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 (2019-2028) 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 2019-2028. 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.
Over the 2016-2018 period, this occupational group experienced a significant rise in employment. The unemployment rate not only declined to reach a very low level, but was also substantially below its own historical norms and the national average in 2018. Additionally, there were less than one unemployed worker per job vacancy during the period. Hence, the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job openings exceeded substantially the number of job seekers in this occupational group over the 2016-2018 period.
For Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 4,200 , while 4,300 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
As job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2019-2028 period, the labour shortage conditions seen in recent years are expected to continue over the projection period. The majority of job openings are expect to arise from job creation and retirements. Employment is projected to grow at a slightly higher rate than the average of all occupations. As a result, job creation will represent 47% of all openings, a proportion that is above the average of all occupations (about 27% of openings). Actuaries are expected to benefit from the trend toward developing new products, especially in the life insurance field, as well as from the growth in sales of private retirement plans, registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) and mutual funds due to, notably, population aging. Anticipated demand for statisticians is also expected to be strong due to increasing popularity of data science and analytics, involving predictive analysis, machine learning as well as artificial intelligence. These practices will continue to be integral parts in various fields and sectors such as medicine, politics, transportation, government, retail, etc. Mathematicians are few in number and mainly work in public administration, research centres or universities, where employment growth is expected to be more at par with population growth. Retirements will also account for a significant proportion of job openings (about 35%) in this whole occupational group. Yet, these workers tend to be younger and to retire at a slightly later age than the typical worker in Canada. As a result, the retirement rate is expected to be below the national average.
With regard to labour supply, because of the specialized nature of the occupation in this group, the majority of job seekers are expected to come from the school system. Nevertheless, about 23% of candidates (excluding mobility) are projected to be new immigrants. The skills typically required in this occupation are usually standard worldwide and not unique to the Canadian labour market. As a result, there are lower barriers for immigrants to become mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries. In addition, foreigners in this occupational group coming from countries with a free trade agreement with Canada might be eligible to work in Canada, simplifying their entry and permanency in the country. Finally, given that the skills acquired in this occupation can be complemented by other competencies, a significant number of workers will seek opportunities in other occupations, especially those related to finance, as well as those involved in data analysis and research. As a result, the shortage conditions observed in recent years are not expected to disappear over the projection period.