Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Job Market Trends

Hiring trends and in-demand skills in regional job markets across Canada. Posts are written by recruitment industry experts with the insight to job opportunities.

Regional Job Market Update for Edmonton, Alberta (February 2021)

Kelly Benson By Kelly Benson,
VP & General Manager, Prairie Region at Eagle

By all accounts, Edmonton has had some challenges over the past few years, but I am happy to report that our team has seen a noticeable, positive shift since early fall. Back in September, I reported cautious optimism in the Edmonton market, as we were starting to see some signs of recovery. In spite of being under restrictive public health measures since mid-December, we continue to see an increase in demand for IT professionals for both contract and permanent roles.

Since September, Eagle’s job order volume and hiring in Edmonton have returned to pre-pandemic levels. Our clients have settled into remote work and are starting to see past “the grind” of the pandemic. While we are anticipating (and planning for) a recovery that has some bumps along the way, we are increasingly optimistic that the worst is behind us.

Current Labour Market Trends

Remote Work: With the world’s largest (and unplanned!) experiment in remote work well under way, one of the most common misconceptions about the workforce has been shattered… we CAN trust employees to do their jobs even if we can’t see them! Businesses were forced to rapidly transform as companies embraced remote work practices to adhere to public health measures. For the most part, organizations throughout our country have been pleasantly surprised at how successful remote work has been through the pandemic. Whether remote work continues post-pandemic remains to be seen, but we do believe there will be some form of hybrid work arrangements longer term. In the near term, this has resulted in access to a larger pool of talent as long as resources are willing to work in the time zone of the client for contract roles.

Wider use of contingent workers: As we expect uncertainty to continue through 2021, clients are increasingly leaning to contingent workers for project-based work to allow them to scale up or down should the need arise. While that may feel uncertain for people considering a contract role, rest assured that our clients make well thought out decisions prior to onboarding any contingent worker and funding is secured before contracts are written up. When hiring employees, most clients like to see a road map of 2+ years of work and growth before making an employment offer. With contract roles, that vision only needs to go the end of an approved project or milestone.

Pent-Up Demand: With the rapid shift to adapt technology, processes, structure and teams in a physically dispersed workforce, many of the projects that were deemed high priority on January 1st, 2020 became much less important a few short months later. Nearly a year into the pandemic, many companies have revisited that priority list and a number of new initiatives are kicking off.

Rates have equalized across Canada: Pre-COVID, there were geographical pockets in Canada where rates were high due to IT worker scarcity. Now that all of Canada has been opened as a potential candidate pool for remote work, rates in markets like Calgary, which were traditionally 10+% higher than other regions, have dropped to be in line with Toronto and Vancouver markets which were typically lower. A key point to mention is IT consultant rates have not eroded drastically with the advent of remote work. As an example, we do not have requirements for Senior Program Managers at $50/Hour. There remains a healthy up-take of resources in the market and base-line rates have remained quite stable.

Unemployment Rates: The unfortunate reality of the pandemic layered on top of an Alberta recession is that high unemployment rates will likely persist for some time. The good news is that IT unemployment tends to run several percentage points lower than the normal posted rate. In May, Edmonton had the highest unemployment rate in the country at 13.6%, while the unemployment rate in the IT subset of the labour force in the same time period in Edmonton was 7.6%. Things have been slowly improving, but all indicators point to the unemployment rate remaining high for the foreseeable future.

Skills Mismatch: While the unemployment rate is high, the market is tightening up in a few key areas. We are predicting labour market shortages in Edmonton for the following categories in the first and second quarter:

  • Project Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Full-Stack Development
  • Data Analytics / Business Intelligence
  • DevOps
  • ServiceNow
  • Organizational Change Consulting
  • Solution Architecture

With the initial surprise and disruption of the pandemic behind us and some light at the end of the tunnel, we are optimistic for the year ahead. Our clients continue to focus on implementing and leveraging technologies that lower costs, improve efficiency and retain talent as some form of remote work is expected to persist for much of 2021. We are also seeing some organizations shift from a focus on systems and supports required to sustain operations (reactive) to tools and capabilities that allow their organizations to be more innovative and productive in this new world (proactive).

