A new job vacancy rate report has been released and the details are not good for the Lethbridge and Medicine Hat region. The job vacancy rate in the region was up 4.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2021. This number is the highest recorded since 2015. This means there are 5,545 job vacancies in our area. Trevor Lewington, the CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge, says the elevated number of job vacancies has continued to create a challenge for local businesses.
“What it tells us is things that we’re hearing anecdotally on the street, and when you go to a business people are having difficulty recruiting. In particular, most of those vacancies are in the sales and services occupations. Which again, I don’t think will surprise anyone. That’s food service, accommodation, which is retail. These are the sectors that have been most disrupted by covid and public health restrictions. What it tells us is employers are struggling to find talent and to attract and retain workers. Of course we still have people that are unemployed and looking for work. The work of organizations like mine is to try to make sure we do a better job of connecting those two groups and solving that problem.”
There are almost 2,500 more vacancies in our area than were reported in the same time period in 2019.