Male worker standing with a trolley with boxes in warehouse. Warehouse worker in uniform with a cart in aisle of storage racks.

As payroll employment rose in September, job vacancies continued their steady decline, signalling eroding labour demand, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The number of unfilled jobs fell by 6.1% in September, a drop of 40,700, taking the total number of vacancies down to 632,000 from over 1 million at its peak in May 2022.

At the same time, payroll employment edged higher, rising by 22,100 in the month, although StatsCan noted that payroll employment was essentially flat from June to September, as employment declined in previous months.

Overall labour demand, which represents total filled and vacant jobs, declined for the third consecutive month in September, StatsCan said.

The job vacancy rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6% in September.

Amid softening labour markets, average weekly earnings were essentially unchanged in September, StatsCan reported.

On an annual basis, average weekly earnings were up by 4.0% in the month.