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One-third of Canadian workers on the hunt for a new job, but market might favour employers: Study

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August 23, 2023
By Talent Canada

Photo: M Einero/peopleimages.com/Adobe Stock

One-third of employed Canadians are keeping an eye out for greener pastures, according to a new survey. But these job seekers may face steeper challenges in switching gigs as the playing field is starting to tilt in the favour of employers, it found.

The study, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals and conducted by The Harris Poll, found the average tenure of these workers was nine years. Dissatisfaction with career advancement prospects seems to be the top reason these individuals consider leaving their current roles, with 47% citing this concern.

Other reasons include discontent with salary (38%), reskilling and upskilling opportunities (36%), benefits (34%), personal fulfillment (33%), and options for remote work (32%).

When asked about their preferences for a new role, respondents highlighted better compensation (44%), improved work/life balance (35%), and greater growth opportunities (30%).


However, the optimism of these potential job switchers might be tested. About 60% believe that employers currently have a stronger position in the general job market, particularly in areas such as salary negotiations (64%), flexible schedules (61%), and remote work provisions (56%). Further, over half (54%) expressed concerns about the difficulty of landing a new job in the upcoming six months.

This sentiment seems to align with data from employers. Compared to 2022, fewer companies this year reported having unfilled vacancies due to a dearth of applicants, dropping from 40% to 35%. Additionally, businesses noting unfilled roles due to employee departures decreased from 53% to 47%.

“While the nation’s unemployment rate is still low, these survey results tell us the tight labour market could be easing to produce more balance between job openings and available workers,” said Bill Stoller, Express Employment International CEO. “However, there’s still work to be done to recruit top talent, and it appears salary, benefits and work/life balance are what employees are after.”

The survey’s methodology involved an online questionnaire conducted from June 13 to June 26, 2023, engaging 507 Canadian adults either employed or seeking employment. The data was weighted to match the Canadian adult population’s demographic breakdown, with a 95% confidence level and a precision rate of ± 5.6 percentage points.

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