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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 21, 2022

National Indigenous Peoples Day, Canadian job vacancies hit record high, retail sales top $60 billion, and more.

In this edition:

National Indigenous Peoples Day
Canadian job vacancies hit record high
Retail sales top $60 billion

National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First NationsInuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.

Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

Find activities here.

The Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls will shine orange tonight in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day. The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will be illuminating both sides of the falls in orange tonight from 9:45 to 10:00 pm.

The Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre has started a day full of events at the centre on Buffalo Road.

The Niagara Region Native Centre is hosting opening ceremonies at St. Catharines City Hall this morning 9 o’clock, and will end the day with the ‘Land Back Unity Jam.’

Musical performances will start at 4 o’clock and continue until sunset in the backyard of the Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

Ministers Pablo Rodriguez, Marc Miller, Patty Hajdu and Daniel Vandal issued a statement to commemorate the day.

“Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we invite Canadians to learn about the linguistic and cultural diversity as well as the outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

“It is an opportunity to reiterate the importance of the relationships we continue to build with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, grounded in respect and cooperation, and to reaffirm our commitment to Indigenous Peoples to support their visions of self-determination.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the distinct languages, cultural practices, heritage and spiritual beliefs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada. On National Indigenous Peoples Day, we encourage everyone to celebrate and honour Indigenous knowledge and experiences, in the spirit of reconciliation.

“While today is a time to celebrate, it is also an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the work that remains. This year marks the second commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples Day since the discovery of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School, a sad revelation now echoed across multiple other communities in Canada and a tragic reminder of the historic and ongoing trauma that Indigenous Peoples continue to suffer. Reconciliation relies on our continued commitment to confront the difficult truths and realities of our collective past and the lasting impacts of colonialism.”

The Hope for Wellness Help Line provides immediate, toll-free telephone and online chat-based support and crisis intervention to all Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This service is available in English and French and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. Counsellors are available by phone at 1-855-242-3310 or online chat at

The National Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide emotional and crisis referral services by phone, 24 hours a day, at 1-866-925-4419.

Gallery: Indigenous artists and art showcased at the Upper Canada Native Art Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Canadian job vacancies hit record high

Canadian job vacancies climbed to 957,500 in the first quarter, the highest quarterly number on record. As employers continued to face an increasingly tight labour market, vacancies were up 2.7% (+24,900) from the previous peak observed in the fourth quarter of 2021, and up 72.3% (+401,900) from the first quarter of 2020.

The job vacancy rate—which measures the number of vacant positions as a proportion of total labour demand (filled and vacant positions)—was 5.6% in the first quarter. The job vacancy rate has been trending upward since the first quarter of 2016. It increased sharply from 3.8% in the first quarter of 2021 to 5.3% in the third quarter of the same year. This was mainly the result of an increase in the number of vacancies (+45.3%), while payroll employment declined by 3.0% from the first to the third quarter of 2021.

One year later in the fourth quarter of 2021, the number of unemployed decreased by 513,900. As employers faced the challenges associated with mounting job vacancies, the pool of unemployed workers who could have filled vacant positions continued to dwindle, with further decreases in unemployment (-21.2%; -295,500) from October 2021 to March 2022. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 5.3% in March 2022, then again to a new record low of 5.1% in May 2022. As a result, the ratio of unemployment to job vacancies fell to 1.3 in the first quarter of 2022, less than half the level in the first quarter of 2021 (2.9).

Due in part to a shrinking pool of unemployed workers, employers faced significant hiring challenges during the first quarter, when there were 33.6 newly hired employees (measured in the LFS) for every 100 vacancies (measured in the JVWS). In comparison, the ratio of new hires to vacancies was 47.8 in the first quarter of 2021 and 81.1 in the first quarter of 2016, when comparable data first became available.

  • High labour demand in the health care and social assistance sector, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, continued to push the number of job vacancies up to a new record high of 136,800, up 5.0% (+6,600) from the peak of the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employers in the construction sector were actively seeking to fill 81,500 vacant positions in the first quarter. Compared with the first quarter of 2020, the large increases in vacancies in the construction sector in the first quarter of 2022 were spread across many occupations, including construction trades helpers and labourers (+97%; +8,800) and carpenters (+149.1%; +6,600) (not seasonally adjusted).
  • On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the number of vacant jobs in the accommodation and food services sector decreased 12.2% (-18,500) to 133,800 in the first quarter of 2022, but was up 88.0% (+62,600) compared with the same quarter of 2020 (seasonally adjusted). The food services and drinking places subsector accounted for 92.4% of the overall increase in job vacancies in the sector in the first quarter of 2022.
  • The number of job vacancies peaked at 87,400 in the manufacturing sector in the first quarter, up 5.3% (+4,400) from the record high of the fourth quarter of 2021 and up 93.6% (+42,300) from the first quarter of 2020 (seasonally adjusted). Across all subsectors, the largest increases were in food manufacturing (+81.8%; +6,800) and fabricated metal product manufacturing (+115.7%; +6,100) (not seasonally adjusted).
  • In the retail trade sector, the number of job vacancies was 114,600 in the first quarter, up 12.8% (+13,000) from the peak of the fourth quarter of 2021 and up 68.5% (+46,600) from its level in the first quarter of 2020 (seasonally adjusted). Increases in vacancies occurred in the food and beverage stores (+93.2%; +10,300) and general merchandise stores (+102.3%; +4,700) subsectors (not seasonally adjusted).

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Retail sales top $60 billion

Retail sales increased 0.9% to $60.7 billion in April. Sales were up in 6 of 11 subsectors, led by higher sales at general merchandise stores (+4.2%). Sales were up in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 43.3% of retail trade. Core retail sales—which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers—increased 1.0%.

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Reading Recommendations

OECD projects the global economy will weaken sharply – where does Canada stand?

CTV News

The latest forecast for the global economy shows a grim outlook of the world torn by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Almost all countries are expected to experience slower growth in 2022-23 due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, OECD recently lowered its estimates for global growth, slashing it to 3 per cent in 2022 from 4.5 per cent projected last year.

Click here to read more.

Posthaste: Why these economists think Canada’s housing correction is going to be worse than they feared

Financial Post

Evidence that Canada’s housing market is cooling has been obvious for several months, but now some economists say signs are appearing that the reckoning will be worse than they had feared.

An increasingly hawkish Bank of Canada, the widening of mortgage spreads and news that a lender has suspended new loan applications has prompted Capital Economics to deepen its forecast of home price declines to 20%.

Mortgage spreads dropped during the pandemic when lenders were eager to offer homebuyers financing, but this trend has reversed in recent months.

Click here to read more.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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