Candidates + Consultants

Current Tech Job Market in Canada: What’s Really Going On?

Hiring great tech talent in Canada is a challenge — see how to navigate it.

It is still very much a candidate-driven market. But you also know the picture for your industry or region might look different or more nuanced than the headlines in the news. 

In this short video, we break down current hiring data by region, industry and city. 

How is the tech job market in Canada right now?

Right now, Canada’s workforce is 16 million people strong, and that includes 1.2 million (7.5%) Canadians working in tech. While the number of people working in IT is growing, employers continuously tell us that demand keeps outpacing supply and availability of talent.

In our IT salary guide, we highlighted eight specialties — business analysis, cyber security, data and analytics, ERP, IT systems architecture, project management, quality assurance and software development — whose demand for talent keeps growing, despite any cooling or volatility in markets. There’s a premium for hiring these positions. Employers need to keep that in mind when budgeting for IT hiring and keep an eye on cost structure for tech talent.

What are Canada's fastest growing tech markets?

Major cities in Eastern Canada, like Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Kitchener / Waterloo, are home to a range of industries that depend on IT talent to keep them competitive, compliant and profitable. While financial services, insurance and tech are cooling, other industries — like retail, travel and energy — are investing in tech talent in stride with their market growth.

Is the tech job market slowing down in Canada?

Tech hiring in Eastern Canada saw a 36% year-over-year (YoY) increase in new hire requests in 2023. But the current 4% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase may signal a possible slow-down in IT hiring for cities like TorontoMontrealOttawa and Kitchener / Waterloo. 

The slowdown in Western Canada, which experienced 26% YoY growth and 12% QoQ growth, is less pronounced. 

While industries like financial services, CPG, insurance, telecom and tech are navigating market volatility right now. Many employers in these industries, particularly in Eastern Canada, are shedding jobs in anticipation of upcoming economic turns. 

Calgary: an emerging tech hub

Energy is a major part of Canada's economy. Recent mergers and acquisitions (plus: oil prices) have spurred the industry's continued growth. That growth also means increased spend on tech talent to upgrade systems and skill sets for continuous digital transformation.

While Vancouver has long been Western Canada’s tech center, Calgary has recently emerged as a tech hub. The city's population is steadily growing year-over-year. But what truly makes it competitive (and has attracted more tech companies to move to Calgary) is its high quality of life and low cost of living.

Can't get enough data on hiring IT staff in Canada?

Access our Canadian IT Hiring Trends & Salary Guide and learn how to make better staffing decisions and stay competitive for top IT talent.