While we like to think that the worst is behind us, we know nothing is perfect. If we have learned nothing else over the past 11 months, it is that we need to be prepared to deal with the challenge and change as it comes. Every prediction and forecast that anyone makes these days comes with crossed fingers, a prayer and an asterisk. They are all based on vaccine availability, effective vaccines, herd immunity and the end of the pandemic. We are also putting a lot of faith in compliance with public health restrictions until we get there, which gets harder as the pandemic drags on. Needless to say, we need a lot of things to go right!

What does this mean for the Edmonton IT sector? The good news is that things are trending in the right direction. While the economic impact of the pandemic was significant, the IT sector is expected to be one of the sectors to recover relatively quickly. Our clients continue to seek talent for key projects and they continue to ask Eagle to provide them with that talent to move those initiatives forward.

Regional Job Market Update for Vancouver (January 2021)

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Ea
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Downtown Vancouver Sunset
Downtown Vancouver Sunset” by Magnus Larsson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Vancouver’s economy and labour market has gone through much the same challenges and cycles as that of other Canadian provinces over the past year.  With trade barriers thrown up by the US last year, government spending impacted by reduced revenues and emergency spending/measures, housing prices falling dramatically, and BC’s large travel industry being hammered by COVID accommodations, it is no wonder that last year was a difficult one.  However, BC also benefits from a burgeoning high-tech industry — a sector of the economy that actually benefitted from the health issues of 2020.  This sector helped to lessen the blow overall and helps to set up the province and its largest city for a nice recovery.

Due to changing conditions across the board, BC is set to enjoy a Canada-leading rebound in 2021.  According to the  Business Intelligence for BC website, the unemployment rate is expected shrink to 6.5% this coming year (from 7.5% in 2020), to become one of the lowest of all provinces in Canada.  And GDP is to expand 5.6% vs last year, again, more than what is forecast for any other province.  Demand for housing, a strong underlying economic indicator, is forecasted to be strong, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. In fact, the Canadian Real Estate Association predicts that home prices are set to rebound strongly, growing by 9% this coming year.  As well, TD Bank Economists expect that government stimulus will make a big impact this coming year.  In addition to the Federal Gov’ts pledge to provide $70 – $100 billion in fiscal spending (across Canada), the BC Gov’t is expected to invest $2 billion in new spending and contingencies in 2021.  All this, along with more favorable trading terms expected with the United States and some return to normal travel helping both the tourism and hospitality industries, BC and Vancouver are set up for a very strong economic rebound this year.

Most of the economic benefits are expected to be seen over the final 6 to 8 months of the year as COVID accommodations are relaxed in lock step with the availability of the new vaccines.  That said, businesses and industries are planning for these coming benefits now and this is beginning to drive additional demand for information technology knowledge workers.  BC has already replaced over 90% of the jobs lost during the worst of the downturn last year (source: TD Bank Economists) and, as such, it is expected that knowledge workers of every stripe will be in shorter supply; perhaps no industry impacted as much as the IT industry that had already been somewhat insulated from the worst of 2020 economic impacts.

Demand for Eagle’s staffing services were relatively strong throughout December of 2020. December is typically a slower month given year-end, vacations and holidays, but January is expected to be red-hot and, even during these first few days of January, requirements have been strong.  Vancouver has always been rather steadfast as far as swings in contractor rates go.  Never being the highest in Canada, but seldom being the lowest, 2021 may challenge this trend.  Human resources (IT workers) that are experts in specialty roles in such areas as Cloud, Security, eCommerce, and Machine Learning/AI /Data Science will be harder to find and the expectations are that rates will increase over the coming year.  Whereas roles in areas such as infrastructure, server, raised floor, networking, and application management are likely to have rates remain mostly unchanged.  Experts who can build business /customer understanding, better insight, and drive scalable and secure efficiency will be in highest demand and earn the highest rates increases.

