The Hamilton Spectator

More Ontarians eye work in other provinces


Ontario job seekers are increasing­ly looking for work in other provinces, especially positions in remote-friendly sectors like tech, said a new report from Indeed.

In the second half of 2022, 6.1 per cent of clicks on Canadian job postings by Ontario-based job seekers were for positions in other provinces, according to the job search company. That’s an almost 50 per cent increase from the second half of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the labour market.

While interest in moving to B.C. and Nova Scotia spiked at the beginning of the pandemic, Alberta has led growth in clicks from Ontario job seekers ever since.

Indeed senior economist Brendon Bernard said while jobs in natural resources have historical­ly driven people to move to Alberta and Saskatchew­an and continue to see higher shares of out-of-province clicks from job seekers, the jobs driving significan­t growth in outbound interest from Ontario are remote-friendly white-collar jobs like tech and marketing.

This trend shows not only a rising interest in moving outside of Ontario, which is also reflected in Statistics Canada migration data, but it also highlights the pandemic’s effect on remote work, expanding the geographic scope of white-collar job searches, said Indeed.

During the first three quarters of 2022, 83 per cent more people moved from Ontario to another province than during the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.

This shift is likely in part due to the rising cost of living, Indeed said, as well as more flexibilit­y around remote work due to the pandemic.

While there are many reasons someone might decide to move to another province, some are more obvious than others, said Bernard.

“Ontario’s affordabil­ity challenges, especially in the GTA, are pretty well known,” he said.

The trends in job seeker clicks indicate this uptick in interprovi­ncial migration could continue, Indeed said. However, Bernard noted that with the rise in remote work, some Ontarians may be clicking on outof-province jobs with no intention of leaving the province.

Regardless, he said as long as costs remaining elevated and more employers are offering remote work, migration out of Ontario is likely to stay higher than it used to be.

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