🦜 PerchPulse - The Canada Market Update February 2023 🦜

A warm welcome to the February 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

●     Unemployment in Canada is at an almost-record low - tightening labour market means an increasing need for overseas talent acquisition for those struggling to recruit locally

●     Average rents have decreased by 1% month-over-month but are up by 12% year-over-year - plus, why the winter is a good time to relocate employees

●     Shipping to Canada - Estimated time windows of under 3 months mean now’s a great time to ship belongings, plus shipping cost and timeframe predictions for 2023

●     The cost of food has risen 11.4% YoY, details of new relief payments across five provinces, and more - the latest Canada cost of living updates for February

●     Ice skating, snow sculptures and local delicacies - help employees throw themselves into the local culture with PerchPeek’s rundown of Canada’s biggest winter festivals!

Talent strategy: Canada’s tightening labour market means an increasing need for overseas talent acquisition

Looking at the latest figures (up to the end of December 2022), Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 5% after its third decline in four months. This is almost the lowest it’s ever been and equates to an extra 104,000 people finding work, across various industries and provinces.

So what does this tightening job market, as reported by Statistics Canada, mean for HR teams?

It means that employers need to up their game to recruit and retain staff! A tight labour market works in favour of employees, who can afford to be selective thanks to the many positions open.

To address employee shortages, talent acquisition teams are going on a hiring blitz. And when struggling to recruit from the local talent pool, more and more employers are looking abroad.

For example, Ontario has invited over 1,900 candidates from other countries in an effort to fill open tech and healthcare roles, under Canada’s Express Entry system. Companies that have been stated to be hiring heavily from overseas include Google Canada, KPMG and Elastic Path.

PerchPeek’s advice to People teams in light of this workers’ market:

●     Note that there’ll be a lot of competition for top candidates; review employee benefits and perks to make sure they’re competitive - especially when it comes to remote and flexible working.

●     Increase efforts to improve employee retention and minimise churn, such as carrying out regular pulses on current employees’ wellbeing and job satisfaction.

●     Prioritise career development and open up training schemes, to create more opportunities for internal promotion and reduce the need to hire new talent

●     Capitalise on a much wider talent pool by recruiting from further afield and relocating candidates - not only does it bring you the best talent, but offering a supported move to a new location can be an attractive perk!

Home-finding: Lower demand for properties means winter is a great time for home-hunting in Canada

Canadian rental market update

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

●     Average rents decreased by 1% MoM in January 2023 (normal seasonal occurrence)

●     However, the average increase was +12.2% for 2022 as a whole

●     The average listed rent for all property types is $2,005

This is up by $217 from the December 2021 average of $1,788

Breakdown by apartment type:

Top tips from PerchPeek’s Canada experts

While demand for properties is always high in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, generally it’s a little lower right now, which is normal for the winter versus the summer.

●     More units are available, meaning it may take as little as two weeks to find a home

●     Prices have been fairly constant for the last couple of months - no major fluctuations

In short, while it might not be the most appealing time to relocate to Canada weather-wise (warm coats and boots are a must!), it’s a great time when it comes to finding a home, due to slightly decreased demand for properties and stable rental prices.

It’s also an opportune time to arrange shipping - read on to find out why!

Support your talent: The ins and outs of shipping belongings to Canada

Unless your relocating employees can fit all their worldly goods in a suitcase, it’s likely they’ll need to ship some stuff! Here’s the latest news on timeframes predictions for shipping in 2023.

Now’s a great time for shipping to Canada

If you’re supporting staff relocating to Canada, you’ll find it useful to know that the winter is a great time to arrange shipping! PerchPeek’s experts on the ground in Canada break it down:

“Normally, we receive estimated shipping windows of 3-6 months between pickup and dropoff - and six months is a long time to go without your stuff! However right now, we’re being offered time windows of under 3 months, which makes a big difference.

Keep in mind that the time window varies depending on the final destination in Canada. All shipments come into Toronto and then continue on by road or rail to their final destination. So, movers to Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary for example should allow around an extra month.”

What’s shipping going to look like in 2023?

It’s handy to keep on top of trends and forecasts for matters like shipping, as this is an important part of the relocation process and can make a massive difference to your employees’ moving experience. Here are the latest predictions from MarineInsight.com:

●     Shippers should benefit from relatively competitive rates and freely available capacity

●     Cargo movement should be smoother and considerably faster than in the last two years

Cost of living: Key updates and benefit information for February 2023

Latest updates

●     Overall, consumer prices in Canada rose by 6.3% in the last year

●     The cost of food has risen by 11.4% year-over-year, according to Statistics Canada

●     The Bank of Canada warns that the 4.5% interest rate won’t be falling any time soon

●     Experts predict that the current high price of gas and oil will continue through 2023

Cost of living relief payments

The following five provinces are providing one-off relief payments to help with the cost of living:

●     Alberta - Affordability payments of $600 are being made to eligible residents

●     British Columbia - The BC Affordability Credit will provide families with up to $350

●     Manitoba - Carbon Tax Relief Fund - $225 for individuals and $375 for couples

●     Newfoundland and Labrador - $500 Cost of Living Relief for eligible taxpayers

●     Saskatchewan - Affordability Tax Credit programme will provide $500 to residents

With consumer prices up by over 6% YoY, any financial aid will make a difference. To support teams in these provinces, make sure to point them in the right direction to make their claims. If you need assistance sourcing these sites, PerchPeek will be more than happy to help!

Cost of living shock factor for European newcomers

To help your teams through cost of living challenges, especially those newly arrived in Canada, it’s important to manage their expectations well around the cost of food, gas and utilities.

PerchPeek’s Canada experts point out that this is especially the case for newcomers from other parts of the world such as Europe. The cost of living often comes as a shock to these movers, who are used to the cost of groceries being 20-30% cheaper than in their new Canadian home!

Support your talent: Help employees celebrate the cold and snow at Canada’s winter festivals

Canada is of course known for its cold, snowy winters, and as well as advising on warm clothing (one of our most popular FAQs!), our Canada experts are full of tips on embracing the season.

Right now, winter festivals are taking place across the country, and they’re a great way for new arrivals to experience this important part of Canadian culture and get to know the locals.

While some wrapped up in January, a wide variety of events are going strong this month. Here’s PerchPeek’s rundown of the biggest and best festivals celebrating the Canadian winter:

Eastern Canada

●     Montreal - Annual light festival Montréal en Lumière, Feb 16 - Mar 4

●     Ottawa - Ice skate on the frozen Rideau Canal at Winterlude, Feb 3 - 20

●     Niagara Falls - Marvel at the colourful Winter Festival of Lights, until Feb 21

Western Canada

●     Vancouver - Celebrate art, lights and entertainment at VMF Winter Arts, Feb 16-26

●     Edmonton - Snow sculpting and ice skating at the Silver Skate Festival, Feb 10-20

And when it comes to winter sports, Canada is of course the place to be. As well as ice skating in the great outdoors, Canadian residents can head to the slopes of Whistler, Lake Louise and many more for a spot of skiing, or of course take in a National Hockey League (NHL) game!

We encourage you to share these ideas and events with your relocating assignees, to wrap up warm and experience these joyful celebrations of Canadian culture -  before the snow melts!

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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