On a micro-level, the following are some of the hiring trends that Eagle is witnessing:

  • The level of experience demanded from our clients is higher, typically senior resources with solid project and/or domain knowledge.
  • We are being asked for more specialists than generalists. This is different from the “bottom” of the economic cycle, where our clients were seeking people who were generalists and could wear multiple hats and “keep the lights on”.  Today, our customers tend to ask for people who have expertise in a certain area and can go deep, delivering value to new projects.
  • There appears to be a balance between technical and functional roles. Demand is rising for both.
  • The “type” of technology being implemented is leading-edge vs. mainstream, with many cloud and AI projects and supporting business transformation initiatives. (although most organizations had to move their business transformation initiatives up earlier than they might have wanted to support work from home, etc. in 2020)
  • Contract hiring activity was slow-paced last year, but is now picking up its speed-to-hire. This will become critical as the market heats up this year. Companies who are slow to make hiring decisions will lose top candidates to others who are motivated to hire quickly.
  • As mentioned above, last year saw some downward pressure on contractors’ rates. This year we expect this to rebound. How far and how fast depends on the speed with which the economy rebounds.  All indications are that the economy is in for a strong improvement; rates will tend to follow.
  • Hiring organizations are more open to remote workers. This is a direct impact of the COVID accommodations that the entire world had to manage.  Companies have learned how to operate effectively using people working remotely from one another.  Organizations are able to cast a wider net for talent by adopting a work-from-anywhere approach.
  • Finally, we are seeing a change whereby job seekers are more active. People have been hunkered down, happy to have a stable position (if they were working through 2020).  These people were not looking to make a move, afraid of jumping from the frying pan into the fire!  This is rapidly changing as opportunities begin again to expand.  People are open again to considering new opportunities that will allow them to learn new skills and/or advance their careers.

All in all, 2021 appears to be highly promising for BC, Vancouver, and the IT industry as a whole as we bounce back from the impact of the slowdowns of this past year.

Regional Job Market Update for Calgary, Alberta (December 2020)

Kelly Benson By Kelly Benson,
Branch Manager at Eagle

Regional Job Market Update for Calgary, AlbertaMuch like everywhere else in the world, Calgary’s economic recovery hinges on COVID-19 spread, as well as the availability of vaccines to finally put the pandemic behind us. If that weren’t enough of a challenge, our city’s recovery also depends on reasonable global oil prices, which could quickly be impacted by ongoing disputes in the Middle East over production levels.

Calgary’s unemployment rate is currently sitting at 10.4% and the economic data that is rolling in suggests that the path to recovery will be prolonged. It will most likely take a couple of years to build back what has been lost. 

While we are expecting COVID-19 to leave a lasting mark on the labour market and a long, slow recovery, we are starting to trend in the right direction.  

  • The number of job orders coming into our Calgary office is nearing where it was at the beginning of 2020.
  • While contract rates fell in some job categories in the early days of the pandemic, rates have been holding steady for the past 5-6 months.
  • Companies across the country have adapted well to remote work. As such, there is a greater appetite for remote workers and the job market for Calgarians is becoming more national in scale. Many local consultants are taking advantage of this to keep their skills current while the local market continues to recover.
  • The unemployment rate for IS careers typically runs a few percentage points below the general average, so we are closer to “a balanced labourmarket” than what it may look like in the government labour 

Demand for technical resources with specialized skills continues to remain high. In particular, demand is highest for: 

  • Software Developers
  • Data Engineers
  • Systems Analysts.

We are regularly seeing multiple offer scenarios across these categories. If you anticipate needing technical resources in the near future, our advice is simple. A quick and efficient hiring process and quick action will result in better outcomes. We are seeing far too many clients losing out on their first-choice talent because they are not making decisions fast enough. 

At the moment, there is currently an oversupply of talent in functional and leadership roles, but we expect this labour market imbalance to be temporary. Many of our clients are looking forward to new IT budgets and approved projects, as well as pent up demand and a better understanding of how to work and thrive in this new world.  

