Express Entry Category-Based Draws: Which Categories Have the Most Job Vacancies?

Posted by in CIC News, on June 14, 2023

The Canadian government’s Express Entry program plays a vital role in attracting skilled workers from around the world to fill job vacancies and contribute to the country’s economy. To further streamline the process and address specific labor shortages, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently announced new category-based draws under the Express Entry system. These draws will focus on candidates with high French proficiency or work experience in specific sectors. In this article, we will explore the chosen categories and provide insights into the job market and vacancies across various provinces and territories in Canada.

Why Were These Categories Chosen?

The selection of these categories is a result of comprehensive consultations and collaboration between the government and various stakeholders, including provinces, territories, industry representatives, labor unions, advocacy groups, settlement providers, and immigration researchers. These categories were identified based on their potential to fill vacant positions and alleviate the labor shortage in Canada.


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the healthcare system, leading to an increased demand for healthcare professionals. The Healthcare and Social Assistance category reported an exceptionally high number of job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2022. To address this shortage, the government is actively facilitating the immigration process for foreign-trained healthcare workers, including removing barriers for physicians already in Canada on temporary visas.

In Q4 2022, there were 143,695 job vacancies in the Healthcare and Social Assistance category, with Ontario and Quebec having the highest number of vacancies. This indicates ample opportunities for skilled healthcare professionals across various provinces and territories.

STEM Professions:

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations are witnessing a growing demand in Canada due to the evolving technological landscape and the retirement of experienced professionals. The Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services category, which includes STEM professions, reported 56,915 job vacancies in Q4 2022.

Ontario and Quebec emerged as the provinces with the highest number of STEM job vacancies, presenting significant opportunities for skilled professionals in these sectors. The report also highlighted that STEM professions offer competitive wages compared to other categories, making them an attractive choice for prospective immigrants.


The Trades category, encompassing wholesale and retail trades, showcases a significant number of job vacancies across Canada. Wholesale trades reported 30,930 vacancies, while retail trades reported 108,795 vacancies in Q4 2022. Ontario and Quebec lead in job opportunities within this category.


The transportation and warehousing sector plays a critical role in Canada’s economy, facilitating the movement of goods and services. In this category, there were 43,700 job vacancies in Q4 2022. While the job vacancy rate has been declining since the beginning of 2021, there are still ample opportunities available, particularly in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.

Agriculture and Agri-Food:

The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting category had a job vacancy rate of 10,535, or 3.9%, in Q4 2022. Although the job vacancy rate in this sector has been declining since 2021, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia continue to have significant opportunities for skilled workers in agriculture and agri-food industries.


The introduction of category-based draws under the Express Entry system reflects the Canadian government’s commitment to addressing labor shortages and attracting skilled workers to various sectors. By focusing on categories with high job vacancies, such as Healthcare, STEM Professions, Trades, Transport, and Agriculture and Agri-Food, the government aims to fill crucial positions across the country.

Prospective immigrants who are eligible under these categories now have valuable insights into the job market in Canada. The data provided for job vacancies by province and territory offers an overview of where opportunities are most abundant. It is important for candidates to leverage this information and plan their immigration journey accordingly.

As the category-based draws are set to begin this summer, it is recommended that eligible individuals stay updated with the latest information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the exact commencement date. Canada continues to welcome skilled professionals, and these new initiatives aim to support the integration of in-demand professionals into communities across the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *