Canadian Underwriter

Labour market tightens in finance, insurance

June 28, 2019   by Greg Meckbach

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Wages and job openings in the insurance and financial sectors have dropped, Statistics Canada reported recently.

The vacancy rate in insurance and finance stood at 2.8% during the first quarter of 2019, down from 3.1% in 2018 Q1, StatsCan said in the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) released June 18.

The insurance sector includes but is not limited to brokers and property and casualty insurance carriers. It also includes banks and other financial services firms.

In the survey, StatsCan asks respondents a number of questions, including the:

  • number of employees at the location
  • number of job vacancies for each occupation
  • wage offered
  • number of days that the jobs have been vacant.

Canada-wide, there were 21,430 job vacancies in insurance and finance in 2019 Q1, down from 22,825 over the same period last year, StatsCan reported. Total employment is up. There were 741,765 payroll employees in the industry in 2019 Q1, up from 728,815 in 2018 Q1.

The vacancy rate of 2.8% for insurance and finance positions during the latest quarter was less than the average rate for all other sectors (3.1%).

In the JVWS, a job is considered vacant if it is either vacant on the first day of the month or will become vacant during the month. In order to be considered vacant, the job must also have tasks that need to be carried out during the month and the employer must be actively recruiting outside the organization to fill the job.

The job vacancy rate is the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of the total number of occupied and vacant jobs.

The jobs could be full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, casual, or seasonal. Jobs reserved for subcontractors, external consultants, or other workers who are not considered employees, are excluded.

The average hourly wage in finance and insurance was $28.30 in 2019 Q1, down from $29.20 during the same period in 2018.

Industry sectors with much lower average wages included accommodation and food services ($14.15 per hour) and retail ($15.95 an hour).

Higher pay can be found in other industries. For example, the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector had an average hourly wage of $34.45 in 2019 Q1, up from $31.90 in 2018 Q1.

Across all industries, the total number of payroll employees in Canada was 15.9 million in 2019 Q1, up from 15.5 million in 2018 Q1.

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