Language selection

Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada

Search

Occupational Outlook - New Brunswick 2020 - 2021

Occupational Outlook - New Brunswick 2020 - 2021

PDF download

Download the PDF version (552 KB) of this abstract.

About this Report:

Each year, ESDC/Service Canada undertakes analysis on occupational job prospects and wages across all regions of Canada. The results, published to www.jobbank.gc.ca, serve to support Canadians in making informed decisions on education, training and employment opportunities.

This report examines occupational employment trends in New Brunswick arising from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on occupations that have been most impacted across various segments of the economy, as well as those in-demand by employers. Drawing on insights from various sources, the analysis offers considerations as to how job prospects will unfold in the year ahead.

HOW COVID-19 IS AFFECTING THE LABOUR MARKET

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented layoffs and disruption to economic activity. In an effort to contain the spread of the virus, all non-essential businesses were forced to close last spring and health restrictions were implemented across the entire country. New Brunswick was the first province to begin lifting restrictions this summer. Nevertheless, it will be at least another year or more before economic conditions return to normal. In some sectors, such as tourism and retail trade, which were more significantly impacted by the pandemic, the recovery will take much longer.

The majority of the job losses have been in the transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services, and trade sectors. While employment among these industries has gradually recovered in recent months, it is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, at the earliest.

Population growth has been elevated by historical standards over the last couple of years and the evidence suggests that this should continue once travel restrictions are lifted. International migration is projected to be the primary driver of population gains over the next decade. The resulting increase in household formation is expected to drive growth in housing starts in the next few years.

Monthly Employment (x 1,000)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the investment outlook in the province. Businesses across the province are operating with a high amount of excess capacity due to softened demand and restrictions to economic activity. Some employers are facing challenges finding workers with the necessary skills, which is being compounded by travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine periods for new arrivals. The widespread distribution of a vaccine across the country in the months ahead should help improve business confidence, especially as the number of active cases of COVID-19 begin to decline significantly.

Job losses have been the most severe among younger workers, as they account for a larger share of employment in sectors that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially retail and tourism. More generally, lower-paid and lower-skilled workers have been the most impacted segment of the workforce.

Economic activity in New Brunswick is expected to increase by around 3% in 2021, recovering around two-thirds of the decline in 2020. A recovery in global economic activity is anticipated to result from a rebound in exports, while employment gains and income support from the federal government should help household consumption return to pre-pandemic levels. As shown below, the economy has recovered most of the jobs lost earlier this year, and remains close to the level achieved during the same time last year. 

Show data table: New Brunswick monthly employment

New Brunswick monthly employment, unadjusted seasonally
2019 2020
Jan 339.9 345.8
Feb 344 349.6
Mar 347.5 331
Apr 345.8 300.9
May 364.6 332.4
Jun 373.1 365.9
Jul 366 359.4
Aug 368.8 358.5
Sep 365.6 358.4
Oct 359.3 356.5
Nov 353.5  
Dec 352.9  

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

OCCUPATIONAL ANALYSIS

 

The occupational analysis is organized by broad occupation category, as listed below. Each section begins with some general analysis on the factors affecting employment in this group, followed by detailed discussion on a handful of specific occupations.

 

Broad Occupation Category
0 - Management Occupations

Compared to some of the other major occupational groups, senior managers were impacted only modestly by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the level of employment for senior management positions is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels early next year. Prior to the pandemic, employment among this occupational group had been trending downward for close to two decades.

Given the nature of the work, senior management positions are represented across a broad range of industries, such as professional, scientific and technical services; real estate and rental and leasing; insurance carriers and related activity; monetary authorities; computer system design services and provincial federal public administration.

Workers in this occupation are employed primarily in industries that were not overly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or the restrictions that were implemented to prevent the spread of the virus. A very small share of senior managers work in the hardest-hit industries like trade, accommodation and food services, and information and culture.

Show data table: New Brunswick monthly employment

New Brunswick monthly employment, unadjusted seasonally
2019 2020
Jan 339.9 345.8
Feb 344 349.6
Mar 347.5 331
Apr 345.8 300.9
May 364.6 332.4
Jun 373.1 365.9
Jul 366 359.4
Aug 368.8 358.5
Sep 365.6 358.4
Oct 359.3 356.5
Nov 353.5  
Dec 352.9  

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 0213 Computer and information systems managers

 

NOC 0213: Computer and information systems managers

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were an estimated 525 computer and information systems managers employed across the province in 2019, down considerably from a year earlier and at its lowest level since 2012.

  • Looking ahead, a number of structural factors should help reverse the downward trend and support an increase in employment for this occupation. Areas of expansion in the occupation include cybersecurity, smart-grid, e-government or digital government, big data and the Internet of Things.

  • Being a management position, this occupation requires several years of experience as well as a relatively high skill-set.

  • Workers in this occupation are, on average, much younger than the typical worker across the labour force as a whole. Only one in every ten computer and information systems manager is aged 55 and above, which means that relatively few job openings will appear as a result of retirements in the near-term. By comparison, around two or three out of every ten workers in the labour force are, on average, in the 55 and over age category.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The level of employment diminished slightly this spring, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is expected to recover gradually and return to pre-pandemic levels sometime next year.

  • More generally, computer and information systems managers were impacted only modestly as a result of the pandemic. This is because workers in this occupation are employed mostly in industries where the disruptions to economic activity was minimal. Key areas of employment in 2019 were in computer systems design services; information and cultural industries; and provincial and federal public administration.

  • This occupation lends itself relatively easily to remote work, which could also explain why layoffs were relatively modest because of the pandemic.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment for this occupation began growing noticeably around the late 1990s across the province. Since 2012, however, employment has trended downward, for the most part.

  • The growing emphasis on a knowledge-based economy, including the widespread use of modern technology that has accelerated during the pandemic, suggest that employment growth should pick-up again in this profession.

  • Some employers have reported difficulty in finding workers with the set of skills that is necessary for this occupation.
NOC 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers

 

NOC 0621: Retail and wholesale trade managers

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were 4,800 workers employed as retail and wholesale trade managers in 2019.

  • This is a relatively young occupation, with roughly 8 out of 10 workers under the age of 55.

  • The main industries of employment for this occupation are retail stores, food and beverage stores and wholesale trade. Among these three industries, however, other retail stores accounts for the bulk of employment.

  • Traditionally, turnover has been quite common in this occupation, and it is expected that the majority of job openings over the next couple of years will arise out of the need to re-fill those vacancies. At the same time, competition for these openings is anticipated to be relatively high, and job prospects will be greater for individuals with managerial experience working in high-volume restaurant operations.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment for retail and wholesale trade managers diminished slightly in March. After remaining steady in April and May, employment rebounded in June and August, returning to near pre-pandemic levels.

  • The number of Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries for this occupation spiked in March and April, as all non-essential businesses were forced to close and unemployment surged across the economy. While the number of beneficiaries has since begun to moderate, it remains higher than usual, which suggests that the demand for workers in this occupation remains low.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment for this occupation has declined steadily for close to two decades.

  • The number of retail establishments has increased in recent years, alongside a rising population.

  • At the same time, however, there has been a transition away from brick and mortar stores to more of an online platform for shopping. This is expected to intensify in years to come, which should contain job growth in this occupation.

  • Growth prospects will remain subdued as long as the threat of an outbreak exists, and travel restrictions remain in place.

