Language selection

Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada

Search

Occupational Outlook - Newfoundland and Labrador: 2020-2021

Occupational Outlook - Newfoundland and Labrador 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 Newfoundland and Labrador 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
Monthly Employment (x 1,000)

At the start of 2020, employment in Newfoundland and Labrador was expected to be relatively unchanged compared to 2019. There was significant interest in oil exploration, and a number of construction and maintenance projects for the oil industry were happening. The sanction of the Bay du Nord Oil Project was to occur 2021. In addition, there were forecasted gains in housing starts and retail sales.

COVID-19 shook the economy to its core

The economy took a dramatic shift with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, public health measures came into effect to minimize the spread. This resulted in widespread closures. While some restrictions have been lifted, many limits remain on restaurants, bars, and travel from outside Atlantic Canada, to name a few.

The tourism industry struggled due to travel restrictions. Housing starts have declined. Seafood demand dropped because of the slowdown, particularly from the United States. Grieg NL postponed the construction of a building due to low salmon prices. The oil refinery in Come By Chance was idled in March due to low demand. By October, the owner decided to close the operation. Interest from potential buyers has not resulted in a deal as of November. Oil prices collapsed, resulting in a focus on cost reduction and the deferral of projects, including construction for the West White Rose Project. In addition, interest in oil exploration fell.

Show data table: Newfoundland and Labrador monthly employment
Newfoundland and Labrador monthly employment, unadjusted seasonally
2019 2020
Jan 220.9 212.4
Feb 219.9 213.8
Mar 219.2 206.1
Apr 223.5 182.8
May 231 201.5
Jun 233.1 212.2
Jul 236.2 218.4
Aug 234.5 224.2
Sep 230.7 222.1
Oct 229.2 225.3
Nov 224.2  
Dec 216.7  

Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey

April employment plummeted to 2009 recession levels

Compared to twelve months earlier, there were over 40,000 fewer jobs in April. In addition, those that remained working had fewer hours per week. As restrictions started to ease slowly, the gap between 2020 and 2019 has shrunk. However, employment from January to October 2020 has been 7.0% lower than a year ago.

Growth moving forward but risks exist

Even though employment should increase in 2021, it may take a few years to return to 2019 levels. A considerable amount of uncertainty exists moving forward, including the effect of the pandemic’s second wave. Long-term impacts on the oil industry are not clear. In addition, 2020 has brought deeper fiscal deficits, which will potentially affect spending.

 

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

This category includes legislators, senior management occupations and middle management occupations. Senior managers are described in several broad categories. Middle managers are described in more detailed categories that span the entire labour market. This occupational group comprised 8% of the province’s employment base in 2019.

Key industries that employ the most workers in this group are retail trade, accommodation and food services, construction, and public administration. Many retail businesses were closed at the beginning of the pandemic as public health measures were enacted and people stayed home. It also affected people who work in restaurants, bars and other such establishments. Dine-in services were not permitted and bars were not allowed to open for a number of months. As of October, there are still a number of restrictions in place which reduce the number of people such businesses are allowed to serve at any given time. COVID-19 has weakened the accommodation service industry as travel restrictions dramatically reduced its customer base.

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

NOC 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers

 

NOC 0621: Retail and wholesale trade managers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,765 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include retail and wholesale trade.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the retail and wholesale trade sector fell by 20% between February and April of 2020, but has rebounded somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of Employment Insurance (EI) claimants among retail and wholesale trade managers increased significantly between February and April of 2020, nearly three times larger, and has remained high through the fall. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties to ensure the proper safeguards against COVID-19 are in place, and that staff are following procedures correctly. Some establishments have also kept reduced business hours, lessening the number of staff needed.

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

  • With the exception of certain categories (electronics and appliances, building supplies, health and personal care, and grocery), retail sales have generally been lower in 2020 than in 2019, due to COVID-19. While sales have rebounded in recent months, future activity will depend on how well the province is able to manage the second wave of the pandemic.

  • A lack of foot traffic due to COVID-19 has affected many smaller businesses, particularly in downtown cores. While the level of foot traffic has recovered slightly since the pandemic began, many small businesses are still seeing fewer customers. This is expected to continue for as long as pandemic restrictions are in place and could influence future staffing levels.

  • The number of retail chains that have closed locations nationally and locally continues to rise and this will have an impact on employment, going forward. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has reported that about 8,500, or 12%, of small and medium-sized businesses in the Atlantic Region are at risk of closing due to COVID-19.

  • Job prospects will be more favourable for individuals with retail management experience, proficiency in computer applications and knowledge of the employer's business line.

  • Businesses that are able to adapt to changing shopping habits, by expanding their online presence and offering pick-up or delivery services, are expected to perform better and be better equipped to maintain staffing levels. Nationally, online sales have increased by nearly 70% on a year-to-date basis (to August). However, online sales only account for 5%-10% of total sales, depending on the month.

  • 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.
NOC 0631 Restaurant and food service managers

 

NOC 0631: Restaurant and food service managers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,110 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include food services and drinking places.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the food services sector fell by 20% between February and April of 2020, as the pandemic began, but has partially rebounded as the year has progressed.

  • Many restaurant and food service managers were laid off or had their hours reduced. The number of EI claimants in this occupation increased significantly between February and April 2020, nearly three times larger, and has remained high through the fall period. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • The initial closure of restaurants at the start of the pandemic and the restrictions on dine-in service have negatively affected employment in this occupation. Some establishments have encountered challenges in recovering from lost revenue in the spring, and those reliant on seasonal summer revenue were further impacted by the decline in tourists this year.

  • In the months following the reopening of restaurants, a number of permanent closures have been announced. These closures may result in reduced demand for restaurant managers that may persist after the pandemic is over.

  • The pandemic has created the need for new procedures and additional duties to ensure the proper safeguards against COVID-19 are in place, and that staff are following procedures correctly.

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

  • Restaurants were deeply affected by the onset of the pandemic, as dine-in services were shut down due to public health measures. A number of restaurants have remained closed even as restrictions eased somewhat. While the province has had relatively low infection numbers compared to other provinces, capacity restrictions remain in place, affecting sales and profits in the food service industry.

  • High turnover is a contributor to vacancies in this occupation.

  • Growth prospects will remain subdued as long as the threat of an outbreak exists.
NOC 0632 Accommodation service managers

 

NOC 0632: Accommodation service managers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 915 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include accommodation services, private households, and hospitals.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the accommodation services sector fell by 62% between February and April of 2020, but partially rebounded as the year has progressed.

  • The number of EI claimants in this occupation was 30% higher in April 2020 compared to February, and has remained high through the fall. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Managers were less affected by staffing changes than lower skilled front-end positions in the accommodations industry.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties to ensure the proper safeguards against COVID-19 related to sanitization, occupancy and physical distancing requirements are in place, and that staff are following procedures correctly. Hotels have also been used by those entering the province from outside the Atlantic Region to complete their mandatory two-week isolation period.

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

  • Travel restrictions to the province have had a strong negative effect on employment prospects. There has been an increase from stay-at-home tourism, but not enough to replace the loss from visitors from outside the province.

  • This may largely affect rural parts of the province, since tourism has become an important part of the economy in these areas.

  • 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.
1 - Business, finance and administration occupations

Business, finance and administration occupations was the third-largest occupational category in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2019, with 32,300 workers. This major occupational group includes occupations that are widely distributed among virtually every industry, from construction, to hospitals, wholesale and retail trade, and public administration. Administrative and business support positions are among the larger occupations in the group. Some office workers in administrative and support roles are employed by businesses that were forced to close temporarily, such as retail stores, dental offices, and spas. Furthermore, some professional services establishments like accounting firms anticipated a loss of revenue and engaged in cost-cutting measures, which in some cases included layoffs and wage reductions. In the longer run, technological developments may reduce the need for lower skill level occupations in this category.

