January 11, 2018 5:30 pm
Updated: February 12, 2018 5:23 pm

5 jobs expected to be ‘vital’ for Canada’s economy in 2018

WATCH ABOVE: Jobs that are growing in importance for the Canadian economy

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The year 2017 was a good one for jobs in Canada. The country’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 40 years in December, producing jobs at the fastest pace since 2002.

And there were a few jobs that stood out, according to job search engine Indeed Canada.

READ MORE: Canada’s unemployment rate falls to lowest rate in over 40 years, StatCan finds

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The website released a list of the top five jobs to watch in 2018, based on how well they did in the previous year.

Economist Daniel Culbertson, who works with Indeed, explained these jobs have seen “significant growth” when it comes to the number of job postings on the site.

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The jobs are also from industries that Culbertson expects to grow, he told Global News in an email.

READ MORE: 10 well-paying jobs in Canada you can score without a university degree

“We then considered the current trends in Canada — growth of e-commerce, new technologies changing the tech-world, and demographic trends fueling healthcare demand — to develop our list of jobs to watch in 2018,” he said, adding that the jobs are “becoming more vital to the Canadian economy.”

Culbertson said that for the labour market as a whole, things are looking “rather bright” for 2018 with continued growth in full-time jobs.

“While it can be tricky to forecast, we do anticipate that these trends will continue to 2018, and as indicated by our list of jobs to watch, we think the bright spots in the labour market will be in health care and tech.”

University of Toronto human resources professor Rafael Gomez agreed that tech and health care some booming sectors of the economy. But he added that other sectors that are closely related to health, such as caregivers, also have in-demand jobs.

“We need more people to care for our children,” he told Global News. “The function of care-giving, broadly defined, outside of our health-care sector, is one that we should focus on. We need caregivers that care for our elderly parents and family members.”

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Not all of the jobs listed by Indeed are high-paying, but Culbertson explained that they are good, career-boosting opportunities for Canadians — and good for the economy.

“Most of these are high-paying, long-term career options that enable workers to contribute to the economy for a long time,” he said.

“However, having a mix of long-term and more short-term career opportunities is a good sign for the overall economy. This means there is ample opportunity for job seekers at different education and skill levels.”

Gomez agreed, adding that an economy with diverse types of jobs is more “resilient,” and less prone to suffering if one type of job or industry crashes.

READ MORE: Lost jobs, cut hours, no paid breaks. Do minimum wage hikes hurt workers?

There are the top five jobs to watch in 2018, along with their expected salaries based on a national average of the past two years, according to Indeed.

Fulfillment associate

According to Indeed, job postings for “fulfillment associate” jumped 607 per cent in 2017 from the previous year.

The associates, who receive and process customer orders at distribution centres for e-commerce companies such as Amazon, are increasingly in demand as more people order online.

Culbertson explains that these jobs come with pay around $14 per hour.

Gomez added that the growth of online shopping has also led to a real estate business, with large distribution centres and warehouses popping up in Canada.

WATCH: 79,500 jobs created in Canada in November

Machine learning engineer

This job listing is for programmers who develop machines and systems that can operate artificial intelligence (AI). These jobs are typically well-paying, Culbertson explains, and come with a salary of about $102,555 per year.

The occupation is in particular demand since the Canadian government announced its Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which pledged $125 million for research into AI technology.

According to Indeed, job postings for machine learning engineer saw 150-per-cent growth in 2017.

READ MORE: Are you earning a middle-class income? Here’s what it takes in Canada, based on where you live

Gomez highlights that these jobs are needed in several industries, which makes them even more in demand. He said such professionals create “general purpose technologies,” such as phones and computers, that can be useful for nearly every industry.

“Like when they invented the phone, clearly it wasn’t just in the telecommunications industry where it was going to be useful,” he said.

Family medicine physician

With Canada’s aging population, it’s not too surprising that the demand for family doctors continues to rise. Indeed found that family physicians are one of the most sought after healthcare professionals, and the field saw a growth of 138 per cent in postings last year.

This job isn’t just in demand, it’s also high-paying and nets about $248,580 per year.

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Manufacturing technician

The manufacturing industry has been growing in Canada, and that growth was reflected by a 45-per-cent increase in job postings for this job. Manufacturing technicians, who are responsible for installing and maintaining products and systems, earn about $18.74 per hour.

With the North American Free Trade Agreement undergoing negotiations, the scope of this industry could change, Culbertson notes. However, he says manufacturing will likely continue producing jobs regardless.

READ MORE: Here are the jobs with the highest — and lowest — wage growth in Canada

Technical recruiter

Technical recruiters scout for talent in tech jobs, and earn about $47,991 per year.

The Indeed report notes that with the tech industry booming, these recruiters are increasingly important. These professionals merge skills related to human resources with industry-specific knowledge.

Job postings for technical recruiters jumped 25 per cent in 2017. 

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