As we look forward to a very different and quieter holiday season, many of us are looking forward to bidding farewell to 2020. While 2021 may not offer a lot of quick fixes to the challenges that we face, there is light at the end of the tunnel and things are already looking up. 

Canadian Job Market Update for November 2020

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, Co-Founder of Eagle

One of the ways Eagle adds value is to provide regular job market information.  Sometimes it is a look at Canada as a whole and other times we focus more in-depth on specific markets.  This update is a high-level look at the Canadian job market, and the factors influencing it.  In previous months we have provided market updates, specific to different markets, which you can find through the links here:

Canadian Job Market Quarterly Update Across CanadaThere are a number of indicators that I have used over the years to give an idea of how things are going.  One such indicator is the markets, and for this purpose I have focused on the TSX.  When the pandemic hit back in March, the TSX dropped to 11,350, and here in mid-November it is sitting at 16,800.  In the last five years it has rarely been above this level, except for a few months just before the pandemic hit.  Generally, the markets have performed well even during a pandemic!

The unemployment rate is an obvious indicator for the job market, and as I write this the unemployment rate is at 8.5%.  Employment is coming back with employment numbers improving on average by 2.7% every month since May.  The recovery of course is very uneven with some professions taking a real hammering.  In April there were about 5.5 million Canadians whose jobs were affected due to the pandemic, and currently that number is about 1.1 million. So improvement, but if you are unemployed, that doesn’t pay the bills.  Surprisingly, according to Statistics Canada, the professional, scientific and tech professions are in a better position today than pre-COVID.  Another indicator saw October as the first month where the self-employed numbers improved since March, which is perhaps the start of good news for our independent contractor community.  In April, Eagle experienced a 70% drop in orders from our clients but have experienced a steady recovery since then, such that order levels are about 80% of the pre-COVID demand.  This of course can change as lockdowns and outbreaks occur, but we are optimistic that we will not go back to the April levels of unemployment.

Job seekers willing to “go where the jobs are” will always fare better than those unwilling to relocate.  In Canada, the four largest provinces represent close to 90% of the jobs, with Ontario being the largest (close to 40%); Quebec (approx. 23%); BC (13.5%) and Alberta (12.5%).  So, when considering where to look for jobs, a province that employs a lot of people and has a relatively low unemployment rate is a good place to look — BC, Quebec and Ontario all fit that bill.  Alberta is still struggling because of the hit on the oil and gas sector.

One of the big factors affecting the Alberta market is the price of oil.   The price of a barrel in Canada is just under $30 and between $13 and $15 less than world prices.  One factor for this price differential is Canada’s reliance on just one client, the United States.  Unless this changes that will likely remain a factor in Alberta’s economy.   There are however still opportunities in Alberta, just not the booming demand we saw in the past.

The US is Canada’s largest trading partner and represents both opportunity and risk.  A Democratic government is not likely to be a friend to the oil and gas sector, which will continue to hurt Alberta.  Pre-COVID, the US enjoyed record levels of employment, with significant skill shortages.  There has been a significant dampening on the jobs front during the pandemic.   We have seen significant investment in Canada by large US companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google etc. all adding to their Canadian presence to tap into the talent up here, and I expect that to continue, but likely after the recovery.  Canada is also currently able to attract skilled immigrant talent easier than in the US, whose immigration laws are more prohibitive, but a change in government in the US is likely to ease that issue.  We will know more as the new administration rolls out its plans.

Tech job activity was very strong pre-COVID and while we have not recovered to the same levels yet, there is still good opportunity for in-demand skills across Canada, and that demand is increasing.  Technology has played a huge part in allowing companies to operate during the pandemic, with Digital Transformation allowing work from home strategies and websites, security and payments systems playing a significant role in the proliferation of online buying.  We typically suggest the tech unemployment rate as being about half of the general unemployment rate, but in COVID times, I would suggest an even wider gap.  The general unemployment rate of 8.5% includes the huge impact on the hospitality, travel and retail world while many tech professionals have been able to continue to work from home.  It would surprise me if the tech unemployment rate is more than 4%, which is not far off full employment.