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

NOC 1221 Administrative officers

 

NOC 1221: Administrative officers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,375 employed in this occupation in 2019. Industries with the highest employment levels for this occupation include construction, retail excluding food and beverage stores, and hospitals. However, employment is fairly dispersed throughout virtually all industries.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The impact of the COVID pandemic caused businesses throughout all industries to shut down. Some businesses ceased operations permanently. Lower overall employment and business activity has translated into lower employment prospects for this occupation, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was more than 70% greater than in February, and has remained high through September, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Companies that have hired for this position report having no difficulty filling administrative positions.

  • Employees in this occupation are spread across several different industries with those in some industries having been more affected by layoffs and or a change in duties than others have. For example, those in health care were less likely to have been laid off than those in retail or food services, but may have experienced a change in duties as the healthcare system prepared to receive COVID-19 patients.

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

  • While construction is the largest employer by industry for this occupation, employment prospects will be tied to general economic conditions. Any growth in the occupation will mainly stem from a stronger economy.

  • Vacancies created by retirements are a main source of opportunities. Presently, there is a large number of qualified jobseekers for vacancies in this occupation. Successful job applicants are likely to be distinguished by the amount of experience or industry-specific skills that they possess.

  • Employment prospects over the medium term will be influenced by the severity and longevity of COVID-19 in the province, which creates uncertainty about job hires for this occupation moving forward.
NOC 1241 Administrative assistants

 

NOC 1241: Administrative assistants

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,425 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include elementary and secondary schools, religious, grant making, civic, and professional and similar organizations, as well as universities. However, employment is fairly dispersed throughout virtually all industries.

  • Administrative positions are typically entry-level and can be found in most industries. Vacant positions occasionally become available due to staff turnover, including some that become available because of a promotion.

  • 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?

  • The impact of the COVID pandemic caused businesses throughout all industries to shut down. Some businesses ceased operations permanently. Lower overall employment and business activity has translated into lower employment prospects for this occupation.

  • 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. The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was more than 58% greater than in February, and has remained similarly high through September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Workers in this occupation are found in nearly all industries. COVID-19 has affected those in some industries more than those in other industries. For example, those in education were less likely to be laid off than those working in non-essential retail and other services.

  • Companies that have hired for this position report having no difficulty filling administrative positions.

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

  • Employment in this occupation has been steadily declining over the years. With the increasing use of automation technology to perform administrative tasks, along with continued consolidation of functions, the demand for these professionals may continue to decline over the forecast horizon.

  • Employment prospects will be tied to general economic conditions. Any growth in the occupation will mainly stem from a stronger economy.
NOC 1411 General office support workers

 

NOC 1411: General office support workers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 3,080 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include hospitals, provincial and territorial public administration, and retail excluding food and beverage stores. However, employment is fairly dispersed throughout virtually all industries.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The impact of the COVID pandemic caused businesses throughout all industries to shut down. Some businesses ceased operations permanently. Lower overall employment and business activity has translated into lower employment prospects for this occupation.

  • Workers in this occupation are spread across several different industries. Some may have been affected more than others by COVID-19. Those in hospitals and government organizations were less likely to have been laid off than those in harder hit industries, such as retail.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was more than 45% greater than in February, and has remained high through September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • With the increase of virtual communication, sanitization, and occupancy restrictions due the pandemic, many office support workers have experienced a change in work tasks.

  • Companies that have hired for this position report having no difficulty filling administrative positions.

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

  • Total employment in this occupation is expected to decline. Improvements in administrative software and other technological advancements have automated some of the simpler tasks performed by office support workers. As a result, the remaining positions have become more skilled.

  • Vacancies created by retirements are a main source of opportunities. Presently, there is a large number of qualified jobseekers for vacancies in this occupation. Successful job applicants are likely to be distinguished by amount of experience or industry-specific skills.
2 - Natural and applied sciences and related occupations

This major occupational group includes a wide variety of occupations, such as engineers, occupations in information technology, and water transport, to name a few. This group employed 17,700 workers in 2019, representing 8% of total employment. Key industries include construction, architectural, engineering and design services, computer systems design services, and public administration.

A decline in the oil industry as well as major construction project activity will reduce employment prospects for some engineering occupations. However, demand in information technology occupations has been growing in the province.

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

NOC 2145 Petroleum engineers

 

NOC 2145: Petroleum engineers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 230 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, and architectural, engineering and design services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • There was a 33% drop in employment in the oil and gas extraction and support activities sector between February and April of 2020. Employment in this industry has remained low through the fall.

  • The decline in the oil and gas industry has resulted in a slowdown in project activity and an increase in related job cuts. The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was more than twice as large as two months earlier, and has increased since then to be more than six times larger in September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • A collapse in oil prices has had a negative effect on employment prospects in the oil industry. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. In addition, layoffs have been occurring as a cost reduction measure.

  • The future prospects of the provincial oil industry and supporting industries are not clear at this point, with the pandemic continuing to be a dominant presence in the market, dampening global demand for oil.
NOC 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants

 

NOC 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,080 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include computer systems design services, provincial and territorial public administration, and hospitals.

  • On average, nine in every ten 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.

  • 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.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • This occupation has not been affected by the pandemic to the same degree as most others. Many employees were able to transition to working from home or in office spaces adapted to meet social distancing requirements. While employment in hospitals and the public administration sectors have been relatively stable, there has been notable growth in the computer system and design services sector, which has shown more than 80% growth in October compared to a year earlier.

  • There have been relatively few EI claimants in this occupation when compared to employment size, 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 information systems analysts and consultants will be created through employment growth over the next couple of years.

  • The relative health of employment prospects also partly relates to the nature of the work, which can easily allow employees to continue working at home in a virtual environment. However, the widespread adoption of remote work has increased the number of opportunities for jobseekers in Newfoundland and Labrador to apply for jobs with employers in other provinces (and vice versa). This trend may exert upward pressure on wages as local businesses compete with employers in other provinces for talent.

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

  • Prospects are generally positive for this occupation, as a number of firms in the information technology industry have been successful and growing. The most significant development has been the reaching of a deal to sell Verafin in St. John’s to finance giant NASDAQ in the U.S. for $2.75B. The company headquarters will remain in St. John’s, and plans are in place to grow even faster than planned prior to the deal.

  • This agreement also increases the awareness of the information technology industry in the province, which may attract other firms looking to invest in local companies.

  • Expansion into computer security, cloud computing, and e-health technologies will continue to support the demand for information systems analysts and consultants.

  • The majority of positions are in the St John’s area.

  • Many in the technology industry also report shortages in finding skilled labour for key occupations such as information systems analysts and consultants. The provincial government has announced an immigration pathway program for international tech graduates as a way to help address the issue.
NOC 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers

 

NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,410 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include computer systems design services, provincial and territorial public administration, and information and cultural industries.

  • On average, nine in every ten 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.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • This occupation has not been affected by the pandemic to the same degree as most others. While employment in the hospitals and public administration sector have been relatively stable, there has been notable growth in the computer system and design services industries, which has shown more than 80% growth in October compared to a year earlier.

  • There have been relatively few EI claimants in this occupation when compared to employment size, 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.

  • The relative health of employment prospects also partly relates to the nature of the work, which can easily allow employees to continue working at home in a virtual environment.

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

  • Prospects are generally positive for this occupation, as a number of firms in the information technology industry have been successful and growing. The most significant development has been the reaching of a deal to sell Verafin in St. John’s to finance giant NASDAQ in the U.S. for $2.75B. The company headquarters will remain in St. John’s, and plans are in place to grow even faster than planned prior to the deal.

  • This agreement also increases the awareness of the information technology industry in the province, which may attract other firms looking to invest in local companies.

  • Expansion into computer security, cloud computing, and e-health technologies will continue to support the demand for computer programmers and interactive media developers.

  • Demand for workers in this occupation will be driven by technological changes. Innovation will continue, inducing firms to adapt quickly and upgrade their IT infrastructure to remain digitally safe and competitive.

  • The majority of positions are in the St John’s area.