  • Recovery in the tourism sector is expected to be slower than most other sectors. The pace of growth will depend on how quickly a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed to the general population, and the sector¿s ability to rebuild the confidence of potential tourists.
NOC 0631 Restaurant and food service managers

 

NOC 0631: Restaurant and food service managers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were approximately 1,700 restaurant and food managers employed across the province in 2019. Around 2 out of every 10 workers in this occupation are aged 55 and over, which means that some job opportunities will likely arise because of retirement over the next couple of years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Despite the majority of workers in this occupation being employed in industries that were the most impacted by the pandemic, layoffs were minimal, which is encouraging given that several restaurants and food service establishments continue to operate below full capacity due to health restrictions.

  • The level of employment among restaurant and food service managers remained broadly unchanged between March and May.

  • New Brunswick's success relative to other provinces at containing the spread of the virus has meant that consumers might feel more comfortable going to public places such as restaurants without fear of contracting the virus. As health restrictions are gradually lifted and vaccines are distributed, activity in bars and restaurants should continue to normalize.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • In the months leading up to the pandemic, employment within this occupation had on the decline. This followed a sustained period of stability in the occupation, where employment stayed relatively unchanged for more than two decades.

  • Historically, there has been a fair degree of turnover within this occupation, and job openings result from the need to fill those vacancies. Competition for these positions is relatively high, and job prospects are typically greater for those with managerial experience having worked in high-volume restaurant operations.
NOC 0632 Accommodation service managers

 

NOC 0632: Accommodation service managers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 1,600 workers employed in this occupation across the province in 2019. Nearly 40% of accommodation and food services managers were aged 55 and over during this same period, which implies that a relatively large share of job openings will arise because of retirements over the next few years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Jobs in the traveler accommodations industry are closely tied to tourism, which has been one of the most severely impacted industries by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The damage to the tourism industry has been a major contributor to the significant job losses for accommodation and food services managers in March and April. The number of EI beneficiaries grew rapidly during this same period.

  • Hotel visits fell considerably earlier in the year and remain well below pre-pandemic levels despite a gradual recovery over the past several months. This suggests that accommodation service managers will be in low demand for the near future, as hotel vacancy rates remain will above normal.

  • The flow of tourists into the province remains well below its historical average due to the pandemic. A resurgence in the number of infections across the country has led stricter travel restrictions, which will continue to impact the accommodations industry.

  • Activity in the tourism sector will likely not fully recover until sometime in 2022, at which time a vaccine will likely have been fully distributed across the entire country.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Most accommodation service managers work in traveler accommodations, which is highly seasonal and tends to fluctuate around changes in demand, generally performing better during the summer months.

  • New hotels have opened in recent years, including the Hilton Garden Inn and a 121-room Resort Radisson Hotel and Suites in Fredericton and the new Hyatt Place Hotel in Moncton.

  • Competition for room night from sharing economy services such as Airbnb may be reducing the demand for conventional accommodations.
1 - Business, finance and administration occupations

There were around 54,300 employed workers in this occupational group across the province in 2019. This is still a relatively young group of workers, on average, with roughly three quarters being under the age of 55 during the same year. Relative to the other major occupational groups, this one has been a little less exposed to the negative effects of the pandemic. In general, this is because a relatively small share of employment is concentrated in industries where disruptions to economic activity have been the worst, such as tourism, retail and food services.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 1111 Financial auditors and accountants

 

NOC 1111: Financial auditors and accountants

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 2,700 financial auditors and accountants employed in New Brunswick in 2019.

  • Around a quarter of those working in this occupation are aged 55 and over, which suggests that some job opportunities should arise as a result of retirements in the next few years.

  • Approximately four out of every 10 financial auditors and accountants are employed in accounting, tax preparation, and bookkeeping and payroll services. The remainder are typically employed across a broad range of industries, since the services these workers provide are required in almost all sectors of the economy.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Not many financial auditors and accountants work in industries that have been battered by COVID-19.

  • The occupation was able to avoid job losses altogether in March and April, even though all non-essential businesses were closed temporarily. The core work functions of the occupation allowed for the easy transition from office-based location to tele-work. The beginning of the pandemic coincided with the usually busy tax season, which could have also played a role in limiting layoffs.

  • EI beneficiaries spiked in April, growing by around 75% from the month before, and have gradually trended upwards in the months since.

  • Over the next few years, employment among financial auditors and accountants is expected to remain near current levels.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • After being relatively unchanged for many years, employment in this occupation diminished noticeably since around 2016.

  • This occupation has been in relatively high demand in recent years, as employers continue to seek qualified workers.

  • Since the creation of the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in 2014, which replaced the three separate designations, enrollment numbers in New Brunswick have declined. This suggests that fewer graduates will likely enter the labour force, at least in the short-term, which could lead to a potential shortage of financial auditors and accountants.
NOC 1241 Administrative assistants

 

NOC 1241: Administrative assistants

General information about this occupation:

  • There were close to 6,000 administrative assistants employed across the province just prior to the pandemic, up significantly from the 2,500 at the beginning of 2019.

  • This is a relatively young occupation, as less than 30% of all those working in this occupation are aged 55 or over.

  • Administrative positions are occasionally entry-level and can be found in most industries. Vacant positions occasionally become available due to staff turnover, and promotions that result from acquiring additional training or because of knowledge acquired during experience.

  • Employment prospects will be greater for those with some post-secondary education. Preference will often be given to those with strong oral and written communication skills and familiarity with word processing and spreadsheet software packages.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Not unlike other occupations, administrative assistants were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruptions to economic activity, along with the mandatory closures of all non-essential businesses in an effort to contain the COVID-19 virus, triggered significant layoffs for administrative assistants in March and April. EI beneficiaries for administrative assistants grew sharply in March and April in response to the increase in unemployment.

  • On an encouraging note, job losses for this occupation were reversed entirely in June and July, as restrictions were lifted and businesses and government offices were allowed to re-open. EI beneficiaries for administrative assistants have since begun to normalise, although as of August were still up by nearly a third from a year earlier.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • In New Brunswick, the level of employment for this occupation grew significantly during the 12-month period leading up to the pandemic.

  • The day-to-day tasks of administrative assistants has evolved during the past couple of decades.

  • There has been a growing need for administrative assistants in many business and government settings, which is why their presence has expanded across a large range of industries.
2 - Natural and applied sciences and related occupations

The professional occupations in natural and applied sciences have experienced a surge in the number of positions across the province over the past several decades. The level of employment for this occupational group has trended upwards at a fairly rapid and steady rate since the 1980s. Employment is projected to increase at an average annual rate of around 1.8% over the next couple of years, even after factoring in the COVID-19 pandemic.

These occupations are concentrated primarily among industries that have been relatively unexposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly a quarter of positions (23%) are in computer systems design services, while around 13% of these occupations are in architectural, engineering and design services. A further 11% of these positions are in the provincial and federal governments. Less than 10% of these positions are concentrated in the highly exposed information and cultural industries sector.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants

 

NOC 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 2,150 persons employed as information systems analysts and consultants across the province in 2019.

  • On average, nine in every 10 workers in this occupation are below the age of 55, which suggests that only a limited number of job opportunities will arise due to retirements over the next couple of years.

  • Nearly three out of every 10 information systems analysts and consultants are employed in computer systems design services, while one in every 10 are employed in the information and cultural industry.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • After growing rapidly for much of 2019, employment for information systems analysts and consultants grew strongly during the beginning of 2020, including in March and April, when labour market conditions deteriorated significantly across the province as a whole.

