Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

About the Projections

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) uses the models of the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) to develop projections of future trends in the major sources of job openings (expansion demand and replacement demand) and job seekers (school leavers and new immigrants) by occupation over the medium term, at the national level. By looking at prospective changes in both the demand and supply sides of the labour market, the COPS projections allow for identifying occupations where potential labour market imbalances can develop.

Generally, the projections will point towards shortage pressures in a given occupation if the projected number of job openings in that occupation significantly exceeds the projected number of new job seekers. However, for occupations that experienced surplus conditions in recent years, the projection of more job openings than job seekers may result in balanced labour market conditions into the medium term.

Conversely, the projections will point towards surplus conditions in an occupation if the projected number of job openings in that occupation is well below the projected number of new job seekers. However, for occupations that experienced shortage conditions in recent years, the projection of less job openings than job seekers may result in balanced labour market conditions into the medium term.

As noted above, the focus of the COPS projections is on trends over the projection period, not on year-to-year developments. It would be possible to summarize trends in projected variables by looking only at changes in those variables between the last year of historical data available (2014) when the projections were prepared (2015) and the last year of the projection period (2024). However, as many users work with annual time series, this site provides all the annual data points over the projection period.

In addition to assisting labour market analysts and policy makers, the projections can be used in labour market information (LMI) products targeted at assisting Canadians and potential immigrants in their education and career decisions.

As for any forecast or projection, the COPS projections have to rely on assumptions regarding several factors that will influence future occupational labour demand and supply in Canada, including economic conditions, the size and distribution of occupational demand within industry and the number and occupational distribution of new entrants in the labour market. Future developments in these factors are uncertain.

Employment and Social Development Canada makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the COPS projections.

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