  • Many in the technology industry also report shortages in finding skilled labour for key occupations such as information systems analysts and consultants. The provincial government has announced an immigration pathway program for international tech graduates as a way to help address the issue.
NOC 2273 Deck officers, water transport

 

NOC 2273: Deck officers, water transport

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,150 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include water transportation and related support, and federal government public administration.

  • The oil industry plays an indirect role as a driver of employment for this occupation, as many of the companies in the water transportation and related support sector provide supply and services to the large oil projects and exploration efforts.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The downturn in the provincial oil industry has resulted in drop in demand for drilling materials and other essential cargo. This reduced the level of business for companies that operate supply ships. In October, one of these companies referenced a 40% reduction, with deeper losses expected. The number of ships operating in St. John’s has been reduced by more than 50%, resulting in a decline in demand for deck officers.

  • The number of deck officers who were collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, when the number of people in this occupation collecting EI benefits was 61% higher than the same period a year earlier, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • The future employment prospects for this occupation will rely to some extent on a rebound in the oil industry and its support services. However, the outlook is currently not clear at this point. The pandemic continues to be a dominant presence in the market, dampening the global demand for oil.
NOC 2274 Engineer officers, water transport

 

NOC 2274: Engineer officers, water transport

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 715 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include water transportation and related support, and federal government public administration.

  • The oil industry plays an indirect role as a driver of employment for this occupation, as many of the companies in the water transportation and related support sector provide supply and services to the large oil projects and exploration efforts.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The downturn in the provincial oil industry has resulted in drop in demand for drilling materials and other essential cargo. This reduced the level of business for companies that operate supply ships. In October, one of these companies referenced a 40% reduction, with deeper losses expected. The number of ships operating in St. John’s has been reduced by more than 50%, resulting in a decline in demand for this occupation.

  • In the first quarter of 2020, the number of engineer officers who were collecting EI benefits was 16% lower than in the same period the year before. However, as the pandemic took hold of the economy in the second quarter, the number of people in this occupation collecting EI benefits was 68% higher than the same period a year earlier, reflecting a sharp increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • A collapse in oil prices has had a negative effect in the oil industry. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. Therefore, layoffs have occurred in this occupation since the oil industry generates demand for water transportation and related services.

  • The future employment prospects for this occupation will rely to some extent on a rebound in the oil industry and its support services. However, the outlook is currently not clear at this point. The pandemic continues to be a dominant presence in the market, dampening the global demand for oil.
3 - Health occupations

This group employed 21,000 workers in 2019, representing 9% of total employment. Hospitals account for nearly 60% of employment in health occupations, while another 30% of employment in this group is in the rest of the health care and social assistance industry. This would include various areas, including physiotherapy clinics to nursing homes. Physicians and various nursing professions represent approximately two-thirds of this occupational group.

For somewhat obvious reasons, COVID-19 had a very strong impact on health occupations. The impact was immediate as institutions such as hospitals and clinics had to prepare for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients, making various accommodations to ensure staff were kept abreast of the best techniques and practices needed to prevent a spread. Non-urgent procedures were cancelled. Services such as massage therapy, dental offices, and other facilities were closed for the initial period of the pandemic. They have since been allowed to operate with restrictions in place. 

Demand for the health occupations are stronger than most other occupational groups, due in part to an aging population, which tends to have higher health care needs. In addition, an aging workforce in many key occupations, suggest a need for replacements in the near future as people retire.

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

NOC 3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

 

NOC 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 5,710 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and ambulatory health care services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the three health care industries above has increased since the pandemic started, with growth being the strongest in nursing and residential care facilities, where an increase of 24% occurred between February and October of 2020.

  • The demand for nurses has increased because of the pandemic. Many of the additional positions are the result of COVID-19 testing and tracing.

  • Some of those hired on a temporary basis were recently retired nurses, to help address the additional workload related to COVID-19.

  • As the pandemic started, hospitals cancelled non-urgent surgeries and clinics to place greater priority on potential increases in COVID-19 patients. Another reason for this change would be to reduce the number of people coming in and out of the hospital, which would limit the potential for COVID-19 to spread.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties to ensure the proper procedures against COVID-19 are in place, and to ensure the safety of the patients and fellow staff.

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

  • Demand for this occupation is expected to be relatively strong, as an aging population increases health care needs in the province. However, this potential growth will be somewhat contained as provincial fiscal pressures limit the amount of hiring possible.

  • Most nurses tend to be hired on a casual basis initially, and may not find an opportunity to work in their preferred branch of medicine.

  • Some areas with smaller populations have to offer incentives as a recruitment tool to fill shortages for some medical professions, including nurses.
NOC 3112 General practitioners and family physicians

 

NOC 3112: General practitioners and family physicians

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 895 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include hospitals, and ambulatory health care services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The pandemic has restricted travel, which has limited the ability of some parts of the province to access physicians that provide services for temporary periods.

  • Public health measures also reduced the ability for physicians to immigrate from outside Canada.

  • Most in this occupation have changed the way they work with patients, with appointments by phone in most cases and in-person visits being the exception.

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

  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association released a Family Physician Human Resource Forecast in November of 2019. It indicated an immediate need for 60 additional full-time family doctors throughout the province to address a shortage, with 243 more family doctors predicted to be needed over the coming decade.

  • The association also reported that roughly one in five residents do not have access to a family doctor.
NOC 3233 Licensed practical nurses

 

NOC 3233: Licensed practical nurses

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,530 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The demand for licenced practical nurses (LPNs), which was already strong, has increased because of the pandemic. Employment in the nursing and residential care facilities sector grew by 24% between February and October of 2020.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties and responsibilities for licensed practical nurses that are designed to ensure that proper procedures against COVID-19 are in place to safeguard the health of patients and fellow staff.

  • A slowdown in immigration due to travel restrictions during the pandemic has cut down on a source of potential supply for licensed practical nurses.

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

  • Demand for this occupation is expected to be relatively strong, as an aging population increases health care needs in the province and efforts are made to increase the capacity of long-term care homes, retirement homes and supportive housing providers to reduce hospital stays. However, this potential growth will be somewhat contained as financial pressures limit the amount of hiring possible.

  • A shortage of workers in multiple nursing professions and patient care services has resulted in several challenging issues. Overtime in long-term care facilities is commonly required and there are often not enough recruits to cover annual leave, sick leave and other absences. In an attempt to address some of these issues, immigration policies have been changed to attract more foreign-trained nursing professionals. Furthermore, the College of the North Atlantic has added 112 more seats to its practical nursing program in 2020 at campuses across the province, increasing the previous capacity by 70%.
NOC 3413 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

 

NOC 3413: Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 4,410 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and social assistance.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The demand for nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates has increased because of the pandemic. Employment in the main industries for this occupation have increased since the start of the pandemic, with the nursing and residential care facilities sector growing by 24% between February and October of 2020.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties for those working in this occupation to ensure the proper procedures against COVID-19 are in place, to safeguard the health of the patients and fellow staff.

  • A slowdown in immigration due to travel restrictions during the pandemic has cut down on a source of potential supply for nursing aides.

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

  • Demand for this occupation is expected to be relatively strong, as an aging population fuels health care needs in the province and efforts are made to increase the capacity of long-term care homes, retirement homes and supportive housing providers to reduce hospital stays.

  • However, this potential growth will be somewhat contained as financial pressures limit the amount of hiring possible.

  • Staffing shortages have created challenging issues in long-term care facilities throughout the province. Because of the shortage, overtime has been commonly required and there are often not enough recruits to cover annual leave, sick leave and other absences. In an attempt to address these issues, the provincial government has changed its immigration policies to target foreign-trained nursing professionals to help fill the labour market needs. In addition, the College of the North Atlantic has added 96 seats to its personal care attendant program in 2020 at campuses across the province, increasing the capacity by nearly 80%.
4 - Occupations in education, law, and social community and government services

This group employed 28,300 workers in 2019, representing 12% of total employment. It employs workers in a number of industries, such as social assistance, educational services, private households and public administration. Initiatives have been put in place to attract workers to some of the key occupations in home support, early childhood education, and the school system. The pandemic created the need to change how some services were delivered, to control the spread.