  • Employment declined for three consecutive months between May and July, but still remains in line with its pre-pandemic level in February. The number of information systems analysts and consultants receiving EI benefits, meanwhile, nearly doubled during that same period.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Information systems analysts and consultants are in relatively high demand in the labour market of today and work across a wide range of industries.

  • Unemployment is relatively low for information systems analysts and consultants across the province.

  • Growth in cyber security and cloud computing will continue to support the demand for information systems analysts and consultants in the years ahead. The need for businesses to adopt improved information systems and create complex technological applications should generate additional opportunities for these workers.

  • It is important for workers in this occupation to remain current on new systems and technologies along with programming languages. Knowledge of project management and data analysis software is also valuable.
NOC 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers

 

NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were roughly 2,155 computer programmers and interactive media developers employed in New Brunswick in 2019. This profession ranks as one of the youngest in the labour market, as 96% of its workers are below the age of 55, which means that very few job opportunities will arise due to retirements in the near future.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Labour market conditions for this occupation have not only been resilient throughout the pandemic - they have improved according to the employment figures. As of August, the level of employment had nearly doubled from the pre-pandemic levels in February. Most of these job gains were surprisingly in March and April, when the rest of the economy was struggling the most from the widespread shutdown of all non-essential businesses.

  • Some recent announcements regarding job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic include the Atlantic Lottery Corporation decision to cut around 9% of its staff, stating that the layoffs were due to a shift to digital gambling and COVID-19. While N.B. saw 43 job losses because of the layoffs, the move towards digital gambling platforms represents new opportunities for programmers and interactive media developers.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers should benefit from commitments from the Government of New Brunswick and other stakeholders to improve the capacity of the province's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

  • Unemployment is typically low for this occupation, which is an indication that it is in high demand. With the degree of turnover being relatively low, it appears that most new job vacancies for computer programmers and interactive media developers will be created through employment growth over the next couple of years.
NOC 2281 Computer network technicians

 

NOC 2281: Computer network technicians

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 820 computer network technicians employed across the province in 2019.

  • As a relatively young occupation, as close to 90% of all workers are under the age of 55, which suggests that few job opportunities will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years.

  • Computer network technicians are likely to remain in relatively high demand for the near future. Looking forward, employment growth is likely to remain modest for this occupation throughout the outlook period. Around 20% of workers classified under this occupation are located in the computer systems design services industry. Close to 15%, however, belong to the Information and cultural industries sector, while another 10% work in education services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Computer network technicians did not experience any significant job losses as a result of COVID-19. In fact, the level of employment for this occupation actually increased in March and April and currently sits above the pre-pandemic level in February.

  • In the news, two major companies in the region have partnered to sell internet connection technology to businesses in the region. The intent is that these products will help businesses as they rely more on digital technology due to COVID-19. That said, it appears that workers in the occupation were impacted initially as a result of the pandemic

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • This occupation is in high demand by employers across the province. Unemployment is usually relatively low for computer network technicians, as job requirements for positions often require post-secondary skills.
NOC 2282 User support technicians

 

NOC 2282: User support technicians

General information about this occupation:

  • There were 2,435 user support technicians employed across the province in 2019. Employment is expected to grow modestly during the next couple of years.

  • While there are typically low levels of unemployment in this field, job turnover is low, which means that employment prospects are somewhat limited.

  • This is a relatively young occupation, with nine out of every 10 workers under the age of 55, which means that few job opportunities will arise as a result of retirements over the next couple of years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • User support technicians have been relatively unaffected by COVID-19, largely because few user support technicians work in sectors that were greatly impacted by the pandemic, such as tourism and trade. The number of EI beneficiaries remained extremely low throughout the pandemic, while the level of employment has remained well above its pre-pandemic level in recent months.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • User support technicians have become in greater demand over the past few years across the country, including in New Brunswick. The increased use of technology has created the need for increased user support technicians across the province. Recent announcements that are relevant to this occupation are Rogers Communications' announcement that it will be moving its remaining 150 frontline call centre jobs that are currently in the Philippines to call centre hubs in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec.
3 - Health occupations

Relative to the other major occupational groups, Health occupations have been impacted only slightly as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned. This is in part due to the significant increase in the demand for health care services as a result of the pandemic. The majority of health occupations, meanwhile, were classified as essential at a time when all non-essential businesses were mandated to close for several weeks.

After trending upward for more than two decades, the level of employment in health care and social assistance stabilized in the two-year period leading up to the pandemic. For the most part, this has been the pattern for the majority of occupations in the health care sector. Job growth has been slightly more pronounced in occupations in support roles such as nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 3233 Licensed practical nurses

 

NOC 3233: Licensed practical nurses

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 7,300 persons employed in this occupation across the province last year. One in every four workers in this occupation is 55 or older, which means that some job opportunities should arise because of retirements over the outlook period.

  • Half of all licensed practical nurses are employed in hospitals, while the remainder are spread across nursing and residential care facilities and ambulances.

  • Some labour shortages for this occupation have been registered in certain parts of the province, especially in long-term residential care homes located in rural areas.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • There were very few layoffs reported among licensed practical nurses this year throughout the pandemic, which could largely be because their work was considered as being essential. As a result, LPNs were not part of the thousands that were laid off in March and April when non-essential businesses were forced to close.

  • The level of employment remained relatively unchanged throughout the entire pandemic, while the volume of EI beneficiaries was up only slightly from February.

  • Given that seniors are at higher risk of serious complications when infected by the virus, a greater share of this demographic required hospitalization, special care and residential care facilities impacting the demand for licensed practical nurses.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Despite the growing demand for health care services, employment for this occupation has remain relatively unchanged over the past five years. This could be in part because employment has risen considerably for close to two decades and employers have since begun to focus on improved efficiency with technology.

  • Opportunities could be greater for those who are willing to work in rural communities and more remote locations, particularly in the province¿s northern region. Candidates will be required to be bilingual in some instances.

  • As governments seek to restrain health delivery costs, hospitals and other care facilities may increasingly use Licensed practical nurses, instead of Registered nurses and other health care professionals, to deliver nursing care.

  • Hospitals typically recruit directly from colleges, while those seeking work at private care facilities may be required to start work on a part-time and/or casual basis prior to securing full-time, permanent employment.
NOC 3413 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

 

NOC 3413: Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 7,300 persons employed in this occupation across the province last year. One in every four workers in this occupation is aged 55 and over, which suggests that job openings will arise because of retirements in the next few years.

  • The majority of positions are concentrated in hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities. An ageing population suggests that demand for nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates will continue to grow in the near future.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The level of employment for this occupation remained relatively unchanged throughout the pandemic. In August, employment was almost exactly in-line with its pre-pandemic level in February.

  • There have been reports of labour shortages due to COVID-19 across parts of the province. For instance, the N.B. government asked public servants to volunteer at the Manoir de la Vallee in Atholville due to staffing shortages resulting from the virus.

  • More generally, the pandemic has raised concerns of care homes across the province being short-staffed. This suggests that employment prospects for those with the necessary qualifications will be higher than normal until a vaccine is distributed. Given that seniors have been identified as one of the priority groups, they, along with first respondents, will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment for this occupation has increased considerably over the past 20 years, more than doubling from the 3,000 in the year 2000. Employment opportunities may be greater for those who are willing to work in remote locations.

  • There has been a shortage of workers in this occupation, especially across some of the smaller French-speaking communities in the northern parts of the province.

