- Nova Scotia Canada - Government of Nova Scotia

Home > Economics and Statistics > Selected Daily Stats Article
For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

October 12, 2017

Statistics Canada has released its quarterly job vacancy and wage survey (unadjusted for seasonality). This data provides insight into what portion of jobs in a particular region, sector or occupation are vacant.  It also provides information on the wages offered and specific requirements for each type of vacant job.  A higher job vacancy rate indicates a tighter labour market where it is more difficult for employers to find suitable candidates for the positions offered.  A lower job vacancy rate signals labour market slack and potentially more job seekers competing for each vacant position. 

Nova Scotia's job vacancy rate was 2.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, representing 10,300 job vacancies.  This is a higher vacancy rate than the 2.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2016. The national job vacancy rate was 2.9 per cent. The average wage offered for a vacant position in 2017Q2 was $16.10 per hour in Nova Scotia, down from $16.65 in 2016Q2, while the national average increased by $0.15 to $19.50 in year over year terms.  

Compared to the second quarter of 2016, the vacancy rate increased in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador. The largest increase was in Prince Edward Island (+0.7 percentage points), followed by New Brunswick, Manitoba and BC (all +0.5 percentage point increases compared to the second quarter of 2016). The average wage offered for vacant positions rose in seven provinces with the largest increases in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta.

Among Nova Scotia's economic regions in 2017Q2, the job vacancy rates were highest in the Annapolis Valley and lowest in Cape Breton. The average wages offered for vacant positions were highest in Halifax and lowest in the Annapolis Valley.  


Across sectors, Nova Scotia's job vacancy rates were lower than the national average in every category for which there were data in the second quarter of 2017. The wages offered for vacant positions in Nova Scotia are all lower than the national average of wage offerings. 

Of the 10,300 job vacancies reported in Nova Scotia during the second quarter, 40.4 per cent were in sales and service occupations.  The next largest occupations for which there were vacancies were trades/transport/equipment operators and business, finance and administration. The wages offered for vacant Nova Scotia occupations were lower than the national average in every occupational category.


Over half of the vacant positions in Nova Scotia during 2017Q2 required only high school or lower levels of education.  The wages offered for these positions were lower than for those requiring more education.  The highest wages were offered for those with university education beyond a bachelor's level, which had the smallest number of vacancies.  

Most vacant positions had low experience requirements. Those vacant positions also offered lower wages than those with higher experience requirements. Although the highest wages were offered for those occupations requiring over 8 years' of experience, there were a small number of such positions vacant.

JVWS data are not seasonally adjusted. Therefore, quarter-to-quarter comparisons should be interpreted with caution as they may reflect seasonal movements.

Note: The data referenced above is from the quarterly Job Vacancy and Wages survey (JVWS). Statistics Canada also publishes monthly job vacancy data in from the Job Vacancy Statistics (JVS) component of the Survey of Payroll Employment and Hours. Due to differences in the target population and sample sizes, the job vacancies reported in the JVWS tend to be higher than those reported in the JVS.

Statistics Canada: CANSIM tables 285-0001, 285-0002, 285-0003285-0004