11/04/2017 09:56 EDT | Updated 11/04/2017 10:26 EDT

Length Of Time It Takes To Find Work In Canada Is Still At Recession Highs

"This is why it is important to have some savings to fall back on in the event of a job loss."

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Canada's job market is on fire these days, with the unemployment rate near decade lows and a massive 397,000 full-time jobs created over the past year.

But there is a puzzle in here: Typically, when the job situation improves, the length of time it takes to find work gets shorter.

This time around, though, that hasn't happened. It takes out-of-work Canadians nearly as long today to find a job as it did at the height of the Great Recession.


For years prior to the last recession, the length of time it took to find a job in Canada averaged around 15 weeks. But according to a new analysis from Desjardins, that number is around 20 weeks today.

"The number of weeks spent unemployed, i.e. looking for a job, speaks to many people's reality," Desjardins senior economist Hélène Bégin wrote.

Bégin does have a theory about this, and if she's right, it may not be all bad news: It may be that good economic times are making Canadians more picky about the work they choose.

"People are more optimistic, they are less in a rush to find something," she told HuffPost Canada in an interview.

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The job situation prior to the last recession wasn't as good as it is today, so Canadians may have been more willing to take what they could get at that time, she suggested.

"But now most people are aware that companies are looking for workers."

On the other hand, it may just be that it's getting harder to find a high-quality job.

Either way, Bégin notes that five months is a long time to be out of work.

"This is why it is important to have some savings to fall back on in the event of a job loss," she wrote.

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