Global interest in Canadian tech jobs grown 58 percent since 2015, report finds


A recent report from online job marketplace Indeed found global interest in Canadian tech jobs has increased by 58 percent since 2015. The results of the study suggest rising interest from abroad has had a big impact on the increase in tech jobs, without imposing much harm to Canadian job seekers.

“Without the recent rise in global interest in Canadian tech, these jobs would probably be even harder to fill.”

Indeed took a look at the job seeker click data on its platform, which suggested Canadian tech jobs have seen a big increase in interest from overseas. The distribution of international clicks on Canadian tech job postings rose to nearly 15 percent in February from about nine percent in early 2015, a 58 percent increase. The study found that foreign job seekers account for high shares of clicks on high-salary, in-demand tech jobs, especially for roles in software development.

“Several Canadian cities rank high among places where tech jobs have grown most in North America in recent years,” wrote Brendon Bernard, an economist at Indeed. “Our results suggest job seekers from abroad have played an important role supporting this growth.”

Interest from abroad in Canadian tech is strongest in more specialized tech positions, accounting for more than a quarter of clicks on postings for software developer and engineering roles, Indeed found. Tech jobs with higher foreign click shares were what Indeed described as typically “tough-to-fill” roles that are attempting to be addressed through government programs like the Global Talent Stream. These types of jobs typically receive fewer total clicks per job posting than other tech jobs, while offering higher pay.

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Apart from Indeed tracking a short-lived increase in candidates from the United States following the 2016 presidential election, the study found the share of clicks on Canadian tech jobs from the US has remained stable at about four percent. In fact, candidates from India are playing one of the largest roles in generating the foreign click share increase.

Clicks from India were already growing before 2017, but doubled over the year from two percent to four percent of all Canadian tech job clicks. Now, India and the US are tied for the share of clicks, in contrast with early 2015 when tech clicks from the US vastly outnumbered those from India.

Bernard pointed out that foreign job seekers account for less than 10 percent of clicks on a number of tech roles that also see high interest from Canadian job seekers.

“These results also suggest that growing interest in Canadian tech jobs from abroad is probably not having significant negative effects on opportunities for Canadian tech job seekers,” he stated.

Although this data pertains to the last four years, the Global Talent Stream, a program aimed to expedite the immigration process for workers in high demand to Canada, has recently caused an uptick in traffic for several tech job-matching companies. BetaKit spoke to a number of Canadian organizations that have noticed a spike in international interest after the program went from pilot to permanent last month, with Global Skills Hub finding a 136 percent increase in applications from abroad between February and March.

“Without the recent rise in global interest in Canadian tech, these jobs would probably be even harder to fill; suggesting Canadian tech’s increased popularity abroad has been an important support for the sector’s rapid job growth in recent years,” Bernard wrote.

Jobs that received more attention from foreign candidates on Indeed, also receive much less attention from Canadian candidates, suggesting these jobs are still widely available for Canadians, the report concluded.

Read the full report here.

Image courtesy Unsplash.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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