Ontario Employment Outlook: April 2021 Report

Ontario’s employment took a major blow in April, after the province’s mandatory closure of non-essential businesses. A provincial-wide stay-at-home order also took effect on April 8th, 2021, impacting employment and businesses even more. 


Here is a quick look at how employment in Ontario was impacted in April 2021, compiled by our employment experts at Nova Staffing. All data is from the Ontario Government April 2021 Labour Market report. 



Employment Summary

Employment dropped significantly in Ontario in April due to provincial-wide measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 that shut down or limited many businesses. 7.2 million people in Ontario were employed in April, down from 152,700 jobs from March


Unemployment rose as a result as well. Unemployment dropped down to 7.5% in March but rose up to 9% in April with 716,800 fewer jobs. This was a shocking 20.2% increase in unemployment. 


Employment by Age

Youth employment continued to suffer the most as a result of COVID-19 measures. In April, youth employment (15-24) had 73,000 fewer jobs and saw unemployment rise to 20.4%, up from 15.1% in April. 


Adult employment (25-54) was also heavily impacted by the measured put in place in April 2021. This demographic saw employment decrease 37,600 jobs, with unemployment rising from 6.7% in March to 7.3% in April. Senior employment also suffered, losing 42,100 jobs and unemployment rising to 7.2%.  


Employment by Sector

Government restriction on the types of businesses deemed essential and other measures disproportionally impacted some sectors more than others. In April, those that were furthest were their pre-COVID-19 levels were Accommodation and Food Services (-135.1%), Wholesale and Retail Trade (-73%), Business, Building, and Other Support Services (-45.6%), and Transportation and Warehousing (-27.9%). 


Not all industries saw employment loss, however. A number of sectors, especially those deemed essential by the government, saw employment growth in April. This included Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+40.8%), Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing (+33.4%), Manufacturing (+14.7%), and Public Administration (+8.9%). 


Employment by Region

Despite Ontario’s overall employment outlook dropping in April, thirteen out of the province’s sixteen CMAs saw employment levels increase between March and April. This included Hamilton (6.6%), Ottawa-Gatineau (6.4%), St. Catharines-Niagara (6.1%), Toronto (4.9%), London (3.6%), Windsor (3%), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (3%), Peterborough (2.8%), Barrie (2%), Guelph (1.8%), Brantford (1%), and Greater Sudbury (0.7%).


The three regions that saw notable declines in employment were Oshawa (-2.4%), Belleville (-2%), and Kingston (-1.3%). 


Is your company looking for staffing solutions or need help hiring top talent? Contact Nova Staffing today! With over 200 years of combined industry experience, our team of employment experts is here to help.



Ontario Employment Outlook: March 2021 Report

Employment in Ontario recovered even more in March after a devastating January. This was due to the stay-at-home order being lifted for most regions in Ontario around this time. Businesses were able to reopen, causing a surge in employment.


Here is a quick market summary report of Ontario’s employment outlook for March 2021, compiled by our employment experts at Nova Staffing. All data is from the Ontario Government March 2021 Labour Market report.


Employment Summary

Employment increased in Ontario in March, with 7.4 million people employed, up by 182,300 jobs from February. This was likely due to the stay-at-home order being lifted in the province.


Unemployment also dropped down to 7.5% in March from 9.2% in February. There were only 596,400 unemployed individuals in the province, down from 726,500. Overall, unemployment decreased by 17.9% in March.


Employment by Age

Although youth employment (15-24) continues to be the most impacted by COVID-19, this demographic did see employment gains in March. Youth employment added 59,000 jobs, and unemployment dropped to 15.1%, down from 20.9% in February.


Adult employment (25-54) added 61,700 new jobs in March, with the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% in February down to 6.7%. Senior employment also saw gains this month, adding 61,600 new jobs. Unemployment for seniors also dropped down to 5%.


