Construction, homebuilding and industrial construction are on a tear in Nova Scotia but inflation, a ho-hum retail market and the prospect of economic slowdowns among the Atlantic province’s trading partners will likely mean slower GDP growth next year.
The job market, though, is still great for foreign nationals looking to immigrate to Nova Scotia through economic immigration programs.
Statistics Canada figures show that job vacancies in the province were up by 52.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year.
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And the number of jobs going begging for a lack of people to do them was then on an upward trajectory, climbing 27.1 per cent from the first to the second quarter of this year.
Those positions were still waiting to be filled in the second quarter of this year despite employers adding 21,240 employees to their payrolls during the year that ended on June 30. Wages during that period rose 4.3 per cent.
Even though TD Economics is forecasting real GDP growth in Nova Scotia to slow down from 2.2 per cent to 0.5 per cent next year, the economy is expected to rebound with 2.4 per cent real GDP growth in 2024 and the pent-up demand for labour is expected to keep the market good for job hunters.
“Homebuilding remains elevated, industrial construction is very strong, and commercial investment is continuing its recovery from the pandemic,” wrote TD Economics’ Beata Caranci, Derek Burleton, Rishi Sondhi, and Jenny Duan in their latest provincial economic forecast.
“What’s more, the government is rolling out its record $1.6 billion capital plan through projects like the QEII Health Sciences Centre.”
In their latest Provincial Economic Forecast: Most Economies to Narrowly Keep Their Heads Above Water in 2023, released in late September, the economists also noted the services sector was then still going strong.
“Re-openings and a hot housing market have spurred solid hiring in industries such as accommodation and food services and finance, and real estate. Meanwhile, job growth in professional, scientific, and technical services industries has been even stronger,” they wrote.
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Here are the top 10 most in-demand jobs in Nova Scotia for any foreign national considering economic immigration programs to the province.
1. Construction Trades (NOC 75110)
With construction going strong in Nova Scotia, demand for workers in the construction trades is very high right now.
These are the people who work at construction sites, in quarries and in surface mines, usually for construction companies, trade and labour contractors, and surface mine and quarry operators.
In early November, Indeed had 205 job listings for those wanting to work in the construction trades in Nova Scotia and Job Bank data shows the median annual income for these workers is $37,050 in that province based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
2. Retail Sales Associate (NOC 64100)
The people who work in retail stores greeting customers, showing them the merchandise, racking up sales and restocking the shelves are in great demand in Nova Scotia with 681 job listings on Indeed in early November in that province.
Based on a standard work week, Job Bank data indicates these workers earn a median annual income of $26,050 in Nova Scotia.
Across Canada, Job Bank is forecasting a labour shortage of 7,400 workers in retail sales through to 2028.
3. Registered Nurses (NOC 32101)
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses provide direct nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs and provide consultative services regarding issues relevant to the practice of nursing.
In early November, there were 207 job listings for registered nurses in Nova Scotia on the Indeed.ca job website.
This occupation comes with a median annual wage of $76,050 in that province based on a 37.5-hour work week.
4. Physicians – Family (NOC 31102) and Specialists (31100)
Indeed listed 411 positions for family physicians and specialists in Nova Scotia in early November.
General practitioners and family physicians diagnose and treat diseases, physiological disorders and injuries. In Nova Scotia, they make a median annual salary of $192,606.
Specialists, a category that includes surgeons, diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders and act as consultants to other physicians. The Nova Scotia median annual salary for a surgeon is $236,222.
5. Accountant (NOC 11100)
When an economy rebounds, someone’s got to keep track of the money, a task that falls within the realm of the accountant.
Accountants plan, organize and administer the accounting systems that keep track of that money for businesses, individuals and governments.
In early November, Indeed had 181 job listings for accountants in Nova Scotia where the median annual income for these professionals was $64,993 based on Job Bank data for a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
The federal government job-hunting website rates the job prospects for accountants in Nova Scotia as “good”, its highest rating.
6. Heavy Equipment Operators (NOC 73400)
Those workers who operate the heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures, in surface mining and quarrying activities, and in material handling work are in demand.
Indeed carried 76 job listings for heavy equipment operators in Nova Scotia in early November.
Employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors, public works departments and pipeline, logging, cargo-handling and other companies, these workers have a median annual income of $42,900 based on a standard work week in Nova Scotia.
7. Cooks (NOC 63200) and Food and Beverage Servers (NOC 65200)
Restaurateurs in Nova Scotia are having a tough time of recruiting cooks and servers as the hospitality sector faces a massive labour shortage.
Indeed listed 472 jobs for cooks and another 290 jobs for servers in Nova Scotia in early November.
The median annual income for a cook or a server in the province’s hospitality sector, based on a 37.5-hour work week, is $27,300.
8. Delivery Truck Driver (NOC 75201)
Drivers get materials, consumer goods and people where they need to be and are in big demand in Nova Scotia with Indeed listing 480 jobs for these workers in early November.
“Whether you have the credentials to operate large commercial vehicles or the detail-oriented nature required for local deliveries, chances are you can find an open position to match,” notes Randstad.
Truck drivers in Nova Scotia earn a median annual wage of $33,150 based on a standard work week, according to the government’s Job Bank website.
9. Software Developer (NOC 21232)
As the people who write, modify, integrate and test computer code for software applications, data processing applications, operating systems-level software and communications software, these information technology pros are in hot demand.
“This is one of the top jobs in part because businesses of all types and sizes need developers to create app solutions, develop or maintain in-house software or help implement cloud or other technologies,” notes Randstad Canada.
“One of the lessons learned during COVID-19 lockdowns in recent years was that technology could make or break a business. Companies that seamlessly transitioned into remote work environments often fared better. Add to that the growing need to rely on data and automation to remain competitive, and it’s no wonder so many businesses are on the hunt for skilled developers.”
In Nova Scotia, software developers earn a median annual wage of $63,414 based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week, Job Bank data reveals. The Indeed job website had 274 such job listings in Nova Scotia in early November.
10. Light-Duty Cleaner (NOC 65310)
In hotels and motels, resorts, hospitals, schools and stores, office buildings and private residences, these are the people who keep the filth at bay and everything looking and smelling clean.
The desire to keep things clean didn’t end after the first few waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health restrictions. There continues to be a massive need for these workers and they are in short supply.
In early November, Indeed had 444 job listings for light-duty cleaners in Nova Scotia. According to Job Bank data, they earn a median annual income of $28,372 for working a standard, 37.5-hour work week.