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Canada Workforce Turnover Trends 2023

September 21, 2023 from Mercer


The insights from Mercer’s 2023 Canada Turnover Survey indicate an increasing trend in turnover rates for all industries.


Only 38.6% of businesses in Canada, according to the 2023 poll, plan to hire more employees this year, with a mere 18% expecting to grow their workforce. In 2023, just 4.6% of firms want to cut employees, indicating that a large number of Canadian companies continue to budget for comparatively high rates of both voluntary and involuntary turnover.


In Canada, the most recent survey period saw an average voluntary turnover rate of 15.5%. This number has increased from 12.4% reported the previous year. This rise in voluntary turnover may indicate that workers are unhappy with their existing employers or are still seeking greater freedom in their work situations.


The average rate of involuntary turnover, or when an employee is let go by their employer, was 4.1% as opposed to 5.6% the previous year. The combination of these two figures may suggest that there is still a tight labour market. Better work environments are being utilized by employees, but companies are continuing to hold on to more workers.


Canadian organizations in the following categories had the highest overall turnover rates:


Retail & Wholesale: 37.4%

Other Non-Manufacturing: 18.2%

Health Care Services: 18.0%

 Consumer Goods: 18.0%

Services (Non-Financial): 17.5%

Logistics: 17.2%


Chemicals and Energy have the lowest average turnover rates—9.3% and 9.7%, respectively—among the industries. In comparison to blue- and white-collar jobs, respondents noted that employees in more senior and highly compensated occupations, such as executives and management, had lower turnover rates.


In comparison to US turnover rates, the results of the Canadian survey revealed somewhat lower voluntary turnover percentages among particular functions. A sample of typical voluntary turnover rates is provided below:


Executives: 3.5%

Communications and Corporate Affairs: 2.8%

Creative, Design, and Media: 2.2%

Customer Service and Contact Center Operations: 5.9%

Data Analytics: 2.2%

Engineering and Science: 6.2%

Production and Skilled Trades: 7.1%

Supply Chain and Transportation Services: 6.9%


Remarkably, the US’s lowest average voluntary turnover rate was 2.2% for the Real Estate Management function.


The Non-Financial Services sector struggled the most to fill positions with 69.4% of enterprises reporting difficulties employing staff, out of the 50.2% of Canadian companies that reported having trouble doing so. Life Sciences is the sector where hiring staff is the easiest, with only 32.8% of businesses experiencing difficulties.





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