🦜 PerchPulse - The Canada Market Update April 2023 🦜

A warm welcome to the April issue of PerchPeek’s Canada Market Monthly update!

Here’s where you’ll find the hottest updates around employee relocation and international talent strategy, insights from our experts on housing and cost-of-living news affecting your staff, the latest trends in global mobility, and tips and tricks on ways to support your teams.

A fly-by summary

●     The Canadian government has extended Covid-era policy that allows foreign visitors to Canada who receive a job offer after arriving in the country to apply for a work permit

●     Interesting news for talent acquisition teams: IRCC is recruiting for Migration Officers to staff offices in India, China, Mexico and more, to boost Canada’s migration programme

●     Latest rental cost data; Royal Bank of Canada warns current shortage of rental housing could quadruple by 2026, and average rents are up by 10.4% year-over-year

●     2023 federal budget released, featuring a six-month extension of the so-called ‘grocery rebate’ scheme and improving access to dental care - guidance to support employees

●     From renting furniture suites to snapping up a bargain on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji, here’s how to help your relocating employees furnish their new home

Talent strategy: IRCC extends policy allowing visitors to apply for work permits after arriving in Canada

Like many countries right now, Canada is experiencing a labour shortage. Latest figures from Statistics Canada show around 850,000 open roles as of December (a reduction from 1 million seen earlier in 2022). Unemployment stands at 5%, which is very low by historical standards.

While Covid-19 travel restrictions were in place, it was of course difficult for newcomers to arrive in Canada from abroad, and likewise difficult for employers to fill open roles! A scheme was duly introduced allowing visitors to apply for a work permit after arriving in the country, not before.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have now announced that this policy will be extended (indefinitely, we understand), which is great news both for foreign nationals wishing to work in Canada, and employers looking to hire talent from overseas!

Key details:

●     Before this policy, people applying for work permits as temporary residents would need to apply before travelling to Canada

●     Now, any foreign national who receives a job offer while in Canada will be able to apply for and receive a work permit

According to Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino:

“This exemption from the normal temporary work permit requirements is aimed at removing barriers to create a more agile workforce that leverages visitors with the skills and experience to accelerate our economic recovery.”

This is a brilliant opportunity for Talent Acquisition and People leaders looking to expand their teams to take advantage of a wider talent pool of visitors, including post-graduates, digital nomads and freelancers, already in Canada and seeking work.

Talent strategy: Government looking to staff its foreign offices to boost migration programme

Many employers are looking abroad for skilled talent to fill the gaps in their workforce, and the Canadian government is also ramping up efforts to encourage migration from overseas.

The IRCC is advertising for Migration Foreign Services Officer roles, to be posted in a range of overseas destinations including China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Senegal and Turkey.

It’s super encouraging for Canadian businesses to see proof of the government’s efforts to bring more skilled talent from all over the world to Canada! This will have a big impact on widening the talent pool for Talent Acquisition teams and help drive recruitment efforts forward.

Home-finding: RBC warns that Canada’s shortage of rental housing could quadruple by 2026

Canadian rental market update

Key trends at a glance (source: PerchPeek and Rentals.ca):

●     The average asking rent for all available properties is $2,004, increasing by 1% MoM

●     The annual average price increase is +10.4% as of March 2022, a rise of $196

Breakdown by apartment type:

For province- or city-specific rental cost data, give PerchPeek a shout here!

In the news

The Royal Bank of Canada has warned that without a significant boost in rental stock, Canada could be short of 120,000 homes by 2026, quadrupling the current deficit. Here’s a summary of their key findings:

●     Canada’s stock of rental housing surged in 2022, growing by 2.4% YoY - the fastest rate since 2014, but it’s still not enough to keep up with demand

●     Vacancy rates still fell to a two-decade low as high levels of immigration and in-migration triggered a surge in rental property demand

●     As one would expect, the situation is worse in major cities. Vacancy rates are extremely low - 0.7% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 1.1% in Toronto and 1.8% in Calgary

To support relocating employees, it’s essential that relocation packages are not only financially sufficient to cover at least two months in temporary housing, but also include actual support to equip home-hunters with the tools and knowledge to stand out in a very competitive market!

Cost of living: So-called ‘grocery rebate’ scheme extended for six months

The Canadian government has just released the 2023 federal budget, with a distinct focus on spending measures designed to make life more affordable, as well as encouraging investment in green energy, improving health care services and rolling out a federal dental care programme.

The two main updates impacting employees are:

●     ‘Grocery rebate’ - The quarterly GST tax credit was doubled last September, benefiting an estimated 11 million low- and modest-income individuals and families. It’s now been announced that this measure has been extended for an additional six months. Known as the ‘grocery rebate’ as it can help offset rising food prices, it means individuals would receive up to $234 and families with two children up to $467.

●     Dental care - $7.3 billion is to be spent over the next five years to expand Canada’s dental care programme. This will offer coverage to households with an annual income of under $90,000, with no co-payments for households earning less than $70,000

PerchPeek’s advice for People teams:

●     Share details of the GST tax credit scheme with eligible employees and provide assistance where needed in making sure they’re enrolled for all relevant benefits

●     If your company doesn’t offer an employee dental plan, share updates around the federal dental programme and details of how to apply

Support your talent: How to help relocating staff furnish their homes

If your relocating employees are moving into long-term rented accommodation (as opposed to an Airbnb or a serviced apartment), they’ll find it super useful to know about furniture options! It’s a hot topic according to PerchPeek’s Canada experts - here’s our rundown of the key points:

Option 1: Rent furniture

●     The most costly option - only recommended for short-term assignments (6-12 months)

●     The easiest solution of the three, as delivery, assembly and collection are included

●     Recommended providers in Canada are Cort Global, Plenish and Splendid

●     Large range of choices, from single items to furniture sets for entire rooms

Option 2: Buy second-hand furniture

●     By far the most cost-effective option but requires the most time and effort

●     Online marketplaces include Kijiji, eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist

●     Employees should be careful on online marketplaces and be vigilant against scams

●     Some charity thrift stores like the Salvation Army and Value Village specialise in furniture

Option 3: Buy new furniture

●     Less expensive than renting but more expensive than buying second-hand

●     IKEA is a very safe bet; there are 14 branches across Canada

●     Other stores with low-cost options include Walmart, Best Buy, Leon’s and Structube

●     Flat-pack furniture assembly services are available via TaskRabbit - or hire a handyman!

Furnishing one’s flat isn’t just a necessity, it’ll also make a massive difference in helping relocating employees settle into their new city by putting a personal stamp on their place - it’s what turns it into a home! Our advice is to support relocating staff by presenting these options at the outset and helping them choose the best one to suit their budget and other requirements.

We hope you enjoyed this month’s update!

If you have any feedback, comments or questions about what's happening in your location, feel free to reach out via the form at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

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