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

NOC 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants

 

NOC 4214: Early childhood educators and assistants

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,215 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industry of employment is social assistance.

  • One in every ten early childhood educators and assistants 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?

  • In March, daycares were closed by the provincial government to limit the spread of COVID-19. Many early childhood educators (ECEs) were laid off and training programs were suspended to avoid adding additional workers to the number of unemployed jobseekers.

  • Daycares were later permitted to reopen, but enrolment was slow to rebound for a variety of reasons, creating revenue challenges for some operators. Some have chosen to shut down altogether, laying off staff permanently.

  • In some areas of the province, daycares that have remained in operation have encountered a shortage of certified ECEs to fill job vacancies. There is a larger than usual need for substitutes, as regular staff must stay home if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties for this occupation to ensure that proper procedures against COVID-19 are in place, to safeguard the health of the children and fellow staff.

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

  • Daycares and similar establishments were closed in the spring when the pandemic began to take hold. They have since reopened with a number of preventative measures in place to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.

  • High turnover rates will provide opportunities for those looking for work in this occupation.

  • The provincial government announced plans to bring in $25 a day daycare in the province starting in 2021, with a goal of increasing the number of spaces available and creating a more affordable cost for families.

  • In July of 2020, the Government of Canada announced an additional $625 million in 2020–21 to address the reduced availability of child care and the unique needs of the child care sector stemming from the pandemic across Canada.
NOC 4412 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

 

NOC 4412: Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 6,490 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include social assistance, private households, and ambulatory health care services.

  • One in every three in this occupation is aged 55 and over. As a result, this should create opportunities due to retirements.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The number of EI claimants in April of 2020 in this occupation was more than 25% higher compared to February. According to the latest data in September, this has remained at an elevated level. The rise in claimants reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • As this occupation can require workers to provide personal care and aid to people in need in a variety of households, some workers have been hesitant to work for fear of coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus. In addition, many families are also reluctant to have caregivers enter the home for the same reason, placing a further burden on families. For example, the number of different caregivers entering a client’s home may have been reduced from six to two, as a way to limit the number of different individuals they see. This has sometimes created a challenge for home care agencies during periods when infections are increasing.

  • The provincial government temporarily relaxed some hiring requirements, such as the need for first aid certification and a criminal check. Potential workers could also provide an affidavit stating they do not have a criminal background, instead of having to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the police.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties to ensure measures are taken to protect workers and their clients, including frequent cleaning and handwashing.

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

  • Demand for this occupation is expected to be relatively strong. In addition to caregiving needs from those with health and disability conditions, an aging population will be a key driver of growth, as many will require the services of people in this occupation in order to remain in their homes.

  • From an organizational perspective, the health care network's objective is to reduce hospitalization time and ensure that people who have been hospitalized return home more quickly. This translates into increased demand for home support services.
NOC 4413 Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

 

NOC 4413: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 635 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industry of employment is elementary and secondary schools.

  • About one quarter of these workers were aged 55 and over, which suggests that a meaningful share of job opportunities over the next few years will arise due to retirements.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the elementary and secondary schools sector has increased throughout 2020 compared to the previous year, but the gains have been weaker since June.

  • In this occupation, the pandemic caused a significant increase in EI claimants compared to the same months in 2019, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers. This would have been related to school closures due to COVID-19 public health measures.

  • The pandemic has created additional duties to ensure that proper procedures against COVID-19 are in place, to safeguard the health of the children and fellow staff.

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

  • Employment growth is determined largely by the priorities and resource allocation of the provincial public school system.

  • The provincial government’s Education Action Plan announced in 2018 included an initiative to hire 200 teaching and learning assistants to offer instructional support to students to help them meet their curriculum goals and prevent those who need assistance from falling behind. This hiring would occur over a three-year span.
5 - Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sports

With only 5,300 workers, this occupational group employs the fewest people among the ten major groups. The information, culture and recreation sector employs the most workers in this occupational group.

Many facilities such as fitness centres were required to close temporarily due to COVID-19. Musicians and other performers were faced with a lack of venues and restricted audience sizes, affect their ability to perform and earn a living. Despite the easing of public health measures and re-opening of theatres, music venues, and fitness centres, restrictions remain in place, which place a limit on employment possibilities as well as earning potential for some occupations. Physical spacing measures will be in effect until a vaccine is widely distributed in the province.

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

NOC 5131 Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

 

NOC 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 385 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main sectors of employment include information and cultural industries; arts, entertainment and recreation; and retail excluding food and beverage stores.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the information, culture and recreation sector dropped by one-third at the start of the pandemic as theatres and film industries were subject to restrictions. Audience sizes were restricted in theatres, affecting the ability to generate revenue. Physical distancing requirements and travel restrictions also had a negative effect on television and film production. However, the easing of public health measures have resulted in employment recovering to near pre-pandemic levels as of October.

  • Similarly, the number of EI claimants increased during the initial months of the pandemic as unemployment increased, but had returned to pre-pandemic levels in September.

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

  • This occupation has a younger than average age profile, which means that relatively few job opportunities will arise over the next couple of years because of retirements.

  • It may be difficult to find suitable candidates for vacancies in this occupation, considering its relatively small size and the need for a particular set of skills and experience. It has also been noted by some employers that positions can be difficult to fill from an employment equity standpoint.
NOC 5133 Musicians and singers

 

NOC 5133: Musicians and singers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 270 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include arts, entertainment and recreation; retail excluding food and beverage stores; and other schools and instruction such a private tutoring.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The shutdown of bars, auditoriums, and other such establishments at the start of the pandemic left many in this occupation without venues to perform and earn a living. Self-employment is more prominent in this occupation in comparison to all occupations in total, leaving many more dependent on these venues for their main source of income.

  • In addition, some musicians also offer lessons to those wishing to improve their musical skills. Their ability to continue these sessions has been affected by public health measures, but not to the same degree as performing artists.

  • Touring musicians and singers have also been unable to perform in locations outside the province, due to travel restrictions.

  • Even with the reopening of bars and lounges, there have been fewer venues to perform. In addition, the earning potential has been reduced in many cases, as establishments have had to restrict the number of patrons into their site.

  • In October, employment in performing arts, spectator sports and related industries was reduced by more than 50% compared to the same month in 2019.

  • In November, the provincial government introduced a short-term support program for professional musicians and artist affected by the pandemic. This would allow them to receive a non-repayable, one-time contribution of up to $5,000.

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

  • Employment prospects will depend on how long public health measures remain in place. As many in the occupation are self-employed, the negative financial effects will be significant over time, which may force some to consider a career change and or look for employment in another occupation.
NOC 5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

 

NOC 5254: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,675 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include arts, entertainment and recreation; local, municipal, regional, aboriginal and other public administration; and other schools and instruction.

  • Only 7% of workers in this occupation are 55 years of age or older, which suggests that only a limited number of job opportunities will arise due to retirements over the next couple of years.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was nearly five times greater than in February, and has shown only a small decline through September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Much of the employment loss has been at fitness centres and other such recreational facilities and programs related to physical conditioning. This reduction in employment was mainly due to the impact of public health measures, including a closure of such facilities in the initial months of the pandemic. Some workers returned to work following the relaxation of restrictions, but employment has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

  • Other foregone employment in this occupation includes seasonal program leaders. For instance, municipal governments laid off or declined to hire recreational workers during the summer of 2020.

  • Most workers in this occupation will have experienced a change in tasks and responsibilities as a result in COVID-19, relating mostly to heightened sanitization requirements.

  • As of November 2020, gyms and recreation facilities were operating under reduced capacities.

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

  • Turnover is the main source of job vacancies in this occupation. Positions are often part-time, seasonal, and staffed by students.

  • Depending on the sport or activity associated with a vacancy, certain credentials or experience may be an asset or requirement. Employment prospects in this occupation will largely depend on whether COVID-19 infections can be reduced enough to ensure a safe return to more normal operating conditions for recreational facilities.

  • Another factor will be the comfort level participants have in returning to such facilities without a fear of infection. In addition, some may become more accustomed to exercising at home instead, thus forgoing these facilities.

  • The timing and delivery of a vaccine will play an important role in the recovery of this occupation. Early availability and distribution of a vaccine will hasten the improvement in employment prospects.
6 - Sales and service occupations

Sales and service occupations employed 56,600 people in 2019, the most of any of the ten major occupational groups. Key industries that employ the most workers in this group are retail trade, as well as food services and drinking places. These key industries experienced a notable drop in employment as the pandemic took hold. Many retail businesses were closed as people stayed home and public health measures were enacted. It also affected people who work in restaurants, bars and other such establishments. Dine-in services were not permitted and bars were not allowed to open for a number of months. Even in October, there are still a number of restrictions in place which reduce the number of people such businesses are allowed to hold. This has placed considerable financial hardship on many of the workers and these 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 6322 Cooks

 

NOC 6322: Cooks

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 3,770 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include food services and drinking places, accommodation services, and nursing and residential care facilities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the food services sector fell by 20% between February and April of 2020, but partially rebounded as the year has progressed.

  • The number of EI claimants in April of 2020 in this occupation was 77% higher compared to February, and has remained high through the fall period. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • The initial closure of restaurants at the start of the pandemic and the restrictions on dine-in service have negatively affected employment in this occupation.

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

  • Restaurants were deeply affected by the onset of the pandemic, as dine-in services were shut down because of COVID-19 public health measures. A number of restaurants have remained closed even as restrictions have eased somewhat. While the province has maintained a relatively low infection rate compared to other provinces, capacity restrictions remain in place, impacting sales and profits in the food service industry.

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

  • Some restaurants reported a shortage of cooks prior to the pandemic. There are typically a large number of vacancies due to high turnover.
NOC 6421 Retail salespersons

 

NOC 6421: Retail salespersons

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 7,560 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include retail and wholesale trade.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the wholesale and retail trade sector fell by 20% between February and April of 2020, but improved as the year has progressed.

  • During the spring, many non-essential retail stores closed as consumers were urged to avoid non-essential outings. Thousands of retail salespersons were laid off or had their hours reduced to zero.

  • While most non-essential retail establishments have reopened, they must adhere to regulations concerning physical distancing, occupancy levels, and enhanced sanitization. Some have also chosen to keep reduced business hours, reducing the total number of salespersons needed.

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

  • With the exception of certain categories (electronics and appliances, building supplies, health and personal care, and grocery), retail sales have generally been lower in 2020 than in 2019, due to COVID-19. While sales have rebounded in recent months, future activity will depend on how well the province is able to manage the current pandemic.

  • A lack of foot traffic due to COVID-19 has affected many smaller businesses, particularly in downtown cores. While levels have recovered slightly since the pandemic began, many small businesses are still seeing fewer customers. This is expected to continue for as long as pandemic restrictions are in place and could influence future staffing levels.

  • A high rate of employee turnover is a major driver of job vacancies in this occupation. Education and skill requirements are low.

  • The rising number of retail closures will also have an impact on employment, going forward. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has reported that 8,500, or 12%, of small and medium-sized businesses in the Atlantic Region are at risk of closing due to COVID-19.

  • Vehicle sales declined significantly at the beginning of the pandemic but business appears to be stabilizing. Recent sales numbers compare favourably to those during the same time last year. While some layoffs have been reported, most dealerships are slowly reopening and are now close to previous staffing levels according to the Automobile Dealers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Businesses that are able to adapt to changing shopping habits, by expanding their online presence and offering pick-up or delivery services, are expected to perform better and be better equipped to maintain staffing levels. Nationally, online sales have increased by nearly 70% on a year-to-date basis (to August). However, online sales only account for 5%-10% of total sales, depending on the month.
NOC 6512 Bartenders

 

NOC 6512: Bartenders

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 935 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include food services and drinking places, as well as accommodation services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • From March until June, dining rooms, bars, and other drinking establishments were ordered to close. Though restaurants could continue to sell delivery or takeout meals, most bartenders were laid off under this operating model.

  • The number of EI claimants in this occupation increased by 250% between February and April 2020, and remained high through the fall period.

  • The initial closure of bars at the start of the pandemic and capacity restrictions at these establishments since reopening have negatively affected employment in this occupation.

What are the main trends affecting employment prospects in the 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.

  • As long as restrictions on bar operations continue, employment prospects are expected to be generally poor. Some bars have not reopened since the onset of the pandemic, while others have reduced either operating hours or the number of nights they open per week.

  • The reduction in the number of patrons allowed in bars because of public health measures has cut into profitability and reduced the number of staff employed.
NOC 6513 Food and beverage servers

 

NOC 6513: Food and beverage servers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,275 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include food services and drinking places, as well as accommodation services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • From March until June 2020, dining rooms, bars, and other drinking establishments were ordered to close. Restaurants could continue to sell delivery or takeout meals. Under this model, the majority of servers were laid off, with a reduced staff remaining to complete takeout transactions.

  • The number of EI claimants in this occupation was nearly three times larger in April of 2020 compared to February, and remained high through the fall period.

  • Going forward, employment in this occupation will be linked to the health of the food services industry overall. Many restaurants have indicated an inability to recover financially from the closure in the spring. Those normally reliant on seasonal summer revenue were particularly hard-hit by the decline in tourism.

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

  • Restaurants were deeply affected by the onset of the pandemic, as dine-in services were shut down due to public health measures. A number of restaurants have remained closed even as restrictions have eased somewhat. While the province has had relatively few infections compared to other provinces, capacity restrictions remain in place, affecting sales and profits in the food service industry.

  • There are typically a large number of vacancies due to high turnover in this occupation. Some employers have reported occasional difficulty in filling vacancies.

  • Growth prospects for this occupation will remain subdued as long as the threat of an outbreak exists.
NOC 6611 Cashiers

 

NOC 6611: Cashiers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 6,785 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include retail trade, and food services and drinking places.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • During the spring, many non-essential retail stores closed as consumers were urged to avoid non-essential outings. Thousands of cashiers were laid off or had their hours reduced to zero.

  • While most non-essential retail establishments have reopened, they must adhere to regulations concerning physical distancing, occupancy levels, and enhanced sanitization. Some have also chosen to keep reduced business hours, reducing the total number of cashiers needed.

  • The effect of COVID-19 has varied by type of retail. For example, many grocery stores increased shifts or hired additional staff in the spring as consumers stockpiled groceries in preparation for a potential lockdown. Some essential retail cashiers received a temporary wage increase during this period.

  • The number of EI claimants in this occupation was three times larger in April 2020 than in February 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, and has remained high through the fall period, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • Restaurants, grocery stores and other retail chains are expected to become increasingly reliant on self-check-out stations, which will reduce the demand for cashiers, somewhat, moving forward. However, over the medium-term, restrictions related to COVID-19 will have the greatest impact on labour demand.

  • With the exception of certain categories (electronics and appliances, building supplies, health and personal care, and grocery), retail sales have generally been lower in 2020 than in 2019, due to public health measures related to COVID-19. While sales have rebounded in recent months, future activity will depend on how well the province is able to manage the current pandemic.

  • A reduction in the number of customers due to COVID-19 has affected many smaller businesses, particularly in downtown cores. While levels have recovered slightly since the pandemic began, many small businesses are still seeing fewer customers. This is expected to continue for as long as pandemic restrictions are in place and could influence future staffing levels.

  • The rising number of retail closures will also have an impact on employment, going forward. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has reported that about 8,500, or 12%, of small and medium-sized businesses in the Atlantic Region are at risk of closing due to COVID-19.

  • While demand for this occupation is high in retail stores that focus on essential items, other parts of the retail sector have experienced a decrease because of growth in online shopping during the pandemic. If the acceptance of online shopping as more of a norm continues, this trend may reduce the demand for cashiers in the future, as shoppers make fewer visits to brick and mortar retail establishments.