Employment by Sector

Certain industries continued to be hitter harder due to COVID-19. Although the stay-at-home order was lifted in March, a number of sectors were still not allowed to operate at full capacity. The sectors that continued to struggle in March and were furthest from their pre-COVID-19 numbers were: Accommodation and Food Services (-111.5%), Business, Building, and Other Support Services (-40.9%), and Transportation and Warehousing (-32.1%), and Construction (-19.1%).


Not all industries struggled, though. Some industries were able to increase employment in March such as Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+41.6%), Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing (+26.1%), Manufacturing (+24.8%), and Educational Services (+21.1%).


Employment by Region

Although the majority of Ontario saw the stay-at-home order lifted, certain regions such as Toronto were still heavily restricted, resulting in employment losses. The regions that saw employment loss or no gains in March were Belleville (-2.4%), Oshawa (-2.0%), Kingston (-0.6%), Toronto (-0.6%), Thunder Bay (-0.2%), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (0%).


Ten of Ontario’s CMAs did see employment growth in Match, though. These include Windsor (+8.1%), Ottawa-Gatineau (+6.6%), Hamilton (+6.5%), St. Catharine’s- Niagara (+4.4%), Barrie (+3.3%), Peterborough (+2.6%), Brantford (+2.1%), Guelph (+2.0%), London (+1.3%), Greater Sudbury (+0.6%).


Is your company looking for staffing solutions or need help hiring top talent? Contact Nova Staffing today! With over 200 years of combined industry experience, our team of employment experts is here to help.


How to Keep Employees Motivated During Lockdown

Ontario recently entered its third COVID-19 lockdown, which has left many people feeling disheartened and burnt out. Employers should think about what they can do to ensure employees remain engaged, motivated, and healthy as we continue to battle the pandemic. Here are a few tips from our HR experts at Nova Staffing on how to help your employees during this difficult time.


Establish Clear Guidelines

One of the hardest things about the COVID-19 pandemic has been not knowing what to expect. There are not many things businesses can do about the virus, but employers can help their workers by establishing clear guidelines on what they expect during this latest lockdown. Whether your employees are work from home or still in the workspace, make sure you once again articulate job expectations, work hours, and COVID-19 policies. Taking away as much uncertainty as possible will make it easier for your employees to focus on their work. 


Open Channels of Communication

Communication is key to any effective workplace, but especially during lockdown when employees already feel more isolated. The last thing you want to do is make your workers feel like they are on their own and unsupported. This will increase the chance of them feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Ensure you’re clearly communicating what you need from your employees and opening up a communication line for them to come to you with any problems.


Be Transparent and Honest

Entering lockdown for a third time, especially as other parts of the world are starting to open up, has been incredibly hard and frustrating for everyone. It has impacted everyone in Ontario- employers and employees alike. Employers should be open about this so that employees don’t feel like they’re the only ones dealing with these issues. Employees will feel better just knowing that those above them are dealing with the same struggles.


Celebrate Success

It can feel like there’s not much good left right now, which is why it’s so important for businesses to celebrate all the success employees have, no matter how big or small. When employees that go above and beyond their duty don’t get acknowledged, they’re more likely to become disengaged and unmotivated. That’s why employers should make an effort to praise and appreciate employees for every achievement.


Be Understanding and Compassionate

As Ontario enters another lockdown, your employees are probably dealing with more changes than just working from home or new workplace health and safety guidelines. Working parents now have to handle kids being at home and virtual schooling. Employees may have elderly or at-risk family members they have to take care of. Even simple things such as getting necessities is now more challenging due to reduced hours. Employers should try to make this lockdown as easy as possible for their employees by understanding that things may come up. Be compassionate about things that may pop up during the workday, such as dogs barking in the background or kids running around. Right now, everyone is just trying to do their best.


Arrange Employee Bonding

Employees may be feeling isolated and disconnected from their co-workers after not being in the same workspace as them. It can be hard to connect virtually, especially when everyone is dealing with their own challenges. As an employer, you should step up and try to arrange some activities to encourage employee bonding and just bring a little fun to their lives. Consider hosting virtual social events such as catch-up coffees or trivia nights.


If you are looking for more HR tips or need help with hiring quality candidates, contact Nova Staffing today! Our team of employment experts is ready to help you with all of your staffing needs.


