Hard-to-Fill Vacancies and Hardest Jobs to Fill

October 15, 2019 ManufacturingGPSEMC Member Services 156 Views

ManufacturingGPS – 2018 Labour Market Intelligence at your fingertips!

ManufacturingGPS surveyed Canadian manufacturers in 2018 to determine the causes of Hard-to-Fill Vacancies and the Hardest Jobs to fill in the Canadian Manufacturing sector.

Hard-to-Fill-Vacancies: Quality vs Quantity of the Applicants

“Causes of Hard-to-Fill-Vacancies” may arise for several reasons, but typically falls into one or two basic categories: the quantity of applicants; or the quality of the applicants. The 2018 Labour Market Information (LMI) results from Canadian manufacturers are showing that causes related to “Hard-to-Fill-Vacancies” are commonly linked to the quality of applicants.

According to the EMC ManufacturingGPS Employer Survey, 74% of employers in all manufacturing sub-sectors across Canada are identifying “Applicants lack of skills required” as the number #1 cause related to Hard-to-Fill Vacancies. Next at 72%, rated the second highest cause, manufacturers are indicating “Low Number of Applicants”.

ManufacturingGPS Survey Results for Causes of Hard-to-Fill Vacancies

Responding to the question “what are the causes of hard-to-fill vacancies”, ManufacturingGPS participating employers have identified the following reasons why vacancies/jobs were hard to fill in 2018:

  1. Applicants lack the skills required: 74%
  2. Low number of applicants: 72%
  3. Applicants lack the work experience required: 62.66 %
  4. Competition from other employers: 60.40 %
  5. Not enough people trained / applicants lack the educational qualifications: 47.38 %
  6. The skills we need are located in other regions: 29.00 %
  7. Lack of good work ethic and job commitment: 24.33 %

Manufacturing screen shot with LMI results for the following question - What are the causes of hard-to-fill vacancies?  Firm had the option to check all causes that apply.

Top 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill in Canadian Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturers were also asked to determine which jobs rank among the most difficult to fill. As it turns out, hiring difficulties were much more prevalent in production occupations and mostly related to sub-sector jobs. Those jobs, also known as artisans or niche jobs, where skills are being developed through on the job experiences and knowledge transfer activities, were identified has the hardest ones to fill.

The top 10 hardest jobs to fill includes:

  • Metallurgical and materials engineers
  • Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and Milliners
  • Tool and Die Makers
  • Lumber Graders and Other Wood Processing Inspectors
  • Machine Fitters
  • Printing Press Operators
  • Software Engineers and Designers
  • Aerospace Engineers

ManufacturingGPS screenshot with the full list of hard to fill jobs available. ManufactruingGPS Hiring Difficulties on a ten point scale where 1 is “Not at all difficult to hire” and 10 is “Very difficult to hire”. Employers were asked to rate how difficult it is to fill positions with qualified individuals for their key occupations.


To get involved, all you have to do is participate in a short employer survey

Once your GPS survey is completed – you will receive instant access to all ManufacturingGPS Benchmarking Reports. 

If your company would like to be considered as one of the participating organizations, please contact us and a GPS representative will contact you.  Or, please register online,

We look forward to your continued participation in the ManufacturingGPS initiative!  If you require further information, please contact, or call 1-866-323-4362.