  • Over the medium-term, restrictions related to COVID-19 will have the greatest impact on labour demand.

  • A high rate of employee turnover is a major driver of job vacancies in this occupation. Education and skill requirements are low.
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 Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 4,680 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include food services and drinking places; hospitals; and nursing and residential care facilities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • From March until June 2020, dining rooms, bars, and other drinking establishments were ordered to close. Restaurants could continue to sell delivery or take-out meals. Many food counter attendants were laid off as a result.

  • Employment in the food services sector fell by 20% between February and April of 2020, but partially rebounded as the year has progressed.

  • The number of EI claimants in this occupation was nearly three times larger in April 2020 compared to February 2020, and remained high through the fall, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Food counter attendants are prevalent in take-out and drive-thru type establishments, which were better suited to adapt to the closure of dining rooms than table service restaurants. As a result, the percentage of workers laid off in this occupation was somewhat lower than other food service occupations (such as servers), with several thousand remaining employed throughout the pandemic.

  • The initial closure of restaurants at the start of the pandemic and the ongoing restrictions on dine-in service have negatively affected employment in this occupation.

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

  • Restaurants were deeply affected by the onset of the pandemic, as dine-in services were shut down due to public health measures. A number of restaurants have remained closed even as restrictions have eased somewhat. While the province has had relatively few infections compared to other provinces, capacity restrictions remain in place, affecting sales and profits in the food service industry.

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

  • High turnover is a major contributor of job opportunities in this occupation.

  • This occupation has typically been a good source of employment for students during the busy tourist season. However, employment prospects in this occupation will depend heavily on the pace of recovery with respect to the tourism sector.
NOC 6731 Light duty cleaners

 

NOC 6731: Light duty cleaners

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 3,235 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include management and administrative services, hospitals, and accommodation services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in hospitals has been relatively stable. The management and administrative services sector had reduced employment at the start of the pandemic, and has continued to decline through October. Demand for this occupation in hotels and offices has gone down due to reduced tourist occupancy and the increased number of people working from home, respectively. However, employment has been stable for those working in hospitals and other public buildings with a continued (or even increased) need for sanitization.

  • The number of EI claimants in April of 2020 in this occupation increased by 44% compared to February, and has remained near this elevated level through September.

  • COVID-19 has heightened the importance of this occupation, as thorough cleaning procedures are required to prevent the spread of infection. Increased public health requirements across all sectors of the economy meant there would be a greater need for light duty cleaners to ensure conditions were kept clean and disinfected.

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

  • This occupation can be physically demanding on some. Higher than average turnover has been reported, which does create opportunities for employment.

  • The speed of recovery in employment will depend largely on how fast a vaccine becomes available, how long it will take travel restrictions to be relaxed, and the length of time it will take for office occupancy to return to pre-pandemic levels.

  • Part-time work is common in this occupation, and candidates may be required to work various shifts including nights, evenings and weekends. In some parts of the province, job opportunities may be seasonal with more openings in the summer months. This is particularly true in the accommodation and food services industry as some resorts and hotels only operate in the summer months.
7 - Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

This group employed 36,300 workers in 2019, representing 12% of total employment. It is the second-largest occupational group in the provincial labour market. Key industries that employ the most workers include construction, wholesale and retail trade, and transportation.

COVID-19 brought a number of major construction projects to a temporary halt during the first few months, which affected a number of occupations. While activity in most of these projects have restarted, public health measures have been enacted that allow for physical distancing. This reduces the number of people working in a given area, affecting employment and project timelines. One project that has not restarted is the construction of the concrete gravity based structure for the West White Rose oil project in Argentia. A dramatic shift in oil demand and prices has forced the industry to pause, re-evaluate, and prioritize where they should dedicate their reduced financial resources.

An economic slowdown caused by the pandemic has also dampened activity in transportation. While wholesale and retail activity related to essential goods was relatively stable, non-essential goods were reduced. Water transportation was also negatively affected by the slowdown in the oil sector, affecting those who deliver support and services to the offshore industry. Air transportation has been deeply impacted by travel restrictions around the globe.

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

NOC 7237 Welders and related machine operators

 

NOC 7237: Welders and related machine operators

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 940 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries include construction, repair and maintenance, and fabricated metal product manufacturing.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the construction sector dropped by 35% between February and May of 2020, but has improved somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of welders collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was quite similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, with twice as many welders collecting benefits compared to a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Construction activity dropped sharply due to the pandemic, including a halt on work related to the White West Rose oil project.

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

  • The number of claimants has been high when compared to employment levels, resulting in a large pool of qualified workers when hiring.

  • Non-residential construction employment is expected to remain relatively low compared to recent years, as most major projects such as the construction of the Hebron Oil Platform have been completed, and work on the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project is nearly finished. There are no other major projects on the horizon to replace this drop in employment. West White Rose filled some of the loss from Hebron, and a sanction of the Bay du Nord oil project was expected. However, partly as a result of the pandemic, the price of oil has dropped considerably, forcing oil companies to cut costs and evaluate which projects they will focus on moving forward. This has resulted in an indefinite suspension of activity on West White Rose and a deferral of the Bay du Nord project, limiting employment prospects for welders over the next few years.
NOC 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)

 

NOC 7241: Electricians (except industrial and power system)

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,160 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include construction, hospitals, and repair and maintenance.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the construction sector dropped by 35% between February and May of 2020, but has improved somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of electricians collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was quite similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, with twice as many welders collecting benefits compared to a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Construction activity dropped sharply due to the pandemic, including a halt on work related to the White West Rose oil project.

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

  • The number of claimants has been high when compared to employment levels, resulting in a large pool of qualified workers when hiring.

  • Non-residential construction employment is expected to remain relatively low compared to recent years, as most major projects such as the construction of the Hebron Oil Platform have been completed, and work on the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project is nearly finished. There are no other major projects on the horizon to fully replace this drop in employment. West White Rose filled some of the loss from Hebron, and a sanction of the Bay du Nord oil project was expected. However, the price of oil has dropped considerably, forcing oil companies to cut costs and evaluate which projects they will focus on moving forward. This has resulted in an indefinite suspension of activity on West White Rose and a deferral of the Bay du Nord project, limiting employment prospects for welders over the next few years.
NOC 7271 Carpenters

 

NOC 7271: Carpenters

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,215 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include construction, hospitals, and local, municipal, regional, aboriginal and other public administration.

  • About out of every four carpenters in the province 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?

  • Employment in the construction sector dropped by 35% between February and May of 2020, but has improved somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of carpenters collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was quite similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, with a 40% increase in carpenters collecting benefits compared to a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Construction activity declined in the second quarter as public health measures took effect and the economy worsened.

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

  • The average number of claimants has been high when compared to employment levels, resulting in a large pool of qualified workers when hiring.

  • A downturn in the economy is expected to keep employment levels lower than recent years.

  • While residential renovation activity has been strong, new home construction has been low and expected to remain this way for the next few years.
NOC 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics

 

NOC 7312: Heavy-duty equipment mechanics

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 1,400 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include construction, wholesale trade, repair and maintenance, and mining and quarrying.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the construction sector dropped by 35% between February and May of 2020, but has improved somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of heavy-duty equipment mechanics collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was very similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, with a nearly 140% rise in heavy-duty equipment mechanics collecting benefits compared to a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Construction activity declined in the second quarter as public health measures took effect and the economy worsened.

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

  • Non-residential construction employment is expected to remain relatively low compared to recent years, as most major projects such as the construction of the Hebron Oil Platform have been completed, and work on the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project is nearly finished. There are no other major projects on the horizon to replace this drop in employment. West White Rose filled some of the loss from Hebron, and a sanction of the Bay du Nord oil project was expected. However, the price of oil has dropped considerably, forcing oil companies to cut costs and evaluate which projects they will focus on moving forward. This has resulted in an indefinite suspension of activity on West White Rose and a deferral of the Bay du Nord project, limiting employment prospects for the next few years in the oil industry.