How Nova Staffing is Protecting Workers During COVID-19

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life in Ontario. While many businesses were able to transition to remote working, there are still a number of essential businesses that require employees to be there in person. As one of the best staffing agencies in the GTA, Nova Staffing prides itself on having all the highest health and safety measures for all employees. Here are the steps we’re taking to keep our employees and the workers we send out to clients safe.


Pre-Screening Questionnaire

Before sending out workers to our clients, we make sure to pre-screen them and ask them a list of questions provided by the Ministry of Health. This includes asking them if they’ve traveled recently, whether they have any symptoms, or if they’ve been exposed to anyone that has tested positive, been exposed, or showing symptoms. This ensures that we’re not sending out anyone who may be a COVID-19 risk.


Daily Forms

In order to protect the public and essential workplaces, Nova Staffing requires all of our workers to fill out and sign a form each day before starting work. These forms ask employees to sign stating they will adhere to all safety practices, including COVID-19 prevention efforts at client sites.


These forms include a daily screening sheet, which employees must sign off on before each shift stating whether or not they’ve been experiencing symptoms or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. This allows us and health officials to trace individuals who may be exposed or infected.


Health Monitors

At Nova Staffing offices and large clients, health monitors are in place to take staff temperatures daily before each shift. This helps screen employees every day before they enter the workplace in addition to the forms. All of our clients, and our own offices, have also heightened cleaning and set up sanitization stations in order to reduce the spread of the virus.


Our Commitment to Health and Safety

At Nova Staffing, keeping our employees, clients, and the public safe and healthy is our top priority. We have exceeded legislated COVID-19 requirements set forth by the Ministry of Health and will continue to do so while the pandemic is on-going.


We’re confident in sending our employees out to client sites, knowing that the employers we partner with are taking health and safety as seriously as we do. Nova Staffing continuously monitors COVID-19 information and makes changes as needed. We strongly encourage our employees to follow all public health recommendations when they are in the community to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.


If you are interested in learning more about how we can help ensure you have the right people and safety measures in place for your company, please reach out to us for more information: info@novastaffing.com


Ontario Employment Outlook: December 2020 Report

For the first time since May, employment in Ontario decreased. Of the 12.4 million people in the province, 7.3 million were employed in December 2020. The second provincial lockdown due to COVID-19 was likely a significant factor in decreased employment and increased unemployment rates. 


Here is a quick market summary report of Ontario’s employment outlook for December 2020, compiled by our HR experts at Nova Staffing. All data is from the Ontario Government December 2020 Labour market report.  



Employment Outlook

Employment in Ontario took a hit in December, dropping for the first time since May when the pandemic was at the peak. This was likely due to the second provincial wide lockdown that officially started on December 26th. Employment decreased by 11,900 jobs in December, down 0.2% from November.


Unemployment saw an increase in December after decreasing the previous month. In December, there were 762,500 unemployed people in Ontario, up 3.9% from the previous month. 


Employment by Age

Youth Employment (1524) continued to be the most impacted by the pandemic in December, with unemployment sitting at 20.9%. This was up slightly from 20.2% in November. Employment did increase in this demographic, though, with 15,400 new jobs. 


Adult Employment (25-54) was hit hard in December, losing 35,300 jobs, though unemployment stayed at 7.6%. Senior Employment (55+) increased by 8,000 jobs. Unemployment unfortunately also increased to 7.2% from 6.5% the previous month.  


Employment by Sector

Certain sectors continued to be hit harder than others. The second lockdown meant only certain businesses deemed essential were allowed to operate fully. This resulted in some seeing employment gains while others continued to drop below pre-COVID levels. 


The sectors with the biggest employment growth in December were Forestry, Fishing, Mining, Quarrying, and Oil (+7.1%), Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing (+4.2%), Manufacturing (+3.9%), and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (+3.1%). 


The sectors that struggled to regain their pre-COVID-19 employment levels in December were, Accommodation and Food Services (-23.9%), Business, Building, and Other Support Services (-18%), Transportation and Warehousing (-13.2%), and Other Services (except Public Admin.) (-8.1%).


