The world of work is continually evolving, driven by technological advancements and shifting job market dynamics. If you want to succeed, you need to stay ahead of the latest trends—from the impact of artificial intelligence to the rise of flexible work arrangements and more.
This blog post explores the changing landscape of work and highlights the key job market trends in 2024. Whether you’re just entering the workforce, transitioning to a new field, or looking to enhance your skillset, this guide will provide valuable insights and guidance for navigating the job market and securing your future career success.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Major Career Trends of 2023
- The Evolving 2024 Workplace Landscape
- Specific Industry Career Trends for 2024
MAJOR CAREER TRENDS OF 2023
Here’s a quick recap of the major job trends of the past year:
Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
As generative AI tools like ChatGPT moved into the mainstream, the pace of digital transformation in the workplace really kicked into high gear. This technology, which generates human-like responses to user prompts, dramatically changed the way many people work. AI was increasingly used to answer customer inquiries, synthesize research, create content, write code, and a whole lot more.
A growing number of Canadians worked independently and harnessed various income streams, either in addition to or in place of being a regular employee on a company’s payroll. These “gig workers” provide services on a short-term contract or temporary basis. By some estimates, more than 20 per cent of the Canadian workforce did some form of gig work.
In 2023, the remote work trend was spurred on by a competitive talent landscape and many employees’ strong preferences to work outside the traditional office at least part of the time. However, fully remote positions became less common as hybrid work models emerged as a dominant trend.
THE EVOLVING 2024 WORKPLACE LANDSCAPE
So what emerging job trends are set to define 2024?
In an effort to promote wage equity, a growing number of provinces are enacting laws requiring employers to list salary ranges in job postings. B.C., P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador already have such legislation on the books, and Ontario is expected to follow suit in 2024.
Not knowing how much a role pays is a common frustration among job seekers. According to a survey by Robert Half Canada, 63 per cent of job candidates would drop out of the running if salary ranges weren’t provided when requested.
Being up front about compensation benefits companies, too. In the same survey, more than half of hiring managers said advertising salaries helps attract qualified applicants and makes the interview process more efficient.
In other words, salary transparency avoids wasting peoples’ time. The push to be more open about wages will be a major job trend in 2024.
Flexible Work Options
Flexibility is expected to remain high on many job seekers’ lists of priorities in 2024. The Robert Half survey found that three-quarters of workers rank flexible work hours as the most valuable perk, and roughly half prefer a mix of on-site and remote work (i.e., a hybrid workplace solution).
In fact, 60 per cent of workers would choose a job with flexible work options over one that paid more but had more rigid rules about being in the office.
While the push and pull between employee expectations and employers will likely continue, it’s clear that flexibility will be a major issue in the year to come.
Working from home at least part of the time is rapidly becoming the new normal
With an aging population and a declining birth rate, Canada’s economy relies on attracting skilled workers from other countries. Statistics Canada says immigration accounts for 80 per cent of Canada’s labour force growth. That’s why the federal government hopes to welcome record numbers of newcomers over the next couple years, with 60 per cent of the total designated as economic immigrants.
The need for foreign workers to fill labour shortages is so acute that Ontario announced plans to make it illegal for job postings to require Canadian work experience.
And the message seems to be getting through. An Indeed report found that in the third quarter of 2023, 14 per cent of clicks on Canadian job postings came from outside the country—a significant increase from just six per cent in the third quarter of 2019.
The introduction of GenAI was the big story in 2023, and the technology will continue to have a major impact in 2024 as it becomes more widely adopted. A Gartner poll found that 55 per cent of organizations were either experimenting with or actively using generative AI solutions in October 2023, more than double the 19 per cent who were doing so six months earlier.
GenAI has the potential to automate a lot of tasks that were previously considered immune to automation. However, automation’s impact on jobs is debatable. Many experts contend that AI will help workers do their jobs more efficiently, allowing them to focus on aspects requiring more human or soft skills. AI is not currently capable of displaying emotional intelligence or relationship building skills, for example, although that could change.
Generative AI is set to transform the job market in 2024
SPECIFIC INDUSTRY CAREER TRENDS FOR 2024
So what can you expect on an industry level? Below is a breakdown of some of the major trends that will have an impact on the job market in Canada in 2024.
After a year of layoffs and instability in the tech sector, things are looking up for 2024. Companies looking to adopt artificial intelligence in the workforce will need skilled pros to help them. According to Randstad, technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are also being more widely used in the retail and healthcare industries, boosting demand for IT talent.
Cybersecurity will also remain among the top skills in demand in 2024, with the global cost of cyber attacks estimated to reach $10.5 trillion. Expect the enormous demand for cybersecurity professionals to continue throughout the coming year.
Heading into 2024, many legal employers across Canada are struggling to find qualified people to fill available roles. That goes for lawyers as well as support personnel.
A labour market analysis by Robert Half says the areas of law that have the greatest need for new talent include:
- Labour and employment
- Real estate
- Medical malpractice
- Privacy, data security, and information law
Data security and information law is a particularly hot field as GenAI takes hold. Europe is finalizing legislation to regulate the use of AI, and the U.S. has made similar moves. Canada recently introduced a voluntary code of conduct for companies that work with AI, though legislation is still forthcoming.
As with pretty well every other industry, generative AI will have a huge impact on the way HR professionals do their jobs in 2024. For instance, AI tools can help automate the talent sourcing, screening, and onboarding processes. To hang on to talented employees, HR teams will also need to be prepared to offer workers opportunities to upskill or reskill and stay up to date with technological advancements at work.
It will also be increasingly important for recruiting teams to broaden their search and look for temporary or gig workers to meet organizational needs. Many potential hires are rejecting full-time employment in favour of the flexibility that comes with contract work, and HR departments will need to adjust.
The big trend in healthcare is the ongoing labour shortage. In early 2023, Canada had 95,200 vacant healthcare jobs—more than twice as many as when the pandemic first began in early 2020. Throughout 2023, staff shortages resulted in the temporary closure of many emergency rooms across the country. One report says there were more than 860 instances of such closures in Ontario alone.
And it’s not just doctors that are in demand. The shortage includes technicians, support staff, and administrative personnel.
The latest job market outlook report from the Government of Canada Job Bank gives many medical occupations four- or even full five-star outlook ratings in almost all provinces through 2025. Those occupations include:
- Medical lab assistants
- Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates
- Medical administrative assistants
The employment forecast for 2024 says healthcare roles will continue to be in big demand
While high interest rates caused a construction slowdown in Canada in 2023, the industry is expected to rebound in 2024, according to a forecast report from JLL. However, labour shortages will continue to be a challenge. The report noted that there were close to 70,000 vacant construction jobs, amounting to 5.3 per cent of the total construction workforce. For comparison, the overall Canadian economy had a 4 per cent vacancy rate.
Skilled tradespeople like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and HVAC technicians could find new career advancement opportunities in 2024.
GET THE TRAINING YOU NEED FOR FUTURE CAREERS
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