  • Rapid increases in public debt have prompted governments to restrain spending on the delivery of health care services. In an effort to contain some of these costs, hospitals and other care facilities may increasingly require the use of nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates.
4 - Occupations in education, law, and social community and government services

This occupational category extends across a broad range of professions, which have been impacted by varying degrees by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of all non-essential businesses this spring resulted in the temporary closures of many stores and offices. Public schools across the province closed their doors at the end of March and remained closed for the remainder of the year. While most elementary and secondary school teachers were able to avoid layoffs, some in the public school system became out of work, including teachers¿ assistants and other support workers.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 4031 Secondary school teachers

 

NOC 4031: Secondary school teachers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were 2,670 secondary school teachers employed in New Brunswick in 2019, the majority of which were under the age of 55, which suggests that relatively few opportunities will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years.

  • The overwhelming majority of secondary school teachers are employed in the educational services industry.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Despite the closure of all public schools across the province beginning around the middle of March and lasting for the remainder of the school year, there was no surge in unemployment among secondary school teachers.

  • The level of employment for secondary school teachers remained broadly unchanged throughout the entire year. Meanwhile, the number of EI beneficiaries has remained close to its pre-pandemic level. Altogether, there is no evidence that the pandemic has had any effect on workers in the occupation. The number of beneficiaries rose to levels that are only slightly higher than normal for that time of the year this past spring.

  • While there were no significant changes in employment levels, the roles and responsibilities for secondary school teachers changed considerably during the spring of last year, including teaching remotely. While the re-opening of all public schools in September meant the return to a more traditional classroom-teaching environment, secondary school teachers continue to face additional responsibilities as the pandemic continues. These responsibilities include constantly ensuring that students are complying with all the social distancing and general health requirements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • School teachers in general have felt elevated stress levels as a result of dealing with issues related to the pandemic.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment in this occupation has been relatively stable for close to two decades.

  • Unemployment is typically low for secondary school teachers, as reflected by the low number of beneficiaries between 2017 and 2019.

  • The most recent collective bargaining agreement between the provincial government and the teachers¿ union committed to no reduction of full-time equivalent school teachers and the addition of 250 school-based teachers.

  • Labour shortages have been reported in the francophone school system.
NOC 4032 Elementary school and kindergarten teachers

 

NOC 4032: Elementary school and kindergarten teachers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were 10,000 elementary school teachers employed across the province in 2019.

  • Around 92% of all elementary school teachers in New Brunswick were below the age of 55, which suggests that very few opportunities will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Despite the closures of all public schools beginning around the middle of March, there were very few reported layoffs among elementary school teachers.

  • Between February and April, both the level of employment and the number of EI beneficiaries in the occupation remained relatively unchanged.

  • While no significant layoffs occurred last spring, the roles and responsibilities for elementary school teachers changed considerably, including working remotely.

  • Though the re-opening of all public schools in September meant a return to the more traditional classroom-teaching environment, elementary school teachers continue to face additional responsibilities because of the pandemic.

  • Because of all the added responsibilities that have resulted due to COVID-19, several elementary school teachers have been required to work overtime to complete normal tasks like answering emails, staying current on work responsibilities and preparing course material.

  • A recent media article reported that many New Brunswick teachers have been dealing with significant amounts of stress and higher workloads during the pandemic and mental health concerns are on the rise.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of competition for vacant positions has increased in recent years. A 5-year collective agreement signed, committing to no reductions of full-time equivalent teachers and the addition of 250 school-based teaches. However, there is a shortage of qualified elementary teachers in the French education system, especially for substitute teachers.

  • Many job openings in this occupation are filled internally. As a result, some teachers currently under term contracts will receive probationary contracts.

  • New teachers will typically obtain substitute and term contract employment before being offered a full-time position.
NOC 4152 Social workers

 

NOC 4152: Social workers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were approximately 2,275 social workers employed across the province in 2019, around 15% of which were aged 55 and older, meaning that a number of job opportunities will arise due to retirements over the next couple of years. The number of unemployed social workers is typically low in comparison to other occupations, which implies that there are relatively few qualified unemployed workers in the labour market to compete for unfilled vacancies.

  • Half of all social workers across the province in 2019 were employed in social assistance, while the remainder were employed primarily in hospitals, ambulatory health care services, nursing and residential care facilities, and provincial and federal public administration.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Demand for social workers has risen during the pandemic.

  • Long-than-usual periods of confinement at home, especially during the lock-down in the spring and summer, has contributed to a rise in domestic disturbances, and an increase in the demand for social services. This increased demand throughout the pandemic has led to higher stress levels for social workers. These workers deal directly with the public and are therefore at higher risk of contracting the virus, thus requiring greater precautions.

  • Heading into the pandemic, the level of employment for social workers stood at around 2,600 across the province. After remaining unchanged in March, when many of the health restrictions were implemented, employment grew by more than a thousand, to 3,800, in April. Despite moderating somewhat in recent months, employment remains comfortably above it pre-pandemic level.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Social workers have been in relatively high demand across the province in recent years. The level of employment for social workers has been trending upwards for more than two decades, and the outlook is for job growth to remain healthy over the next couple of years. Many social work positions are directly or indirectly publicly funded and therefore dependent on funding from all levels of government.

  • Some job opportunities for social workers are expected to arise because of increased demand for social services for the elderly, including palliative and mental health support services given the aging population.

  • Some social work positions are characterized as having high turnover due to high stress levels.

  • Employment opportunities are expected to be increasingly concentrated in the larger urban centres of Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John.
NOC 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants

 

NOC 4214: Early childhood educators and assistants

General information about this occupation:

  • In 2019, there were around 5,300 early childhood educators and assistants employed across the province. A significant share of these persons work in social assistance.

  • In recent years, unemployment has been relatively low among early childhood educators and assistants across the province.

  • One in every ten early childhood educator and assistant is aged 55 and over, which means that relatively few job opportunities will arise over the next couple of years because of retirements.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Unlike elementary and secondary school teachers, many early childhood educators and assistants were laid off during the spring of 2020, when all public schools were closed due to COVID-19. Daycares and similar establishments also closed during the same time.

  • Employment levels have now returned close to pre-pandemic levels as public schools have been re-opened since September.

  • Daycares have also reopened with a number of preventative measures in place to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Early childhood educators and assistants are in high demand across the province, which helps explain the rapid pace of employment growth in the occupation over the past several years.

  • Over the longer period, the level of employment for this occupation has been trending upwards since the early 2000s, as many government initiatives focused increasingly on the development of early childhood education. By 2019, employment had more than doubled.

  • The rate of turnover is relatively high for this occupation, which should provide some job opportunities in the near future.
NOC 4412 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

 

NOC 4412: Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 4,070 home support workers and housekeepers employed across the province in 2019, around 40% of which were aged 55 or above, which suggests that many job vacancies will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years. More generally, home support workers and housekeepers are among the oldest occupation in the economy.

  • Around 60% of home support workers and housekeepers are employed in the social assistance industry, while another 20% work in ambulatory health care services. The remainder of home support workers and housekeepers are employed either across private households, or in nursing and residential care facilities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Home support workers and housekeepers were among the most impacted occupation in the labour market aside from professions closely related to the tourism and retail sectors. With more people working from home, and the need to take precautions, the demand for housekeepers has declined.

  • The level of employment fell from 3,700 in February to 1,900 in May. A gradual recovery during the following months has helped reverse around three quarters of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic.