Employment by Region

Due to the second lockdown, employment levels in many of Ontario’s CMA’s fell between November and December. Some of Ontario’s biggest cities, such as St. Catharine’s-Niagara and Toronto, saw employment levels drop for the first time in months. The regions that saw employment increase in December were: Hamilton (2.2%), Kingston (1.6%), London (1.4%), Peterborough (1%), Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (1%), and Thunder Bay (0.2%).


If you’re looking for staffing solutions, contact Nova Staffing today! We’re one of the best employment agencies in the GTA and have a team of HR experts ready to help you with all of your employment needs. 

How Ontario’s Second Lockdown Will Impact Employment

Ontario has recently once again moved into lockdown to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While Toronto has seen some level of restrictions since the virus first hit the city, this will be a major blow for other parts of the province that have seen more freedom. One of the big questions employment agencies have been getting is how the second lockdown will impact employment and hiring. Here are a few things companies should get ready for.


More Remote Working

Get ready to see remote working reach new levels. One of the biggest things coming with the latest lockdown is that all non-essential employees who do not need to be in the workspace physically will now be required to work from home. That means employers who have adopted a hybrid work-from-home model or asked employees to return to offices will now have to embrace remote working again.


Back to Virtual Schooling

Working parents that chose to send their kids back to physical school will now have to get ready for virtual schooling once again. Employers should support parents during this time and try to understand that working parents now have to be employees, parents, and teachers. It’s a lot for anyone! Try to be more flexible with work hours and understanding if an issue arises.


Safety Plans

While remote working will increase once again with the lockdown, not all businesses will be impacted. There are still a number of industries, such as transportation, essential workers, and more, that will still have to go in. Ontario is requiring all businesses that are still open and operating to prepare a COVID-19 safety plan. Companies that are remote working should also take this time to come up with a safety plan for when employees do return again. Now is also a good time to evaluate sick day policies in light of the virus.


Final Thoughts

It’s still too early to know how the second lockdown will impact employment growth in the province. As with the first round of restrictions, certain industries will be hit harder than others. Employers should do everything they can to support employees during this time in order to boost efficiency and morale.


If you need help fulfilling job positions with quality candidates, contact us today! Nova Staffing is one of Toronto’s best employment agencies and has a team of HR experts ready to help you with all of your staffing needs.


5 Employment Lessons Learned During 2020

This year has been unlike any previous one. COVID-19 rocked the world, resulting in massive changes in how people lived and businesses operated. 2020 is finally coming to a close, but it’s important not to forget the lessons learned this year. Here are five employment lessons our hiring experts learned this year that businesses should keep in mind as we enter the New Year.


Being Proactive is Better than Reactive

When the pandemic first struck, HR professionals and businesses had to scramble to adapt work from home policies, make in-person workspaces safe, and manage remote teams. This was a chaotic time that highlighted the need for businesses to be proactive and not simply reactive.


COVID-19 is not the first, nor the last, disruptive event to impact business operations. Whether it’s another global pandemic or something else, businesses should make proper preparations to make sure their company and employees are resilient. Reach out to HR experts to map out a few worst-case scenarios in case employees suddenly can’t come into offices again.


Work From Home Has Benefits Beyond COVID-19

If 2020 taught businesses anything, it’s that most of those meetings could have been emails after all. And this isn’t a bad thing! Many businesses have realized there are benefits of adopting a work from home model beyond the pandemic. There’s a reason why so many companies are now looking into keeping remote working or adopting a hybrid model.


Working from home has been proven to boost productivity and morale among employees. It also helps reduce overhead costs, such as office space and upkeep costs. Remote working also eliminates commuting, saving employees time, which allows them to do more outside of work hours so they can focus on the job once they’re on the clock.


Compassion and Creativity Outweigh Workplace Traditions

This year has really highlighted which businesses valued their employees’ health and safety. This is a good message to carry into the New Year. This year showed just how out of touch traditional workplace practices were, like limited sick days and strict work hours. Companies that showed compassion and embraced creative solutions were the ones to thrive.


