The job market

Employment opportunities and conditions

The job market

The Canadian job market is similar to that in other developed countries. The majority of jobs are in the service sector, with the remainder in manufacturing and natural resources. Unemployment is 6.8%, slightly higher than the long-term average in the last 30 years with The labour force numbers 17m.

The majority of Canada’s economic growth is concentrated in the four major cities: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. Unemployment is highest in the Atlantic Provinces, such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. If you are seeking employment in Canada and you do not posses a work permit, you should be aware that it is more difficult to find a job this way. A prospective employer would need to obtain a work permit on your behalf. Many companies are reluctant to do this as it involves spending time and money with lawyers.

Qualifications and skills

If you are looking for a well-paid professional position, high English language ability is essential. In Quebec, companies will require excellent knowledge of the French language. English-French bilinguals are in demand; many companies have to do business with both English- and French-speaking Canada.

Depending on the job, qualifications are weighted differently. While the universal requirement for almost any position is some prior relevant experience, many well-paid jobs require that you possess a university/college degree and some other skills and abilities (i.e. computer, communication, etc.). Voluntary work and participation in sports are also some of the favourable characteristics that employers seek because in this time of teams and collective work, team participation capability is an essential factor.

If you are looking for a part time position to support your other endeavours (such as studying), it is normally easy to find some occasional work. Part-time positions, especially those in retail or catering, do not usually pay much. Think about your special skills. Maybe your native language is one people are looking to learn, so give private lessons or see if you can teach in a language school.

There is a significant underground job market in Canada. Many individuals working on construction sites and some other manual labour positions may not have a work permit. Although this is also an option, we do not recommend working without a work permit as this increases the risk of being deported and being forbidden to come back to Canada.

Further reading

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