  • The number of EI beneficiaries grew considerably in the months following the onset of the pandemic, and by August remain more than twice the level of a year earlier.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment for this occupation has been on a gradual upward trend for the past few decades, which could be in part a reflection of the stronger population growth in recent years and the increasing number of seniors requiring support and special care.

  • Single-parent households have become increasingly common over the past few decades, which has increased the need for housekeepers, since maintaining a household might be challenging for a single parent who is away from home at the office all day with only a limited amount of free time during the evenings.
NOC 4413 Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

 

NOC 4413: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 3,000 elementary and secondary school teacher assistants employed across the province in 2019. Around a quarter of these workers were aged 55 and over, which suggests that that a meaningful share of job opportunities over the next few years will arise due to retirements.

  • Unemployment is relatively low for elementary and secondary school teachers. Those who become unemployed typically remain without work for a relatively short period.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Compared too many other occupations, relatively few elementary and secondary school teacher assistants were laid off when all public schools were closed in March.

  • Nevertheless, the roles and responsibilities for workers in this occupation changed considerably during the spring of 2020. Many elementary and secondary teacher assistants were required to work remotely under a new virtual classroom environment.

  • While the re-opening of all public schools in September meant a return to the more traditional classroom-teaching environment, teacher assistants were tasked with the added responsibilities of keeping students safe, physical spaces clean, and ensuring that students are constantly complying with social distancing and health requirements.

  • Similarly, the pandemic has created additional duties for elementary and secondary school teacher assistants to safeguard against a future outbreak.

  • Many in the occupation have reported elevated stress levels because of the pandemic.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • There is a relatively high level of turnover in this occupation, which explains why there is a number of job vacancies available throughout the entire province.
5 - Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sports

This is the smallest occupational group across the entire provincial labour force; only one occupation was identified as being either in demand or significantly impacted by the pandemic.

NOC 5133 Musicians and singers

 

NOC 5133: Musicians and singers

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were around 490 musicians employed across the province in 2019. Around one in every three workers in this occupation was 55 or older, which suggests that some job opportunities could arise due to retirements in the next couple of years. That said, some of these folks are self-employed and when they retire it may not result in a vacant position.

  • Employment has been relatively steady for the better part of the last decade.

  • Musicians and singers are employed mostly in music schools and instruction as well as arts, entertainment and recreation.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Theatres and the performing arts sector have been hit hard by COVID-19 in New Brunswick. Several music performers became jobless after the forced closure of all non-essential businesses, which included bars and theatres.

  • The number of EI beneficiaries grew slightly between February and April but has since begun to normalize.

  • Employment prospects will depend on how long public health restrictions remain in place. As many in the occupation are self-employment, the negative financial impacts of being out of work may prompt some to look for employment elsewhere.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Job prospects in this occupational group have been limited in recent years. The majority of musicians are self-employed and do not typically work full-time or for the entire years.

  • In order to improve their prospects for work, musicians and singers will in most cases need to be willing to travel throughout the province.

  • Due to the relatively small size of the occupational group, some establishments may have difficulties in finding musicians who play more specialized instrument or genre of music.
6 - Sales and service occupations

There were around 93,000 workers employed in this occupational group in 2019 in New Brunswick. One out of every four workers in this occupation is aged 55 or above in New Brunswick, which means that some job opportunities will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years. The majority of workers in this group are employed retail and wholesale trade, real estate, rental and leasing, and information and cultural industries.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 6311 Food service supervisors

 

NOC 6311: Food service supervisors

General information about this occupation:

  • There were close to 1,400 food service supervisors employed across the province in 2019.

  • This is a relatively young occupation; one in every 10 food service supervisors in the province is aged 55 or older. This suggests that relatively few job opportunities will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Food service supervisors were impacted noticeably by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the level of employment diminished considerably between March and May. Meanwhile, despite normalizing somewhat in recent months, EI beneficiaries of food service supervisors remain well above pre-COVID levels.

  • Work responsibilities have changed significantly because of the pandemic. Drive-thru and delivery services have become a much more important part of the food service industry, as indoor dining has been reduced significantly.

  • Major food chains have redesigned their restaurants to incorporate additional drive-thru lanes. Meanwhile, some stores have designated additional parking spots for online orders and delivery drivers.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • After declining considerably between 2014 and 2016, employment for food service supervisors has remained relatively unchanged, fluctuating between 1,250 and 1,500.

  • Before the pandemic, there were few unemployed workers with recent supervisory experience in food services, which could explain why some employers across the province have reported a shortage of food service supervisors, especially in larger cities like Fredericton and Moncton, where several new restaurants have opened over the past few years.

  • Positions are often filled by internal promotions and at least a year of experience is typically required. Employment opportunities are usually less favourable in the winter months compared to the more active summer months.
NOC 6322 Cooks

 

NOC 6322: Cooks

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 6,060 cooks employed across the province in 2019.

  • Around two-thirds of all cooks in the province were employed in the food services and drinking places industry. The remainder worked primarily in nursing and residential care facilities, social assistance, and accommodation and food services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The closure of all non-essential businesses significantly impacted those working in restaurants across the province, including cooks. These workers remained affected by the pandemic several months after businesses were allowed to re-open, as social distancing and reduced capacity requirements meant fewer persons dining at restaurants.

  • According to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), revenues at restaurants and bars declined drastically in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. Further, receipts remain well below normal even throughout the summer months, when most restrictions were lifted.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The number of cooks in the province remained remarkably steady across the province for close to two decades before expanding gradually over the past 5 years.

  • Just prior to the pandemic, the level of employment among cooks in New Brunswick had reached an all-time high. Some restaurants reported a shortage of workers due to high turnover in the months leading up to the pandemic.

  • Growth prospects for this occupation will remain subdued as long as the threat of an outbreak exists.
NOC 6421 Retail salespersons

 

NOC 6421: Retail salespersons

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were around 9,700 employed across this occupation in 2019. More than three quarters of these workers were employed in retail stores. Around 10%, meanwhile, worked in food and beverage stores, with the remainder spread across real estate, rental and leasing, wholesale trade, and information and cultural industries.

  • Employment in this occupation is expected to remain relatively unchanged during the next few years.

  • Job opportunities are expected to arise because of retirements in the near future, as nearly a quarter of retail salespersons were aged 55 or above in 2019.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Retailers were among the hardest hit businesses during the economic downturn. Employment in this occupation declined from more than 9,000 before the pandemic to 4,800 in the matter of only a few months. At the same time, retail sales declined significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The pace of job recovery was very rapid once stores were allowed to re-open, and employment has since surpassed its pre-pandemic level.

  • Employment among retail sales persons remains firmly established at above 10,000 (where it has been for more than two months). The recovery in employment has been made possible by a healthy recovery in household spending, as many consumers made up for the time lost when stores were closed.

  • While retail sales across the province have returned to their pre-pandemic levels, a lack of foot traffic due to COVID-19 reduced store capacity has affected some smaller businesses.

  • Businesses that were able to adapt to changing shopping habits, by expanding their online presence and offering pick-up or delivery services, have performed better and were more able to maintain staffing levels.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The relatively younger age profile of workers, lower skill requirements, and prevalence of part-time work associated with this occupation will create ongoing replacement needs for new employees, as workers are more likely to leave for other opportunities.

  • Job opportunities are usually higher during the peak shopping seasons, which typically fall around major holidays.

  • Unemployment is typically low for retail salespersons.

