The Conference Board of Canada found conditions are positive in nine metropolitan areas, stable in nine and negative in nine.
Labour markets remain tight in the West, where there's less than one unemployed person per job ad in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton.
In Ontario's St. Catharines–Niagara region, the study found nearly 10 unemployed workers for every help-wanted ad posted.
Still, St. Catharines-Niagara is among the nine areas where the Conference Board says employment prospects are improving.
Of the other eight areas with a positive outlook, three are in Ontario, four are in Quebec and the ninth is Calgary.