. In contrast, approximately 79,800 new job seekers, coming from school leavers, immigration, and mobility, are anticipated to be available to fill these openings. In Manitoba, an annual labour gap of 129 accountants and auditors is expected to 2026.

5. Sales and Marketing

Roles: Sales Representatives, Marketing Specialists.
Skills and Qualifications required: Excellent communication, marketing strategy knowledge, and relationship-building skills.

The labour market outlook for Retail Salespersons and Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations is expected to be balanced from 2024 to 2031 at the national level.

Retail Salespersons’ future looks different despite a significant shortage between 2019 and 2021 due to rapid labour demand increases. Looking ahead to 2031, there are expected to be 149,200 new job openings, while 168,300 new job seekers are anticipated, suggesting an end to the previous shortage and a move towards balanced conditions. In Manitoba, an annual labour gap of 182 retail salespersons’ is expected to 2026.

Similarly, the labour supply was sufficient for Marketing Specialists and related professions to meet demand from 2019 to 2021. From 2022 to 2031, it is projected that there will be 73,700 new job openings, with 67,200 new job seekers expected to fill them. This indicates that the balanced conditions observed in recent years will continue.

6. Engineering

Roles: Civil Engineers, Software Engineers.
Skills and Qualifications Required: Engineering degrees, project management skills, proficiency in relevant software.

The labour market outlook for Civil Engineers and Software Engineers in Canada from 2022 to 2031 is expected to experience shortages at the national level.

Despite an expected total of 32,300 new job seekers for Civil Engineers, including school leavers, immigrants, and others, the projected job openings are only about 26,100. This gap between supply and demand indicates a continuation of the labour shortage seen in recent years.

Similarly, the demand is expected to exceed the supply of software engineers and designers. From 2019 to 2021, there was already a substantial excess of demand over supply. For the 2022-2031 period, there are projected to be 44,300 new job openings, against a higher number of potential job seekers estimated at 48,800. Despite the higher number of job seekers, the shortage of workers in this field is anticipated to persist.

Despite national anticipated shortages in these engineering disciplines, Manitoba will continue to see a trend of labour surplus to 2026.

7. Human Resources

Roles: HR Managers, HR Specialists.
Skills and Qualifications Required: Human resources certifications and organizational development knowledge.

The labour market outlook for both Human Resources Managers and Human Resources Professionals in Canada from 2022 to 2031 is expected to remain balanced nationally.

For Human Resources Managers, the period is projected to see 18,200 new job openings due to expansion and replacement demand, with around 20,900 new job seekers expected. This suggests that the number of available positions and potential candidates will be closely aligned, maintaining the balance seen in recent years. The same is true for Manitoba.

Similarly, for Human Resources Professionals, the forecast indicates 48,600 new job openings over the same period, against 46,100 new job seekers entering the market. This alignment of job openings and job seekers also points to a continuation of the balanced market conditions observed in recent years.

Sources: Canada Hires, Manitoba Labour Market Outlook

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