Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS)

Search for Occupational Projection Summaries (2022-2031)

The 2022 COPS exercise was developed using the 2016 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The 2016 NOC has 500 occupations. However, many of these occupations are small in terms of employment. Such occupations were combined into broader groupings according to the specific tasks of each occupation. By grouping small occupations with similar tasks together, 293 occupational groupings were obtained. Although NOC already has a more recent version (2021), the model’s input data were only available in the 2016 version of the NOC at the time of the development of the projections.

For more information on the 293 occupational grouping used in COPS, please visit the COPS Occupational Groupings' Definition.

Search Result : Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates & Other assisting occupations in support of health services (3413)

Occupational Outlook
SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2022-2031 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.
Occupations in this Group
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (3413)
  • Other assisting occupations in support of health services (3414)
Skill Type
Health occupations
Skill Level
Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training.
Employment in 2021
Median Age of workers in 2021
42.1 years old
Estimated Median Age of Retirement in 2021
64 years old

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2022-2031) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2022-2031. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions. It is important to note that COPS does not identify imbalances that may temporarily appear during specific years, unless they will persist over the longer run.

Over the 2019-2021 period, employment in this occupational group increased at a substantially stronger pace than the average for all occupations. The unemployment rate also increased, but only slightly to reach approximately 5.0% in 2021, sitting below the national average of 7.5%. The jobless rate has generally been well below the national average, suggesting that tight conditions have existed for a long period of time. Throughout the 2019-2021 period, the number of job vacancies grew exponentially, doubling the values recorded in 2018, and 82% higher than what was recorded in 2019. As vacancies grew faster than the number of employees, the job vacancy rate jumped to reach levels over 6.0% in 2021, which was over 2 percentage points higher than the all-occupation average. With an already low unemployment rate, there was less than one unemployed worker per job vacancy. Key factors that led to the increase in demand for health care services prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were overall population growth and Canada's aging population. Spending on health care generally increases with age, as older individuals develop more chronic illnesses requiring medical assistance. The difficult working environment created by the pandemic led to the burnout of many medical professionals. Moreover, the rapid spread of COVID-19 left many health care practitioners out sick or in isolation. Hence, the analysis of these and other key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group, creating a shortage situation.

Over the period 2022-2031, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates & Other assisting occupations in support of health services are expected to total 191,000, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 170,100.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2022-2031 period, the labour shortage conditions seen in recent years are expected to continue over the projection period. Job openings are projected to arise from both employment growth and retirements. Job creation is projected to represent more than 50% of job openings. Similar to most occupations in the health sector, the aging population and the rising need for long-term care is projected to put further pressure on the demand for health services assistants. The growing number of seniors will continue to increase the need for hospital, nursing home, and long-term care centre services where these workers provide front-line services. Retirements are also expected to represent about 37% of job openings. Pressures arising from these departures are anticipated to be in line with the national average, as workers in this occupational group have a similar age structure to that of other occupations.

With regard to labour supply, the number of school leavers is expected to increase in response to the high demand for workers in this occupation, representing over half of total job seekers. As it has been the case in recent years, a significant number of job seekers are expected to join this occupation via immigration, representing about one-third of all job seekers. Finally, about 10% of the labour supply for this occupational group will come from workers in other occupations, notably home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations, looking for career opportunities and higher wages.

Projection of Cumulative Job Openings and Job Seekers over the Period of 2022-2031

This table contains data related to Projected Job Openings.
Level Share
Expansion Demand: 102,400 54%
Retirements: 70,100 37%
Other Replacement Demand: 10,100 5%
Emigration: 8,400 4%
Projected Job Openings: 191,000 100%
This table contains data related to Projected Job Seekers.
Level Share
School Leavers: 93,100 55%
Immigration: 64,400 38%
Other: 12,600 7%
Projected Job Seekers: 170,100 100%
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