Making It Work: Where the jobs are in the COVID-19 economy

As demand for labour recovers in B.C., certain skills have bounced back to pre-pandemic popularity.


New B.C. job postings on had almost returned to last year’s pace as of September 4

As demand for labour recovers in B.C., certain skills have bounced back to pre-pandemic popularity

Though much improved since April, when new postings on Internet job board plunged 70 percent compared to last year, hiring is still below pre-COVID levels in Canada.

As of September 4, new job listings (on the site one week or less) were 3 percent below the same period in 2019, Indeed Canada reported, and total active postings were down 22 percent. New postings in B.C. were 6 percent off last year’s pace, with total listings down 24 percent.

Job prospects were actually improved from 2019 in nursing (+9 percent), loading and stocking (+2 percent) and construction (+1 percent), Indeed noted, but still dire in hospitality and tourism (–39 percent), foodservice (–36 percent) and law (–34 percent).

“What we saw in March and April was clients not cancelling recruitment but putting it on hold,” says Mark Fenwick, vice-president, corporate services, with Vancouver-based Impact Recruitment, which finds candidates for clients in a variety of industries. Once hiring resumed from May onward, those skill sets that have long been in demand picked up where they left off, he adds: anything to do with estimating, site management and project management in the construction space; commercial property management; public accounting; labour and employment law, insurance law, tax law and commercial litigation; plus information technology and development.

Other industries resumed hiring but at a slower pace than before, Fenwick says. Then there are sectors like tourism and hospitality whose future hinges on relaxed restrictions on travel and gathering.

For people whose careers may have been disrupted, Fenwick recommends not just a skills assessment but some self-reflection: Where do you want to be? “I think a smart way to make yourself stand out is either to seek mentor opportunities or additional education, which probably means online education.” Amid the newfound emphasis on local manufacturing and domestic supply chains, he adds, opportunities are likely to arise there.