For a more detailed look at the specific markets across Canada I suggest you read the linked writeups from Eagle’s Executive team across the country, referenced earlier.

Eagle’s focus is technology professionals and the most in demand areas/skills recently have included: Cloud, Government, Telecom, Security, Payments, CRM, Digital, Big Data, BI and AI; Agile BAs, Change Management, Quality Assurance, Architects, Solution Architects, Front & Back end developers, Full Stack developers, DevOps engineers; and even mainframe is making a comeback!

In summary, people with those in-demand tech skills and experience should have little difficulty in finding employment, either contract or perm if not immediately, then very soon!  A willingness to relocate to the bigger centers will only increase marketability.

It remains to be seen when things will return to something “more normal”, but life needs to go on and people in tech are in demand, many can work from home and that demand is only going to increase.

For employers our advice is this:

If you see great talent that will be a fit in your organization then act now, because their availability will not last long.  We will return to skills shortages sooner rather than later.

Now is a great time to refine and speed up that hiring process!  Finding, screening, hiring and onboarding can all be done remotely and efficiently, and will become an absolute necessity very soon.  We are still seeing our candidates receive multiple job offers and clients losing talent because they are too slow to make a decision, even now!

Regional Job Market Update for Ottawa (October 2020)

Paul Morin By Paul Morin,
Division Manager, Ottawa at Eagle

While the National Capital Region continues to share many of the COVID-19 economic worries of the rest of Canada and the world, there are some positive stories. Early on, The Feds were able to impressively overcome some initial worries and adapted quickly so their entire staff could work remotely. Now, more than half a year into the pandemic, the IT job market in the Ottawa area has been stable for a few months.

Ottawa Job MarketMuch of the job market’s demand has to do with the growth that certain Federal Government departments are seeing as they play a key role in the country’s COVID-19 response — most notably Shared Services Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada, and Health Canada. Not only have these departments found themselves with new, unplanned projects to help the country cope with a situation nobody could have predicted, they have also been forced to fast-track several other implementations. For example, many departments are pushing forward on their implementation of M365 sooner than originally expected.

There are also signs that more is yet to come. Even the departments who aren’t growing head count now are using their downtime to put Supply Arrangements in place, ensuring that they’re prepared for staff augmentation as soon as they get the green light that things have ‘returned to normal’.

Competition through all of this is high and everyone is hungry. While the Federal Government is hiring, the overall economy in the region continues to be lower than usual. Those with skills in emerging technologies can still command top rates because the pool of resources is not as deep, but competition remains extremely high for most other IT positions. With more that 80% of our clients still having work forces working remotely, the candidate pool has opened to the province and even across the country.

Any client experience with emerging technologies continues to be the hottest skills sets and Cloud Architects are in high demand. We are also still seeing lots of requests for Systems Analysts, Testers, and Project Managers, and our private sector clients have lately been asking for resources with solid DevOps skills.

In addition to job market activity, job searching and hiring in Ottawa are seeing challenges comparable to other regions.  While candidates and clients are getting more comfortable with video conferencing for interviews as they adjust to working from home, it is not ideal. We are also hearing that when a new contract starts, consultants have expressed struggles in connecting and building rapport. It is not impossible to do so, but certainly is taking longer to develop team chemistry. Clients are seeing similar challenges with various stages of onboarding, but both sides are adapting as our ‘new normal’ continues.

Overall, the NCR has a similar story to tell as most other cities world-wide, but the benefit of being home to the Federal Government has certainly helped.  Their typical push for increased headcount in February/March is likely to start before Christmas to ensure people are in place to drive results in their 4th quarter. Stay tuned to our job board and be in touch with your Eagle contact for the latest opportunities in the NCR.

What Are the Most In-Demand IT Skills for 2020?

Eagle’s founder, Kevin Dee, recently had the opportunity to participate on a panel in a webinar hosted by CPA4IT. The event, titled The Future of Work for Independent Contracting Webinar, set out to discuss how Canadian IT contractors can survive and thrive in this time and what practical tips that they can utilize to achieve success at work as an Independent Contractor.