  • The occupation will benefit from healthy mining activity in the province, which has remained relatively strong through the pandemic. Mining companies expected to be busy in the coming year include the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City, Tacora Resources in Wabush, Vale’s Voisey’s Bay Project, Canada Fluorspar in St. Lawrence, and sites in central Newfoundland such as Rambler Mines.
NOC 7511 Transport truck drivers

 

NOC 7511: Transport truck drivers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,780 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include truck transportation, construction, and wholesale trade.

  • About 30% of transport truck drivers in the province 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.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment is reliant on the health of the economy, as well as the level of construction activity. Both of these have worsened because of the pandemic. Restrictions on the retail sector and a drop in consumer demand of goods have been a negative factor.

  • Those involved in transporting essential items have been less affected than those carrying non-essential goods.

  • Under the public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19, truckers were declared essential workers, which means they did not need to quarantine for two weeks after a trip. Transport truck drivers faced some challenges finding washroom facilities and places to eat, particularly in the early weeks of the pandemic.

  • Employment in truck transportation declined by 15% between February and April of 2020, but has improved since August. However, construction remained lower in October when compared to the same month in 2019.

  • The number of transport truck drivers collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was very similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, with 40% more transport truck drivers collecting benefits compared to a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • Employment prospects will partially depend on the length of time it takes for the economy to return to normal conditions, without many of the public health measures currently in place. Another consideration is the reduction in construction activity may also lessen demand for this occupation.

  • For younger drivers under age 25, prospects may be more limited due to greater insurance costs.
NOC 7521 Heavy equipment operators (except crane)

 

NOC 7521: Heavy equipment operators (except crane)

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,765 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include construction; local, municipal, regional, aboriginal and other public administration; and mining and quarrying.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the construction sector dropped by 35% between February and May of 2020, but has improved somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of heavy equipment operators collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was very similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, with 40% more heavy equipment operators collecting benefits compared to a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployment workers.

  • Construction activity, which represents over 50% of employment in this occupation, declined in the second quarter as public health measures took effect and the economy worsened. Physical distancing measures resulted in fewer site workers and reduced productivity.

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

  • The average number of EI claimants has been high when compared to employment levels, resulting in a large pool of qualified workers when hiring.

  • Non-residential construction employment is expected to remain relatively low compared to recent years, as most major projects such as the construction of the Hebron Oil Platform have been completed, and work on the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project is nearly finished. There are no other major projects on the horizon to replace this drop in employment. West White Rose filled some of the loss from Hebron, and a sanction of the Bay du Nord oil project was expected. However, the price of oil has dropped considerably, forcing oil companies to cut costs and evaluate which projects they will focus on moving forward. This has resulted in an indefinite suspension of activity on West White Rose and a deferral of the Bay du Nord project, limiting employment prospects for over the next few years in the oil industry.

  • The occupation will benefit from healthy mining activity in the province, which has remained relatively strong through the pandemic. Mining companies expected to be busy in the coming year include the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City, Tacora Resources in Wabush, Vale’s Voisey’s Bay Project, Canada Fluorspar in St. Lawrence, and sites in central Newfoundland such as Rambler Mines.

  • Employment in public administration is expected be relatively steady moving forward. This refers to those working for municipalities and other levels of government who operate plows, backhoes, loaders and other such heavy equipment.

  • Employers tend to prefer heavy equipment operators with three years of experience or more and good mechanical abilities.
NOC 7532 Water transport deck and engine room crew

 

NOC 7532: Water transport deck and engine room crew

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 710 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include water transportation and related support, and federal public administration.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The provincial oil industry plays a key role in the level of employment in this occupation. The water transportation and related support sector provides a supply and service role to the oil industry. Between February and April of 2020, employment in the oil and gas extraction and oil and gas field services declined by 33%, and has continued to remain low. As a result, this has produced a ripple effect reducing opportunities for water transportation companies and employment demand for this occupation.

  • The number of water transport deck and engine room crew who were collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was quite similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, when the number of people in this occupation collecting EI benefits was 47% higher than the same period a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployment workers.

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

  • As the oil industry struggles to survive, it continues to have negative impacts on other sectors that provide services to the industry. The future employment prospects for this occupation will rely to some extent on a rebound in the offshore oil industry, where the outlook is currently not clear at this point. The pandemic continues to be a dominant presence in the market, dampening the global demand for oil.
NOC 7534 Air transport ramp attendants

 

NOC 7534: Air transport ramp attendants

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 235 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include air transportation and support activities.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The airline industry was deeply impacted by the pandemic, due to public health measures and travel restrictions. Employment in air transportation plummeted between February and April of 2020, and has remained considerably lower than normal.

  • This small occupation has been severely impacted by the pandemic, with a large proportion of workers laid off. Unlike many other occupations, ramp attendants have not been rehired in large numbers since the reopening of the economy in June.

  • The number of EI claimants in April of 2020 in this occupation was more than seven times higher than in February, and has continued at this high level through the fall period. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • The air transportation industry experienced a tremendous drop in passengers due to public health restrictions resulting from the pandemic. For example, the number of passengers declined by 95% in April in St. John’s, while Deer Lake had an 82% reduction from March to August.

  • Airports and airlines expect it will take a number of years before traffic returns to 2019 levels. This will result in a long period of cost reduction and potential fee hikes wherever possible.

  • Major airlines in Canada and around the globe have significantly reduced the number of employees and available flights. Air Canada suspended 30 routes, nearly half of those in Atlantic Canada. Westjet has reduced service to Atlantic Canada by 80%.

  • Travel restrictions between countries and even within regions of Canada limit a return to normal business levels.

  • A portion of the population will remain reluctant to fly due to the pandemic. In addition, the considerable increase in virtual meetings brought on by the pandemic may continue even after a vaccine is widely distributed, as some may have found it to be effective and cheaper than travelling. This may dampen the demand for this occupation, since business travel could be reduced.
NOC 7611 Construction trades helpers and labourers

 

NOC 7611: Construction trades helpers and labourers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 2,070 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include construction; management and administrative services; and oil and gas extraction.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the construction sector dropped by 35% between February and May of 2020, but has improved somewhat as the year has progressed.

  • The number of construction trades helpers and labourers who were collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was quite similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, when the number of people in this occupation collecting EI benefits was 33% higher than the same period a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • Construction activity declined in the second quarter as public health measures took effect and the economy worsened.

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

  • The number of EI claimants has been high compared to employment levels, resulting in a large pool of qualified workers when hiring.

  • A downturn in the economy is expected to keep employment levels lower compared to recent years.

  • While residential renovation activity has been strong, new home construction has been low and expected to remain this way for the next few years. The halt on work related to the West White Rose Project and a delay in construction at the Grieg Aquaculture Development will lessen demand for this occupation over the next year or two.
8 - Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations

Over three-quarters of natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations are in the fishing; agriculture; mining, and oil and gas sectors. COVID-19 reduced global demand for oil, which negatively affected a number of the larger occupations in this group. There were safety concerns among some fishers as the fishing season coincided with the start of the pandemic in the province. Meanwhile, agriculture has been generally stable since the start of the pandemic.

The outlook is mixed across these occupations and future employment prospects largely depend on a number of factors such as oil prices and the degree of consolidation with the agricultural sector. While agriculture may have a generally positive outlook, the future for oil and gas in the province is unclear.

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

NOC 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services

 

NOC 8222: Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 580 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include oil and gas extraction; and support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Industry employment in oil and gas extraction; and support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction declined by 33% between February and April of 2020, and has remained low. This has had an overall dampening effect on occupational growth.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was more than twice as large as two months earlier, and has increased to nearly three times larger in September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • A collapse in oil prices has had a negative effect in employment prospects in the oil industry. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. In addition, layoffs have been occurring as a cost reduction measure.