  • New sales platforms like online shopping and self-serve kiosks may limit job opportunities for retail salespersons and clerks in the future.
NOC 6512 Bartenders

 

NOC 6512: Bartenders

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 2,000 bartenders employed across the province in 2019, nearly three-quarters of which worked in restaurants and bars.

  • This is a relatively young occupation, as approximately one in every 10 bartender is aged 55 or above. This suggests that few job openings for bartenders will arise because of retirements in the near future.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The majority of bartenders are employed in industries that have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, which explains why this occupation has seen one of the most significant spikes in unemployment.

  • The closure of bars and restaurants last spring resulted in a significant number of layoffs for bartenders in the province. The number of EI beneficiaries in this occupation grew from less than 1,000 in February to nearly 2,500 by April.

  • While the number of beneficiaries has declined gradually since the re-opening of bars and restaurants, they remain elevated by past standards. For instance, as of August, the number of EI beneficiaries remained around 260% higher than a year earlier, which suggests that it will be some time before job prospects return to normal for these workers.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment in this occupation has diminished gradually during the past decade.

  • More recently, however, there has been an increase in the demand for bartenders, especially in the bigger cities in the province like Fredericton and Moncton.

  • Job vacancies are typically high in this occupation due to high turnover.

  • As long as restrictions on bar establishments continue, employment prospects will likely remain subdued for this occupation. While many bars have re-opened after closing during the spring, some have closed permanently. Others have re-opened but are operating at reduced capacity.
NOC 6513 Food and beverage servers

 

NOC 6513: Food and beverage servers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were 2,750 food and beverage servers employed across the province in 2019, the majority of which were employed in food services and drinking places and accommodation services.

  • Employment in this occupation has remained steady over the past decade.

  • Few job opportunities will arise due to retirements in this occupation, as only 10% of workers are under the age of 55.

  • The essential qualifications for this position are limited. As a result, there is often a high amount of turnover associated with this occupation as workers seek better opportunities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The closure of all bars and restaurants for several weeks this spring resulted in the layoffs for food and beverage servers. Unfortunately, despite the re-opening of establishments during the summer, many operated in only a limited capacity, while at the same time facing the added costs of complying with all the new health safety measures. The outcome has been a very gradual rebound in employment.

  • The level of employment fell from 1,500 in February to 600 in April. Despite recovering somewhat during the months that followed, employment for food and beverage servers remains below its pre-pandemic level.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • There is some seasonality in this occupation, with job prospects improving during the spring and summer months as tourism increases.

  • Servers are increasingly expected to advise on menu selections and to make recommendations regarding food and beverage pairings. Therefore, candidates are often expected to be knowledgeable in this area.

  • Depending on the region, some roles may require a level of comfort speaking both French and English.

  • Going forward, employment prospects in this occupation will depend a great deal on the health of the food services industry. Many restaurants have indicated ongoing financial challenges and difficulty recovering from the closures in the spring.
NOC 6552 Other customer and information services representatives

 

NOC 6552: Other customer and information services representatives

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were around 8,900 employed in this occupation in 2019, close to half of which were employed in business services. The remainder were spread across information and cultural industries along with wholesale and retail trade.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Being employed mainly in the tourism sector, this occupation was affected severely by the pandemic, as employment collapsed from 9,200 in February to 5,300 in May. While employment has recovered gradually during the months that followed, only half of the job losses have been recovered.

  • According to APEC, tourism revenues have declined substantially since February, and a full recovery is not expected until the end of 2021 at the earliest. Room nights sold are down significantly, highlighting the large drop in tourism activity.¿ Destination Canada predicts national tourism revenues will return to 2019 levels by 2023, if the tourism industry can convert foregone outbound leisure to domestic tourism.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Technological advancements such as automated telephone systems and online self-serve applications will limit employment growth over the outlook period and will alter job functions within this occupation.

  • Applicants with strong communication, customer service experience, will have improved prospects. As will those who are bilingual. Workers with flexible schedules will have more opportunities, as shift-work is common in this profession.
NOC 6611 Cashiers

 

NOC 6611: Cashiers

General information about this occupation:

  • This occupation has been on the decline over the past several years, due to technological factors such as the increased use of self-service kiosks that have been used to streamline store purchases.

  • There were around 8,660 cashiers employed across the province in 2019, the majority of whom worked in retail stores as well as in food and beverage stores, including bars and restaurants.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Layoffs were registered among cashiers following the onset of the pandemic. However, unlike some other occupations in retail and food services, job numbers continued to deteriorate through the summer months. No recovery has been registered to date. In fact, the pace of job losses intensified as the months went on. The decline in employment was the worst in August.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Since peaking in 2011, the level of employment for cashiers across the province has remained on a downward trend.

  • This pattern is expected to continue over the next couple of years, as restaurants, grocery stores and other retail chains are expected to become increasingly reliant on self-check-out stations, which will further reduce the demand for cashiers.

  • The prevalence of part-time work in this occupation, coupled with the low educational requirements make it particularly attractive to students and youth workers (aged 15 to 24 years).
NOC 6711 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations

 

NOC 6711: Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were around 6,250 persons employed in this occupation in 2019, around 17% of whom were aged 55 and over, which suggests that some positions should become available because of retirements over the next few years.

  • Close to three-quarters of food counter attendants and kitchen helpers work in bars and restaurants, while the remainder are spread mostly across elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • There were a significant number of layoffs in this occupation during March and April, when the level of employment fell from 8,900 to 5,100. The job losses, however, were fully reversed in the months that followed, with employment returning to pre-pandemic levels by July.

  • One possible reason for the rapid recovery is that food counter attendants are prevalent in take-out and drive-thru type establishments that were better suited to adapt to the closure of dining rooms than table service restaurants. The outcome has been fewer layoffs and a faster subsequent rebound in this occupation relative to other food service occupations such as servers.

  • Many food counter attendants laid off early in the pandemic were rehired when bars and dining rooms were permitted to reopen in early June.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Employment has been relatively steady for the better part of the past decade.

  • Traditionally, high turnover has been a major contributor of job opportunities for this occupation.
NOC 6731 Light duty cleaners

 

NOC 6731: Light duty cleaners

General information about this occupation:

  • There were 6,050 light duty cleaners employed across New Brunswick in 2019. Around a third of workers in this occupation are aged 55 and above, which suggests that there will be a number of job opportunities arising because of retirements over the next couple of years.

  • Light duty cleaners are spread mostly across a group of four industries, which consist of management and administrative services, nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and accommodation services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The initial layoffs across the province in this occupation were fairly quickly reversed as employers recognized the key role that light duty cleaners would represent in meeting the new public health requirements.

  • The industries where most light duty cleaners are employed were not nearly as negatively impacted as others, in part due to the increased public health requirements which required a greater need for light duty cleaners to ensure working conditions were kept clean and disinfected.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • In New Brunswick, the number of light duty cleaners has been increasing gradually for well over a decade. The pace of job gains strengthened even further during the past five years.

  • Turnover has traditionally been a driving factor behind employment opportunities for job seekers.
7 - Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

There were 53,000 New Brunswickers employed under this occupational group in 2019. For the most part, this is a relatively old occupation, with more than a quarter of workers aged 55 and over. With regards to COVID-19, very few of these occupations are concentrated in hard-hit industries like tourism, trade, or accommodation and food services, which explains why job losses were minimal for these professions.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)

 

NOC 7241: Electricians (except industrial and power system)

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were around 1,760 electricians employed in 2019, the majority of which worked in the construction industry. Indeed, nine out of every 10 workers were in construction.