One topic discussed was the most in-demand IT skills for 2020. While there are a number of exciting and new technologies on the horizon, sparking demand from top employers, Kevin Dee explains in the video below that the traditional, basic roles are still in highest demand and are not going anywhere.

Eagle’s CEO, Janis Grantham, is joining the panel for the next webinar hosted by CPA4IT on Thursday, October 22nd. They’ll be building on the previous discussion and answering questions about the future of work for independent contracting in Canada. Click here to register today.

Regional Job Market Update for Edmonton, Alberta

Kelly Benson By Kelly Benson,
Branch Manager at Eagle

City of EdmontonAlberta’s “recovery” from a challenging recession has been long, slow and a bit tortuous. On top of a challenging past few years, a belt-tightening by the provincial government last fall caused a ripple affect across a number of sectors.

In spite of starting 2020, with the highest unemployment rate in the country, many Edmontonians entered the new decade with a renewed sense of optimism. The only way to go from here was up, right?

Enter COVID-19.

These past 6 months have been very challenging, but things are slowly starting to turn. Edmonton is currently at 91% of pre-COVID employment levels and this slow climb back to “normal” is encouraging. A cautious optimism is slowly returning, but we are expecting higher than normal unemployment and low growth for the remainder of the year. With the threat of a “second wave”, there is still hesitation and many companies do not yet have enough confidence in the economy to kick-off large enterprise projects.

Among tech workers, the news isn’t all bad. Generally, less affected by major market swings, tech jobs have continued to remain in demand. On average, the unemployment rate in IS runs approximately 3-4% points below the general average.

With a few notable exceptions, it remains a buyer’s market with the number of job seekers outpacing the supply of jobs in Edmonton. Here at Eagle, we are seeing a steady increase in demand from our clients looking for IS professionals. While we aren’t back to normal activity levels yet, we are encouraged by this.

Looking ahead to the final quarter of 2020, we expect the greatest demand to be for contractors with specialized technical skills, including Software Developers, Data Engineers and Data Analytics consultants. Opportunities in Organizational Change Management roles also continue to come up as companies look to increase employee adoption and minimize resistance of some of the initiatives that were a result of rapid roll-out due to the COVID crisis.

With many IS professionals working remotely as the norm these days, the job market is also beginning to be more national in scale. Opportunities across the country are opening up to non-local resources as companies become more open to “out-of-town” contractors. Many local consultants are taking advantage of this to continue keeping their skills current while the local market continues its slow recovery.

Regional Job Market Update for Toronto, Ontario

Brendhan Malone By Brendhan Malone,
Vice-President, Central Canada at Eagle

Toronto, Ontario CanadaCOVID-19 has spared almost no business and the IT job market in Toronto is no exception. While it has certainly been spared some of the devastating consequences of other industries like the airline, hotel, and hospitalities, it has not been without pain and hardship of its own.

We’ve seen a mix of reactions and strategies from organizations to get through this turmoil, and it all depends on the company’s individual circumstances. While some are able and willing to use this time to accelerate their digital transformation and IT systems others are simply not financially able to, depending on where IT fits within their business and the impact of COVID.

Overall, though, there are technology employment trends that are standing out, many of which are the result of COVID-19 adjustment strategies. For example:

  • There is an increased demand for security resources as companies deal with the challenges associated with a remote workforce and the security challenges associated with keeping data secure from so many remote locations.
  • The demand for resources skilled in data analysis and analytics is expected to continue, if not rise.  Companies are competing to better understand how their customers operate in this reality.  Data positions are in high demand and this looks to continue.
  • Web-based projects continue to be on the rise, with UI and UX developers being sought after throughout all industries.

As stated, the outlook for IT jobs in Toronto is rosier than many other industries and locations.  Jobs grew in Ontario in June and July and IT far outpaced the median here. Specifically in Toronto, employers are continuing to recognize the strength of talent that’s out there. Once again, CBRE ranked Toronto the 4th best city in North America for tech talent in 2020, citing an overall 5-year employment growth of 36.5% and 5-year wage growth of 11.2%.

