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With unemployment rising and the number of job vacancies shrinking, there are signs of slack in the labour market, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

In the second quarter, the number of unfilled jobs dropped by 55,500, StatsCan reported. Over the past year, the number of job vacancies decreased by 210,700 to 780,200, a drop of 21.3%.

Alongside the decline in job openings, the job vacancy rate, which represents vacancies as a proportion of total labour demand, declined by 0.3 percentage points in the second quarter to 4.4%, StatsCan said.

At the same time, unemployment increased in the second quarter.

StatsCan said this combination of higher unemployment and shrinking job openings meant there are now 1.4 jobless workers for every open position, up from 1.3 in the first quarter, and 1.1 in the second quarter of 2022.

“These increases indicate that labour market tightness eased in the second quarter of 2023, which may reduce upward pressure on growth in offered wages,” it said.

StatsCan also noted that growth in average hourly wages eased for the second straight quarter.