  • Close to a quarter of electricians are aged 55 and above, which suggests that some vacancies will arise because of retirements in the imminent future.

  • There is a high degree of seasonality with this occupation, as employment usually peaks during the summer months. It is typically more difficult to secure work in the winter months, when weather conditions are less desirable.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • There has been a significant increase in demand for electricians throughout the pandemic, as a surge in home renovations has triggered a significant increase in the demand for electricians. In many instances, building contractors from across the province have reported a significant shortage in electricians because of the pandemic.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Maintenance, repair and retrofits of computerized heating, lighting, ventilation, air conditioning and alarm systems in building may continue to provide employment opportunities for electricians with skilled knowledge of these systems.

  • Workers in this occupation are often required to travel between job sites, and working overtime and on the weekends is common.
NOC 7271 Carpenters

 

NOC 7271: Carpenters

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were 2,680 carpenters employed across the province in 2019, most of which were concentrated across the construction industry.

  • Close to three out of every 10 carpenters in New Brunswick were aged 55 and above in 2019, which suggests that a number of vacancies will arise because of retirements over the next couple of years.

  • There is a fair degree of seasonality associated with this occupation, as employment tends to spike during the summer months, when weather conditions are better suited for construction activity.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • With travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, family vacation plans were altered significantly and in some cases cancelled altogether. Instead of saving the funds that were set aside for travel, some households chose to renovate, which could explain why employment in this occupation has held up relatively well throughout the pandemic.

  • The level of employment for carpenters actually increased in March and April and has since remained relatively steady at around 3,000, which is well above the pre-pandemic level of just over 2,000.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment has diminished somewhat across the province over the past few years, as major projects ended.

  • The increase of home renovations and repairs during this period has generated employment opportunities for carpenters.

  • Prior to the pandemic, a number of non-residential projects elsewhere across the country had attracted many of the province¿s young carpenters. This had caused some employers in the province to relax some of their skills or experience requirements when filling a position.

  • Those with aspirations of earning promotions will need to be willing to remain current on the most recent advancements in technology that are shaping the occupation, including the ability to read computer-generated blueprints.
NOC 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics

 

NOC 7312: Heavy-duty equipment mechanics

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, around 1,260 workers were employed in this occupation in 2019. Heavy-duty equipment mechanics are spread across a wide range of industries. Around 20% are employed in the construction industry, while 16% are employed in repair and maintenance and 10% are employed in mining and quarrying. Otherwise, they are spread fairly evenly between wholesale trade, truck transportation, forestry and logging, and retail stores, among others.

  • One out of every four workers in the occupation was aged 55 and above in the same year.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Recent declines in employment in this occupation were mostly a result of the pandemic. Unlike the majority of occupations that have been impacted, job losses for heavy-duty equipment mechanics did not take place until several months after the pandemic began, which suggests that some other factors, in addition to the pandemic, may have played a role in the reduction in employment.

  • EI beneficiaries for this occupation began to spike around March 2020 and reached a peak in April, before reducing gradually in the months that followed. Employment insurance beneficiaries remain close to 30% above last year¿s levels, which suggests that labour market conditions are still below normal for this occupation.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The level of employment among heavy-duty mechanics has been relatively steady in New Brunswick during the past 10 years.

  • Prior to this, employment was much higher, but began falling around 2008 when the completion of several major projects reduced the need for heavy-duty mechanics across the province.
NOC 7511 Transport truck drivers

 

NOC 7511: Transport truck drivers

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were around 7,700 transport truck drivers employed across the province in 2019.

  • A number of job openings should arise due to retirements over the next few years. This is a relatively old profession, where more than a third of workers are aged 55 and older.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • COVID-19 has taken a toll on the transportation and warehousing industry.

  • A significant reduction in the demand for goods, both domestically and in the U.S., along with stricter travel restrictions, have combined to trigger a collapse in transportation activity.

  • Between April and June of this year, the number of trucks returning to Canada from the U.S. declined by 12%. Meanwhile, there was a 19% decline in the number of trucks from the U.S. entering Canada through the New Brunswick border.

  • The level of employment for truck drivers fell from 2,400 in February to 1,200 in April. However, employment recovered substantially in the months that followed and as of August, it had risen to 4,800, in line with its level a year earlier.

  • Truckers have been at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, often being required to travel into the United States where infection rates are high. They have also experienced reduced access to facilities supporting truckers due to closures.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • There has been a significant shortage of truck drivers across the province in recent years, which suggests that employment prospects for prospective job seekers are good.

  • The demand for truck drivers is especially robust in Moncton, where economic growth has been the strongest. In Saint John, due to the need to transport goods from the city's port facilities, the demand for truck drivers is also good.
NOC 7611 Construction trades helpers and labourers

 

NOC 7611: Construction trades helpers and labourers

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, around 2,780 construction trades helpers and labourers were employed across the province in 2019. The majority of these workers are concentrated in construction.

  • Around a quarter of the workers in this occupation are aged 55 and above. This suggests that some job opportunities will likely arise as a result of retirements over the next couple of years.

  • This has traditionally been a highly seasonal occupation, with construction activity typically peaking during the warmer summer months.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • COVID-19 has had only a modest impact on construction trades helpers and labourers, particularly those working in renovations, as many households reassigned funds previously intended for summer vacations towards renovating their homes or new additions.

  • Non-residential construction is estimated to have diminished by as much as 7.5% as a result of the pandemic according to Buildforce Canada.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The completion of some of the larger construction projects during the past several years has reduced the demand for trades helpers and labourers somewhat in the non-residential construction sector.
8 - Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations

There are roughly 12,900 workers employed in this occupational group across the province. The majority of workers in this occupation are employed in the agriculture and fisheries industries. Whereas occupations in agriculture such as general farm workers and harvesting labourers experienced registered only most job losses, occupations in fish and fish processing were more significantly impacted by the pandemic. Fishermen/women and fishing vessel deckhands in one of the key Lobster Fishing Areas of the province began work two weeks later than expected, due to the delay of the lobster fishing season. Looking ahead, the demand for seafood and seafood products is expected to recover, which should lead to employment growth for fishermen and fish plant workers.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 8262 Fishermen/women

 

NOC 8262: Fishermen/women

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 1,230 fishermen/women employed across the province in 2019. Around one in every four worker in this occupation is aged 55 and over, implying that some job openings will likely arise due to retirements in the next few years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Demand for fish and seafood products, which fell significantly during the spring due to a sharp reduction in demand from major consumers of seafood, including China, and restaurant closures, prompted a two-week delay in the opening of the lobster season in one of the key Lobster Fishing Areas in the northeastern part of the province.

  • Demand for seafood (including lobster) recovered significantly, returning close to normal by the time the lobster-fishing season was opened in mid May. This allowed employment for fishermen/women to increase gradually throughout the spring months while much of the labour market was experiencing significant job losses. By August, employment for this occupation had risen to around 40% above pre-pandemic levels.

  • Amid concerns over the state of the Canadian food supply, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced a $62.5 million plan for Canada's fishing and seafood sector.

  • Fishermen/women are expected to work in small areas of confinement, leaving them and their families at increased exposure of contracting the virus.

  • As vaccines for the COVID-19 virus are distributed globally and across Canada, the market for seafood should continue to recover, which should help support job opportunities for this occupation.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • This occupation is physically demanding, which means that turnover is relatively high.

  • Working conditions have been extremely challenging for workers in this occupation during the pandemic, as social distancing requirements have made certain parts of the job more difficult. Fishermen/women are required to operate around several other crewmembers in small confined spaces when on fishing vessels.
NOC 8431 General farm workers

 

NOC 8431: General farm workers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 2,460 general farm workers employed across the province in 2019, more than a quarter of whom were aged 55 and above, meaning that job openings should arise because of retirements over the next few years.

  • An aging workforce and rural out-migration has contributed to labour shortages among general farm workers. Several farms across the province struggle to attract labour and depend on temporary foreign workers to fill these gaps.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Some employers across the province have announced layoffs in the months following the onset of the pandemic. Nonetheless, as a whole, job losses were relatively modest. The level of employment declined from 1,300 in February to 1,100 in April, before recovering to more than 1,500 in the months that followed.

  • Because of the travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine period for new arrivals, farmers have struggled to secure the necessary number of temporary foreign workers to fill labour shortage gaps. This suggests that employment could have increased more than it has if not for the lack of workers.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The number of farms in the province has been in decline over the past decade, which has reduced the demand for general farm workers.

  • As technological improvements across the industry continues and productivity improves, a growing share of job opportunities will require higher skill levels to work in this new environment. Labour shortages had begun to limit growth potential in the farming sector to some extent prior to the pandemic, which left some employers to rely increasingly on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
NOC 8441 Fishing vessel deckhands

 

NOC 8441: Fishing vessel deckhands

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 860 fishing vessel deckhands employed across the province in 2019.

  • The work is highly seasonal, as employment usually peaks in the summer months when weather conditions are more favourable.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • There has been no meaningful drop in employment over the past year because of the COVID19 pandemic, even though demand for fish and seafood products fell significantly during the spring.

  • Amid concerns over the state of the Canadian food supply, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced a $62.5 million plan for Canada's fishing and seafood sector.

  • The demand for lobster rebounded significantly during the summer as restrictions loosened both globally and domestically.

  • Working conditions have been extremely challenging for workers in this occupation during the pandemic. Fishing vessel deckhands are required to operate around several other crewmembers in small confined spaces when on fishing vessels, leaving them at increased risk of contracting the virus.

  • As vaccines for the COVID-19 virus are distributed globally and across Canada, the market for seafood should continue to recover.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The majority of workers in this occupation reside in rural areas where labour market conditions are generally weaker, when compared to the rest of the province. As a result, when the fishing season concludes, employment prospects dwindle for workers in this occupation, especially for full-time work.

  • Around one in every four workers in this occupation is aged 55 and over, implying that some job openings will likely arise due to retirements in the next few years.

  • This occupation is physically demanding and turnover is generally high, which is one of the main drivers of job opportunities.
NOC 8611 Harvesting labourers

 

NOC 8611: Harvesting labourers

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 360 workers employed in this occupation across New Brunswick in 2019. Around one in every four harvesting labourers are aged 55 and over, implying that some job openings will likely arise due to retirements in the next few years.

  • This occupation is physically demanding with low entry requirements.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • According to the New Brunswick Agriculture Alliance, the province has brought in 21% fewer temporary foreign workers in 2020 than it did the year before, due to travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In addition, temporary foreign workers (TFWs) have been required to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the country, which has resulted in delays in deploying these workers to production facilities. As a result, the limited number of local harvesting labourers may have had to work longer than usual, causing increased stress levels.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The role of harvesting labourers might vary depending on the type of harvest activity, as certain types of activities are concentrated in varying parts of the province. For instance, potato farming is concentrated in the centre of the province, whereas the majority of blueberry production takes place in the province's northeast. Both types of harvesting activity are somewhat different.

  • The number of available harvesting labourers has declined over the years and employers are experiencing difficulty finding workers, especially in peak activity during the summer months. This has led to an above average presence of temporary foreign workers.

  • Difficult working conditions have contributed to a high degree of turnover.

  • All of these factors combine to make employment prospects for job seekers well above average.
9 - Occupations in manufacturing and utilities

There were 14,740 workers employed across this occupational group in New Brunswick in 2019. A substantial proportion of workers in this occupation are employed in manufacturing and utilities. Around 44% were employed in food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, while another 20% were employed in wood product and paper manufacturing.

Below is a select group of occupations that have either been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or are in high demand.

NOC 9235 Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators

 

NOC 9235: Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators

General information about this occupation:

  • There were around 300 workers in this occupation across the province in 2019. Close to three out of every 10 workers in this occupation were aged 55 and above in 2019, which implies that a number of job vacancies will arise due to retirements over the next couple of years.

  • The overwhelming majority of workers in this occupation are located in paper manufacturing, which employs nine out over every 10 of these positions.

  • While the forestry sector has expanded in recent years, employment has been trending downwards as firms have found methods of raising labour productivity with newer technologies.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The closure of all non-essential businesses across the province during the spring had only a modest impact on the manufacturing sector in general, including paper manufacturing. This impact has been contained somewhat by the fact that the closures were short-lived, partly because New Brunswick was the first province to re-open its economy during the pandemic.

  • Overall, job losses were modest within this occupation. As the global economic recovery continues, the demand for pulp and paper products should return to normal, which should bring employment back to normal for this occupation.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • The closure of large pulp and paper mills across the province over the past few decades has significantly reduced the number of workers in the industry.

  • Work functions and responsibilities have changed for this occupation over the past decade. Evolving consumer preferences have caused a shift in paper manufacturing, as consumers have increasingly adopted digital communications technologies in favour of paper products. Large paper mills have transitioned away from the manufacturing of products like newsprint and certain other grades of writing and printing paper, towards glossy coated (i.e. supercalendered) paper and dissolving pulp, which is converted to fibres used in textile production. Shipments of toilet and facial tissues, as well as corrugated cardboard have also increased significantly over the past decade.
NOC 9463 Fish and seafood plant workers

 

NOC 9463: Fish and seafood plant workers

General information about this occupation:

  • In New Brunswick, there were close to 1,300 fish and seafood plant workers employed in 2019. Employment prospects for job seekers looking for work in this occupation have been good across the province in recent years.

  • Fish and seafood processors have relied on temporary foreign workers to fill vacant positions in recent years across the province, in part because the work can be physically demanding.

  • Even with consolidation and the adoption of new technological innovations that improved productivity, demand for fish and seafood plant workers is expected to remain strong. The majority of operations are located in rural coastal areas with relatively small populations and a limited ongoing supply of workers.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • There is consensus among most employers in fish processing that there is a shortage of labour across the province. Several employers are reporting an inability to fill vacant positions.

  • Some high school and middle school students were employed in fish plants, helping processors fill vacancies that were compounded in part by the travel restrictions and temporary ban on allowing the entry of temporary foreign workers during the spring to help contain the coronavirus.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the occupation?

  • Fish and seafood plant workers typically work for only part of the year. The work season will vary depending on the geographic location of the processing plant, as fishing seasons vary by location and species.

  • The supply of labour for this occupation is scarce in many of the rural communities across the province. The use of temporary foreign workers is high in fish processing plants. Labour shortages are likely to intensify as many fish and seafood plant workers are nearing the age of retirement. Altogether, these factors should be favourable for job seekers wanting to work in this occupation.

Note

Prepared by: Labour Market Analysis Directorate, Service Canada, Atlantic Region
For further information, please contact the LMI team.

Date modified: