Looking for a job or career change? These skills will be in high demand in Canada in 2024

January 30, 2024

As the Canadian economy continues to slow, Canada’s job market is changing, and that’s had an effect on the skills that employers are looking for.

In 2023, amid record-low levels of unemployment, large swaths of the labour market faced skills and staffing shortages. But 2023 saw the labour market swing back in favour of employers as the unemployment rate ticks up.

Meanwhile, 2023 also saw the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI), as well as an unprecedented number of cyberattacks against large organizations.

Here’s a look at some of the top skills and industries that will be in high demand in 2024.



The year started with an unemployment rate of five per cent in January, close to the record lows of 4.9 per cent that we saw in the summer of 2022. But over the course of 2023, the unemployment rate has slowly creeped up amid repeated interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada aimed at slowing down economic activity(opens in a new tab). As of November 2023, Canada’s unemployment rate stands at 5.8 per cent.

“It’s not the same job seekers’ market that it was at the start of 2022, when really across the economy employers were looking to add workers basically in almost every type of job,” said Brendon Bernard, senior economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.

The technology sector, in particular, has seen steep declines in hiring. This past year saw major layoffs at several large tech companies such as Shopify, Amazon, Microsoft and Spotify.

According to a November report from the Indeed Hiring Lab, software development and IT operations were the two sectors with the biggest declines in the number of job postings in Canada. Compared to November 2022, the number of job postings in these two sectors dropped 53 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.

“From my conversations with (tech) employers, it was really common for candidates to have multiple offers, being able to play job offers from one to another to get the best salary,” said Bernard. “It’s really come back down to earth since and it’s sort of the balance has now shifted back in the employers’ favour.”

However, not all sectors have been affected by the economic slowdown. The health-care sector continues to face significant labour shortages, with pharmacy, therapy, dental and nursing among the sectors that saw the smallest decline in the number of postings, according to the Indeed Hiring Lab.

“A lot of health-care employment is in the public sector, so hiring isn’t going to be impacted by the same cyclical forces that impact private sector hiring,” he said.

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