Jobs report: The top 4 growing employment sectors in Canada

A building boom has led to a steady rise in construction salaries.

A building boom has led to a steady rise in construction salaries.


A global economics report released Thursday by Scotiabank details the country’s top sectors leading job growth and those that are waning.

The report indicates Canada’s post-recession economy continues to grow sluggishly – just 1.1 per cent annually since 2009. But that growth would be even slower if small businesses (less than 100 employees) weren’t padding the growth and preventing sharper deterioration. In the period between 2010 and 2015, small businesses, in particular within the construction, real estate, accommodation and food services, and professional services sectors, generated more than 500,000 new jobs and averaged a 1.4 per cent annual payroll increase.

The following industries are hiring and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future:

Construction: manual labour and engineering

With strong growth in the residential and commercial building sectors, as well as engineering works, the construction industry saw an average 3.4 per cent annual payroll increase between 2010 and 2015. Hiring activity has decreased somewhat over the last 18 months, due to slower industrial and commercial building, and less demand for drilling activity. Going forward, however, engineers will be in greater demand thanks to an increase in public infrastructure projects.

Accommodation and food services: restaurant and hotel staff

A 2.4 per cent yearly payroll hike is credited to a weak dollar that has prompted more Canadians to vacation at home while drawing in more foreign visitors, thus bolstering tourism. Lower gas prices have also boosted consumer spending, although spending will continue to trend toward self-service versus full-service restaurants.

Professional, scientific and technical services: IT design, accounting, legal, consulting, advertising and public relations

These industries saw an average payroll increase of 2.1 per cent, and employment growth remains strong across all categories within this sector.

Health care and social assistance: physicians, doctors, chiropractors, optometrists and home care

Payrolls within this sector have grown 2.1 per cent annually, and Canada’s aging population will continue to spur above average growth going forward.

Among the waning sectors are retail, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, and agriculture. Of these, only the mining, oil and gas industry is set to see a rise in hiring next year amid modest commodity price stabilization and export activity.

These same trends are seen among self-employed Canadians, where construction and industry-oriented professions have experienced the most growth.

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Drew Sauveur
Author: Drew Sauveur

Local business owner and resident of Durham Region

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