Businesses should take this time to re-evaluate workplace policies such as work hours, working from home, sick days, and more. For the health and safety of other employees and the business, companies should be making sick employees come into the office, even if they are out of sick days. If your company found your current policies too stringent during COVID, it’s time to update them.


Top-Down Communication is Key

The beginning of COVID-19 and 2020 was a chaotic, confusing blur. News around the virus and what companies were doing to combat it in the workplace were changing almost hourly at times. Companies that didn’t have clear communication suffered, and employees were left confused and unproductive.


There will always be challenges in a business. One thing our HR experts learned in 2020 was the importance of clear, top-down communication. Employees shouldn’t be left wondering what is going to happen. In times of crisis, companies need to make communication a priority.


Use Help When Needed

This year really stretched everyone’s capabilities to the limits. Between the constant changes, the confusion and chaos, and the very real fears of the virus, many people found themselves needing more help than usual. Our employment experts at Nova Staffing found this was true for businesses as well. When times get tough, companies shouldn’t be afraid of reaching out for help.


One great reason to use an employment agency’s services is that it allows you to focus on running and growing your business. By partnering with a great hiring agency like Nova Staffing, you’ll have more time to do your job while we find you quality candidates to fulfill your staffing needs. Contact us to speak to one of our HR experts and see how we can help your business!


4 Great Tips for Virtual Hiring

Canada has done a great job of fighting COVID-19. However, many companies continue to operate on the side of caution by continuing remote work. With looming uncertainty about a possible second wave of the pandemic and an uncertain timeline for a vaccine, many businesses have been turning to recruitment agencies for tips on how to effectively find, interview, and hire virtually. Here are a few tips from our HR experts at Nova Staffing that you should keep in mind when virtually hiring.


Select and Test Video Interview Software

Instead of a conference room or office, online video software is where the interview will be taking place. There are tons of popular video conference companies out there right now. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you research and test them out ahead of time to ensure the interview goes off without a hitch. Be sure to let the candidates know ahead of time which software you’ll be using as well. That way, they’ll have time to get it ready before the interview.


Keep it Professional

Interviews are not only when you’ll get your first impression of the candidate, but it’s also when they’ll make their first impression of you and the company. Try to keep things as professional as an in-person interview would be. This includes staying on schedule, having questions ready, wearing a put-together outfit, and making sure the area around you is quiet with a neutral backdrop. Remember to gently remind the candidate to dress appropriately and find a quiet spot for the interview as well.


Make a Connection

One of the hardest parts about remote working and virtual hiring is forging connections. Asking about job history, assessing skills, and talking about the role and company is essential, but that’s what resumes are for. Connecting with candidates and getting to know them is just as vital to know if they’ll be a good fit for the job. Try having an actual conversation with them and asking a few questions. Candidates that feel connected to you and the company are more likely to be a success.


Use a Hiring Agency

Many businesses are busy reopening and trying to figure out new workplace policies. That may mean there just isn’t enough time to properly find, vet, and interview candidates. Partnering with a professional staffing agency can save your company time and money by letting them handle most of the hiring process. They’ll find, vet, interview, and even train candidates so that you can focus on running your business!


Nova Staffing is one of the top hiring agencies in Toronto, Brampton, and the GTA. We have a team of HR experts experienced with virtual hiring that are ready to help your company with any staffing needs! Contact us today to get started.


Establishing Work from Home Guidelines as an Employer

Even as restrictions begin to loosen, COVID-19 continues to change how everyone’s personal and professional lives operate. As a result of the pandemic and the on-going limitations, many employers have decided to adopt work from home policies on a more permanent basis.


There are tons of benefits of adopting a work from home policy, and as one of the top employment agencies in the GTA we’ve seen how this employment style can benefit both employees and employers. Companies need to establish a defined remote working policy though. Below are some important factors to consider when developing work from home guidelines.