  • The future employment prospects of this occupation will depend largely on how the provincial oil industry and supporting industries navigate the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the impact it is having on the global demand for oil.
NOC 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers

 

NOC 8232: Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 715 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include oil and gas extraction; and support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in oil and gas extraction and support activities declined by 33% between February and April of 2020, and has remained low.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was 44% higher than two months earlier, and had grown to a 98% increase by September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • A collapse in oil prices has had a negative effect on employment prospects in the oil industry. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. In addition, layoffs have been occurring as a cost reduction measure.

  • The future employment prospects of this occupation will depend largely on how the provincial oil industry and supporting industries navigate the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the impact it is having on the global demand for oil.
NOC 8412 Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators

 

NOC 8412: Oil and gas well drilling and related workers and services operators

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 105 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include construction; oil and gas extraction; and support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in support activities for oil and gas extraction declined by 45% between February and April of 2020. Losses have deepened as the year has progressed.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was 48% higher than two months earlier, and had grown to a 98% increase by September. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • A collapse in oil prices has had a negative effect in employment prospects in the oil industry. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. In addition, layoffs have been occurring as a cost reduction measure.

  • The future employment prospects of this occupation will depend largely on how the provincial oil industry and supporting industries navigate the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the impact it is having on the global demand for oil.
NOC 8431 General farm workers

 

NOC 8431: General farm workers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 780 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industry of employment is agriculture.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • The pandemic has not changed agriculture employment in a notable manner over the past year.

  • As of September, the number of EI claimants for this occupation has also been quite stable throughout 2020.

  • When the COVID-19 pandemic started in Canada, borders were closed for temporary foreign workers, including those would work in this occupation. This caused immediate concern in the farming industry, as since farms across Canada has depended this source of labour in order to operate. While exemptions have since been granted for farm workers to allow border crossings, some barriers remain. These include a 14-day isolation period prior to working, as well as more limited air travel choices due to the elimination of routes to Atlantic Canada following the onset of the pandemic.

  • Despite the pandemic, transportation of food across Canada and internationally with the U.S. has not generally been affected, in order to ensure food continues to move freely. As a result, demand for general farm workers has not been hampered by food transportation issues.

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

  • The farming landscape has been characterised by consolidation, with larger companies buying out smaller, typically family-run enterprises. As a result, the number of farms in the province has been in decline over the past decade.

  • While consolidation tends to decrease the amount of labour required, rural outmigration and an aging population have contributed to labour shortages for this occupation. During peak periods of the year, farms in the province have traditionally relied on the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program to fill vacancies, indicating a chronic shortage of workers in this occupation.

  • During peak periods of the year, farms in the province have traditionally relied on the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program to fill vacancies, indicating a chronic shortage of workers in this occupation.

  • In 2019, the provincial government set a goal to increase the amount of food produced in the province by 2022, doubling consumption in Newfoundland and Labrador of locally produced goods from 10% in 2019 to 20% in 2022. Some initiatives include an increase in protected land for agricultural use, an agricultural technology program at the College of the North Atlantic, increasing innovation in the industry, and attracting new immigrants with agriculture experience to farms throughout the province.
NOC 8615 Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers

 

NOC 8615: Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 630 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include oil and gas extraction; support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; and architectural, engineering and design services.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in oil and gas extraction and support activities declined by 33% between February and April of 2020, and has remained low.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was 28% higher than two months earlier, and has grown to a 63% increase in September, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

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

  • A collapse in oil prices has had a negative effect in employment prospects in the oil industry. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. In addition, layoffs have been occurring as a cost reduction measure.

  • The future employment prospects of this occupation will depend largely on how the provincial oil industry and supporting industries navigate the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the impact it is having on the global demand for oil.
9 - Occupations in manufacturing and utilities

Compared to most other major occupational groups, occupations in manufacturing and utilities employ a relatively small number of workers. A substantial part of employment for this group is in manufacturing. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the larger manufacturing employers are found in seafood production and refining of petroleum sectors.

COVID-19 affected the seafood manufacturing sector in a number of ways. Since fish plants commonly have many workers processing fish in a closed environment with little physical space, the onset of the pandemic created a number of safety concerns. This brought about some adjustments in the fish plants to accommodate those fears. In addition to the safety issues, the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic has also dampened seafood demand from major markets, such as restaurants in the U.S. Furthermore, there was a later start to the fishing season, with some workers unable to be find work at the plant.

In petroleum refining, global oil demand plummeted due to the pandemic. Combined with worker safety concerns due to COVID-19, the decision was made to idle the Come-by-Chance refinery. Since then, the future of the refinery remains unclear, with the owner wishing to sell the facility. There have been interested parties, but no deal has been reached as of the end of November.

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

NOC 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

 

NOC 9232: Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 300 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industries of employment include petroleum and coal product manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, and support activities for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Between February and April of 2020, employment in this occupation’s key industries declined by 37%. Since then, it has remained low.

  • The number of EI claimants for this occupation in April of 2020 was nearly three times higher than in February, and has remained high as of September, reflecting the increase in unemployed workers.

  •   The drop in employment relates to a decline in oil demand around the world. The Come by Chance oil refinery has been idled since March, and activity in the offshore oil industry has declined.

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

  • Employment prospects in this occupation will largely depend on how long it takes for global oil demand and prices to rise. As of November, the pandemic continues to impact countries throughout the world. Oil giants to small contractors and service providers have seen a dramatic shift, and are trying to grapple with the new reality. Projects around the globe are being re-evaluated as oil firms with less to invest have to be selective about which endeavour will and will not proceed. In addition, layoffs have been occurring as a cost reduction measure.

  • The future of the Come by Chance oil refinery is not clear, as the owner has had discussions with potential buyers for the refinery, but a deal has not been reached to date. The COVID-induced slump in fuel demand forced the closures of several refineries as refiners moved to permanently close some facilities, and convert some others to focus on other products such as renewable diesel fuel. The struggles of the refining industry may result in reduced opportunities for this occupation.
NOC 9463 Fish and seafood plant workers

 

NOC 9463: Fish and seafood plant workers

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 825 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industry of employment is food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the food manufacturing sector was 8% lower through the April to October period compared to the same months in 2019.

  • The number of fish and seafood plant workers who were collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was quite similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, when the number of people in this occupation collecting EI benefits was 50% higher than the same period a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployed workers.

  • The drop is seafood demand was related to struggling economies, restaurant closures, and a drop in cruise ship activity around the world. However, there has been some recovery, with demand shifting from restaurants to grocery stores.

  • In addition, heightened caution about working in close quarters during the pandemic meant late starts to the crab and shrimp fishery resulting in very little or no work for many.

  • Physical distancing requirements will be the norm, going forward, and this will limit capacity for many processors.

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

  • Crab and shrimp stocks have dropped considerably over recent years, sending employment downward over this time.

  • Nearly 50% of fish and seafood and fish plant workers are aged 55 and over. As a result, this should create opportunities due to retirements.
NOC 9618 Labourers in fish and seafood processing

 

NOC 9618: Labourers in fish and seafood processing

General information about this occupation:

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there were 680 employed in this occupation in 2019. The main industry of employment is food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this occupation?

  • Employment in the food manufacturing sector was 8% lower through the April to October period compared to the same months in 2019.

  • The number of fish and seafood plant workers who were collecting EI benefits in the first quarter of 2020 was similar to the same period the year before. However, the second quarter was quite different, when the number of people in this occupation collecting EI benefits was 38% higher than the same period a year earlier. This reflects the increase in unemployment workers.

  • The drop is seafood demand was related to struggling economies, restaurant closures, and a drop in cruise ship activity around the world. However, there has been some recovery, with demand shifting from restaurants to grocery stores.

  • In addition, heightened caution about working in close quarters during the pandemic meant late starts to the crab and shrimp fishery, resulting in very little or no work for many.

  • Physical distancing requirements will be the norm, going forward, and this will limit capacity for many processors.

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

  • Crab and shrimp stocks have dropped considerably over recent years, sending employment downward over this time.

  • Two in every five labourers in fish and seafood processing is aged 55 and over. As a result, this should create opportunities due to retirements.

Note

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

Date modified: