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FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Canadian Job Trends Dashboard

Does the dashboard include data from all online job postings in Canada?

The dashboard draws on jobs posting data that we have ingested into LMIC’s Data Hub.

Our jobs postings data is sourced from Vicinity Jobs. LMIC economists carefully evaluate the quality and relevance of data included in the Data Hub.

Vicinity Jobs collects data from a variety of websites and job boards (for example, Indeed and Job Bank).

However, not all online job postings are captured.

  • We cannot guarantee that every website with job postings is identified for data collection.
  • Certain websites use technologies that make it impossible for third parties to monitor their content.

Are all job postings associated with a geographic location?

Our dashboard contains data only for job postings that are reliably identified with a geographic location.

Not all job postings can be reliably matched to a geographic location. In some cases, the employer does not list geographic information in a job posting. In other cases, the information cannot be classified or is contradictory.

Approximately 95% of job postings captured by our data partner are matched to a specific geographic location within a province or territory.

How can I find my region in the dashboard?

The locations included in the dashboard are based on Canada’s 76 economic regions as defined by Statistics Canada.

You can search for your city or town using the 2016 Census profile website of Statistics Canada to see which economic region you live in.

Can I find jobs to apply to on the dashboard?

No - the dashboard collects information from job postings across Canada and displays that information in ways that allow users to look at overall hiring trends across occupations, skills and geographies.

Individual job postings are not available through the dashboard.

Is online job postings data reliable?

The dashboard draws on job postings data that we have ingested into LMIC’s Data Hub.

Our jobs postings data is sourced from Vicinity Jobs. LMIC economists carefully evaluate the quality and relevance of data included in the Data Hub.

However, as with all data sources, there are caveats and limitations. Our overview page shares the caveats and limitations of our dashboard and the data it contains.

How detailed is the data?

LMIC works with record-level data. In other words: individual online job postings.

However, as a free information tool, the dashboard eliminates observations of counts by occupation and by work requirement with less than 50 underlying observations.

LMIC also eliminates counts by occupation and work requirement with less than 25 underlying observations. All counts reported are rounded.

How often is the dashboard updated?

The dashboard is updated weekly with a daily granularity. Vicinity Jobs scrapes, cleans and structures data (see methodology) from online job postings gathered from employer and job websites, and that data is ingested into the LMIC Data Hub.

Part of the cleaning process involves removing duplicate postings from previous weeks. This means that each week shows a unique set of new job postings. The final data is updated every Monday afternoon, with updates up to the previous Wednesday.

Users can compare trends over time within the dashboard.

How long do the job postings stay active?

No information is collected about the duration of a job posting. The data does not reflect when or why a job posting closes.

Often postings go offline on an automated schedule and not when the job vacancy is filled. The expiry of a job posting, therefore, is not a reliable indicator of how long it takes for an employer to fill a vacancy.

Why isn't salary or wage information available?

Very few employers include salary or wage information in their online job postings. Fewer than 20% of the online job postings processed by Vicinity Jobs include salary or wage information.

Given the amount of missing information and skewed distribution of available salary figures, we have not included this in the dashboard.

Are French language job postings captured?

In June 2020, Vicinity Jobs, in partnership with LMIC, developed an algorithm for cleaning and categorizing French language job postings – including the de-duplication of jobs posted separately in both French and English.

Note that, because jobs postings are deduplicated across languages, there is no way to separate English language job postings from French language job postings.

What does "typically required" education mean?

“Typically required” education for a job is defined by the 4-digit NOC (National Occupation Classification) code associated with job postings.

In the NOC system, each occupation is associated with a minimum level of education required.

There are five education levels in the NOC:

  • A1 – Management: The education level required for managerial positions. Such jobs do not necessarily require college or university education.
  • A2 – University Education: For occupations that require a university degree (for example, a bachelor’s degree, a doctorate or a professional degree).
  • B – College or Vocational Education or Apprenticeship Training: For occupations that require a college diploma or specific training/apprenticeship, such as chef and electrician.
  • C – Secondary School and/or Occupation-Specific Training: For occupations that usually require high school or job-specific training, such as industrial butcher, and food and beverage server.
  • D – On-the-job Training or No Formal Education Required: For occupations that usually provide on-the-job training, such as fruit picker and oil field worker.

What are "work requirements"?

“Work requirements” are the skills, knowledge, tools and technology, and other descriptors identified by the employer.

Our data partner organizes job posting text into its work requirements taxonomy (which includes over 40,000 unique items, although only 2,500 appear with significant regularity).

This taxonomy is then organized by LMIC into four broad categories — skills, knowledge domains, tools and technologies, and other — based on ESDC’s Skills and Competencies Taxonomy.

ESDC’s Taxonomy includes seven categories, four of which LMIC groups into other: work activities, work context, personal abilities and attributes, and interests.

These work requirements are then grouped by geography, time and occupation by 4-digit NOC.

Does the dashboard have information on skills?

Yes, our data partner links job postings to the work requirements identified in its taxonomy.

The full set of work requirements (over 40,000 possible unique items, with approximately 2,500 appearing regularly) have been organized by LMIC into four broad categories: skills, knowledge domains, tools and technologies, and other.

These categorizations are based on ESDC’s Skills and Competencies Taxonomy.

Are job postings and vacancies the same thing?

Job postings are related to job vacancies, but the two are not the same.

Job vacancies may or may not be advertised online and refer specifically to actual unfilled positions.

However, a single job posting might reflect multiple vacancies, just one vacancy or no vacancies — for example, if an employer posts a job advertisement for which there are no current openings.

Online job postings offer a general view of job vacancies, but there are important caveats and limitations to interpreting this information:

  1. Many jobs are filled without being advertised.
  2. Certain segments of the job market (for example, urban locations and service-oriented jobs) are more likely to be posted, potentially skewing online job postings away from the total number (across regions and occupations) of job vacancies.

Who defines job titles?

Job titles are taken from Canada’s 4-digit NOC system.

The NOC are used to group occupations based on the type of work performed (for example tasks, duties, responsibilities).

The data provided by Vicinity Jobs matches online job postings to detailed NOC codes. However, not all job postings can be reliably identified.

Approximately 15% of online job postings are associated with broad occupational categories only (1-digit NOC codes). A further 10–15% cannot be reliably associated with any NOC.

The dashboard contains data only for those reliably identified with a detailed occupational category, which is about 70% of all online job postings.

Why are very aggregated NOC levels available on the dashboard?

Given the limited number of observations by occupation and/or work requirements for certain regions (for example, the North or rural communities), job posting information at a detailed occupational level is often unavailable.

Higher level (for example, 1-digit NOC) occupational groups allow online job posting information to be reported in less populous regions.

How are job postings linked to occupations?

Job postings are linked to occupations using Vicinity Jobs’ proprietary machine learning algorithms, which maps them to detailed occupational categories (see methodology).

If the algorithm is unable to categorize a job posting into a detailed occupational category (4-digit NOC), it will attempt to use the broad occupational category (1-digit NOC).

Typically, 10–15% of online job postings lack enough detail that they cannot be associated even with a broad occupational category.

The dashboard contains data only for those job postings reliably identified with a 4-digit NOC (about 70% of all postings).

Why isn’t industry information available?

Employers are not required to follow a standard format when creating a job posting.

Many employers only include information pertaining to the duties of a particular job; industry information and other important details are often missing from job postings.

While Vicinity Jobs uses algorithms linking job postings to industry codes (that is, NAICS), the lack of reliable matches (typically less than 50%) means that most job postings are not clearly associated with an industry.

Given the high rate of missing information, we have not included industry information in the dashboard.

Why are the numbers reported on the dashboard rounded?

The available data only estimates the true number of online job postings, so LMIC rounds the raw counts. Counts are rounded to the closest 10 if the true value is less than 1000 and to the closest 100 if the value is greater than 1000.

While Vicinity Jobs collects a near complete set of online job postings and removes most duplicates, the collection and cleaning process is not perfect.

Is it legal to collect information from online job postings?

The process of collecting online job posting information from various websites is both legal and ethical.

All information is found on publicly available websites with no restrictions on who can access the data.

The information is analyzed but not reproduced, so it does not violate the author’s copyright. Because none of the data collected contains information about individual Canadians (only generic employer information), the data does not violate privacy.

Glossary of Terms

Job Categories

Job categories refer to the ten broad occupational categories (that is, 1-digit NOC) based on the 4-tier hierarchical arrangement of Canadian occupational groups. Each broad category has a unique 1-digit code (0 to 9).

Knowledge

LMIC categorizes work requirements as knowledge when a particular domain is used to perform specific job functions. Knowledge domains include languages, academic disciplines (for example, biology), business practices (for example, budgeting, Lean Six Sigma) and more. Knowledge also includes computer programming languages such as Python and C++.

National Occupation Classification (NOC)

The NOC system is the organizational framework of occupations in the Canadian labour market. It is used to classify information from statistical surveys and to compile, analyze and communicate information about occupations. It uses 4 digits, each signifying a different aspect, to code all occupations. LMIC and Vicinity Jobs have further categorized occupations into ESDC’s Career Handbook Occupational Profiles.

Other (Work Requirements)

LMIC categorizes work requirements as other when they fall into one of four categories of ESDC’s Skills and Competencies Taxonomy:

  • Work activities
  • Work context
  • Personal abilities and attributes
  • Interests

Province

Province and territory refer to the major political units of Canada.

Skills

LMIC categorizes work requirements as skills when they align with this ESDC definition: “Skills are the developed capacities that an individual must have to be effective in a job, role, function, task or duty.”

See LMIC Insight Report no. 16 for further details.

Tools and Technology

LMIC categorizes work requirements as tools and technology when they are associated with machinery, equipment or other specific objects used to perform job functions.

Web Scraping

Web scraping is the process of collecting data from public websites. It usually refers to using automated software to extract large amounts of raw text and data from a variety of websites. However, the term may be used more broadly to encompass any process of gathering and copying information from the internet, whether automated or manual.

Read more on web scraping in LMIC’s LMI Insight Report no. 32, Through the Looking Glass: Assessing Skills Measures Using 21st Century Technologies.

Work Requirements

In the case of this dashboard, work requirements are defined by the proprietary taxonomy of Vicinity Jobs. Using natural language processing of the job description, the raw text from each job posting is associated to as many work requirements as possible. Work requirements are grouped into four categories: skills, knowledge, tools and technologies, and other.

Geography

Vicinity Jobs links job postings to over 2,000 detailed geographies across Canada, many of which are too small to be shown on the dashboard. The geographies available in the dashboard are Canada, provinces and territories, and geographic regions, which are based on the 76 economic regions used by Statistics Canada.

There are some exceptions, where the geographic region does not correspond to an economic region, and these are listed in the table below.

Province Dashboard Location(s) Variation from Statistics Canada Economic Regions
Alberta Athabasca—Grand Prairie—Peace River—Cold Lake The economic regions of Athabasca—Grand Prairie—Peace River and Cold Lake—Wood Buffalo are combined excluding Wood Buffalo, which is a separate location.

For example, Wood Buffalo includes Fort McMurray.

Alberta Wood Buffalo
Alberta Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic region of Edmonton Capital Region
British Columbia Mainland/Southwest (excl. Greater Vancouver) The location Mainland/Southwest is the economic region excluding Greater Vancouver, which is a separate location.
British Columbia Greater Vancouver
British Columbia Vancouver Island/Coast (excl. Victoria) The location Vancouver Island/Coast is the economic region excluding Victoria, which is a separate location.
British Columbia Greater Victoria Area
Manitoba Central Manitoba Combines the economic regions of North Central Manitoba and South Central Manitoba.
Manitoba North Manitoba The economic region of North Manitoba split into two locations, North Manitoba (census division 21) and Northwest Manitoba (census division 23).

For example, Churchill is included in Northwest Manitoba and The Pas is included in North Manitoba.

Manitoba Northwest Manitoba
Manitoba Eastern Manitoba and Western Manitoba The economic regions of Southeast Manitoba and Southwest Manitoba.
Newfoundland and Labrador Labrador The economic region of West Coast—Northern Peninsula—Labrador has been separated into Labrador and West Coast.
Newfoundland and Labrador West Coast Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador South Coast Newfoundland Economic region of South Coast—Burin Peninsula.
Newfoundland and Labrador Central Newfoundland Economic region of Notre Dame—Central Bonavista Bay.
Ontario Kitchener—Waterloo Economic region of Kitchener—Waterloo—Barrie excluding Simcoe County.
Ontario Muskoka—Kawarthas—Barrie Combines the economic region of Muskoka—Kawarthas with Simcoe County, including Barrie.
Québec - Capitale-Nationale Region incl. Québec

- Chaudière-Appalaches excl. Québec

The CMA of Québec, including the small part in the Chaudière-Appalaches economic region, is combined with the Capitale-Nationale economic region.
Québec - Montréal

- Lanaudière excl. Montréal

- Laurentides excl. Montréal

- Montérégie excl. Montréal

Montréal is the CMA which includes the economic regions of Montréal and Laval and part of three other economic regions.

These three economic regions will exclude the CMA of Montréal.

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