Determine Who Can Work from Home

Not every employee is an ideal candidate for remote work. Some employees don’t work effectively with little supervision and some roles cannot operate outside of the workspace. Before establishing a remote working policy clearly define which roles can work from home and what the standards for that are. Maybe employees need to be in the role for a certain amount of time before they can remote work or establish a trial basis so that employees can prove they can still effectively work in a home environment.


Clearly Define Expectations

It’s very important for employers to clearly define work expectations for all remote workers. Employees should know exactly what is expected of them each day. This makes it easier for you to determine whether working from home is effective or not. Expectations should include types and frequency of communication, work hours, availability, and quality of output. Make sure employees know exactly what you want them to do, when you want them to do it, and how you would like it done.


Choose Communication Methods

One key thing our employment agency learned when working from home during the pandemic is that communication is key. Effective communication can be one of the biggest challenges in managing virtual employees, so employers need to decide how and when communication happens. Encourage employees to regularly check their emails or internal chats and have their phones charged and on hand. Employees may even want to schedule regular video or voice calls to check-in.


Clarify Expenses Covered

One of the perks of working from home for both employees and employers is reduced costs. Employees get to save on commuting, while employees can decrease office costs. However, there are other costs associated with working from home. High-speed internet, phone data, office supplies, and furniture, as well as electricity and other utilities all need to be taken into consideration. Employers should decide which expenses they’ll cover, whether they’ll provide an allowance, or if they’ll provide other means of compensation.


Keep Employees Engaged

The one downside to working from home is that the boundaries between personal and professional life can get blurred. This can be an issue for some employees. It’s important for employers to regularly make sure employees stay engaged with both their work and the company. It may take a little more effort to create ties to the company and other employees if they’re not in the same office, but employers need to foster a strong company culture, even virtually.


Final Thoughts

Working from home is a growing trend that has only increased as a result of COVID-19. There are tons of benefits for both employees and employers, such as more flexibility, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. Remote working can be hugely beneficial for companies as long as there are clear guidelines established beforehand.


If you’re looking for HR solutions from experienced professionals, Nova Staffing can help. Our employment agency is one of the best in Toronto and the GTA, and our team can help your company find, hire, and train new employees that will be working from home. Contact us today to get started!


Industries Looking to Hire Right Now

Industries Looking to Hire Right Now-Nova Staffing Inc | Toronto Hiring Agency

The world is still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the long-term impact is still waiting to be revealed. Canadian unemployment rose to 13.7 percent, and numerous industries experienced job loss. While many sectors suffered, those deemed essential during the pandemic experienced hiring growth and are continuing to expand even as restrictions begin to loosen. Here are some industries looking to hire right now.



Healthcare and public service professions are in extremely high demand. An increase in patients has put a strain on the industry, resulting in a desperate need for experienced healthcare workers. Jobs as nurses, doctors, respiratory specialists, physicians, paramedics, nursing home caregivers, healthcare administrators, and other support staff are all looking to be filled right now. 



The pandemic forced most companies to move their operations to a remote working model. With more people working at home, telecommuting companies such as Zoom and Slack have begun to expand. Many teleworking companies are looking to fulfill positions such as technical support, engineering, finance, and customer service. Even as the pandemic begins to subside, many companies are looking into allow remote working to continue, meaning telecommuting companies will continue to grow in the coming months. 


Tech Support & Customer Service

Businesses have realized the importance of increasing their online presence, and the increase of employees working from home has created a need for more IT and customer service support. As business operations becoming increasingly digital, the jobs for online customer support and IT help are growing. 


Delivery Services

The delivery sector is experiencing extreme hiring growth since the pandemic. Grocery stores, restaurants, online retailers, and warehouse transportation companies are all looking for qualified drivers. Truck drivers are in extremely high demand, and with e-commerce continuing to grow these positions will always be needed. 


How Nova Staffing Can Help

Nova Staffing is one of the best recruitment agencies in the GTA. We partner with companies in various industries, including essential businesses. The companies we work with are looking to expand by hiring qualified candidates. If you’re looking for a job in one of these growing industries, check out our current open staffing positions or contact us to discuss employment opportunities!