BUSINESS

Labour Day 2015: You Won't Believe What's Replaced Fort Mac As Canada's Jobs Capital

09/07/2015 10:22 EDT | Updated 09/07/2015 10:22 EDT
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Move over Fort McMurray, Alberta, your days as Canada’s best place to find a job are over. The new champion is … Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec?

Apparently so, at least according to one survey. With the oil price collapse taking a toll on jobs in Alberta (though not as much of a toll as one would think), Western Canada’s job markets are looking weaker and eastern Canada’s job markets are looking (relatively) stronger.

That’s according to the second annual Labour Day list of hot job markets from staffing firm Express Employment Professionals.

"This year's survey has again produced surprising results — finding hot job markets in traditionally higher unemployment regions," Express CEO Bob Funk says.

The ranking may seem strange, but it squares up at least with Statistics Canada data showing the strongest wage growth this year has been east of Ontario.

Still, it’s more of a case of the west getting worse than the rest getting better. Express notes there has been little movement in jobs in the two Quebec cities that top their ranking, “but in comparison to the cooling out west, the rate of job availability per 1,000 people has held steady.”

In last year’s survey, seven of the 10 hottest job markets were in the west, but this year’s shows a 50-50 split between east and west, the survey found.

Among major cities, Calgary slid the farthest, to 19th place this year from 10th. The biggest rise also went to a western city -- Victoria, B.C., which jumped seven points to 13th. British Columbia overall places well on the list, holding five of the top 20 spots on the list. So there are still parts of Western Canada that are holding up nicely, economic slump or not.

Here are the 20 hottest cities for jobs in the new, post-oil Canada, according to Express' survey. The survey ranked cities by counting job postings at Canada's federal Job Bank and cross-referencing it with StatsCan population data.

Top 20 Canadian Hot Job Markets 2015

— William Alcopra contributed to this report.