Part of the city’s success is due to the thousands of immigrant tech workers choosing to come here rather than the US, and Toronto is benefitting from that trend. Policy south of the border is encouraging more immigrants from Silicon Valley to make the Great White North their home, and leading companies are following the talent, choosing Toronto for their headquarters.

As we all band together to get through these tough times, the future remains bright in the Toronto IT market.  The expectation that organizations will continue to invest in IT in Toronto means the demand for top talent will remain high. That said, competition for contracts is also strong, so if you’re an IT contractor navigating your way through tough times, my advice is to continue expanding your networks and talking to recruiters. Companies who are hiring are doing so quickly, meaning the contractors who are top of mind and keeping their skills fresh are the ones most likely to get the gig.

Statistics Canada’s Most Recent Visual Insights of COVID-19 in Canada

The Federal Government has been carefully monitoring all effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of keeping a close eye on infection rates and the economy, Statistics Canada is researching people’s behaviour and how their coping, then sharing their findings in various formats. Here are a couple infographics that StatCan shared in early July that we found particularly interesting.

COVID-19 and the Labour Market in June 2020

StatCan has always released monthly job numbers to provide an understanding of the country’s economic health. Since the pandemic began, they’ve also been publishing more specific insights to help us understand the effects of COVID-19. The most recent infographic outlines June’s job numbers and compares them to February. It shows that slowly but surely, numbers are returning for normal, but some industries and demographics continue to suffer more than others.

Labour Market

 

Precautions that Canadians will take or continue to take as COVID-19 safety measures are relaxed

Last month, StatCan also conducted a survey to examine the attitudes and concerns of Canadians. As restrictions lift, who will continue taking measures to protect themselves, and to what extent. It’s worth noting that since the survey, many jurisdictions across Canada have made masks mandatory in public places, but overall, this infographic provides an interesting snapshot at the opinions of Canadians during these bizarre times.

COVID-19 Precautions Across Canada

Regional Job Market Update for Montreal

David O'Brien By David O’Brien,
Senior Vice President, Business Development at Eagle

Panoramic Photo Montreal city fron Mount RoyalThe COVID-19 Pandemic and associated deep recession in Canada has made market,  job and employment reports a bleak exercise indeed. As GDP has shrunk substantially in Canada and in fact globally , employers shocked with an unanticipated event reacted initially by stopping hiring then, implementing layoffs, and finally followed by a” how do we survive” — more specifically “Are we prepared to compete in a fully digital marketplace?”

Quebec, and more specifically Montreal, was hit very hard and early by the pandemic. The unemployment rate in Quebec went from a near full employment rate of 4.2% in February to 14.2 % in May. We know from previous data that the technology unemployment rate is about half the general  broader unemployment rate.  The question is where did the Montreal tech job market go? Well, we know that at the same time the pandemic was raging through employment markets and economies, there was an incredible Big Tech rally that completely defies what was happening on the street. This added hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth to companies like Apple, Amazon , Microsoft and Ottawa’s own Shopify, which recently passed RBC as Canada’s largest capitalized company  worth $164B !

Montreal is one of 3 big Tech hubs in Canada, along with Toronto and Vancouver. We certainly saw this market resilience in Montreal as it was one of  Eagle’s busiest branches relatively speaking throughout the Pandemic. The city, while also hit hard early with the Pandemic, also led Canada in restoring some sense of the new “abnormal ” as it moved first to open the economy in Canada. With diverse sectors along with Tech, for example Telco, players in Montreal moved quickly and continued to hire what now was more generally available resources in an strategic effort to amp up their digitized commerce and service offerings.

We have seen now many organizations in Montreal and elsewhere take the event as a time to evaluate their digital strength and no doubt in time refocus on projects to ensure they are able to survive and thrive in an ecommerce world. In demand roles in Montreal include PMs, Full Stack and Application Developers , QA resources along with Security and Cyber resources.