BUSINESS
12/17/2013 01:08 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Canada's Unemployed Face Tougher Job Market: StatsCan

Jakub WAjtowicz via Getty Images

It’s getting harder to find a job in Canada.

There were six job-seekers for every job available in September, StatsCan says in a new report. A year earlier, there were only 5.2 job-seekers per job.

That’s not because there are more unemployed people; the number of jobless people was “little changed” over the past year, StatsCan says, but the number of jobs available to them has shrunk.

The Maritimes have been hardest hit. Prince Edward Island has seen the number of job-seekers per job spike to 15.5 this September, up from eight a year earlier, though some of that may be statistical noise due to a small sample size.

Even Alberta — which has the country’s lowest ratio of job-seekers per job, meaning the healthiest job market — has seen its labour market tighten. There are now 2.1 job-seekers per job, compared to 1.7 a year earlier.

Here’s the breakdown by province and industry:

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Canada's Best, Worst Job Markets

Broken down by industry, construction saw the largest spike in job-seekers. There were six job-seekers for every job in construction, up from 3.9 a year earlier. That could indicate real estate developers are slowing down on new projects.

Canada’s long-struggling manufacturing sector was a rare bright spot — in that things didn’t get worse. There were five job-seekers in manufacturing for every job in September, StatsCan said, the same ratio as a year earlier.

Manufacturing sales unexpectedly posted a jump in October, StatsCan said in a separate report Tuesday, rising to their highest level since May of 2012, perhaps helping to quell fears that the sector is becoming a risk to Canada’s economic health.

The closely-watched oil, gas and mining sector saw its job situation worsen as well. The number of job-seekers per job nearly doubled over the past year, to four from 2.1 in September, 2012.

StatsCan said this was due to a decrease in the number of jobs available in the oil patch. Canada’s oil industry has been under pressure recently due to weak prices and competition from unconventional oil sources in the U.S.