Canada Employed

  • Graduating Class of 2023 In Demand: Job Prospects for Grads at Highest Level in Years

    TORONTO - April 26, 2023

    • Half of Canadian Companies to Hire Recent Graduates in 2023

    The persistently tight labour market might be frustrating for Canadian employers, but it’s good news for university and college graduates entering the job market, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

    About half of Canadian companies (47%) plan to hire recent university and college graduates this year, up from 43% last year and a significant increase from 36% in 2020. In addition, 30% of companies plan to hire graduates of career tech and vocational schools this year.


    Even those who haven’t graduated yet are in demand with 2 in 5 employers (38%) planning to hire college and university students this year, up from 36% last year and 33% in 2021.

    In terms of the positions employers are looking to fill with recent graduates, the most common are entry-level (53%) and mid-level (47%) jobs, followed by individual contributors (28%) and senior-level jobs (20%). Key areas in which employers are hiring include customer service (26%), sales (21%), accounting/finance and IT/technology support (both at 13%) and business development and human resources (both at 11%).

    “The job market is very promising for recent graduates,” according to James Norris, an Express franchise owner in London, Ontario. “For many sectors, especially hands-on positions such as healthcare and skilled trades workers, the job prospects of graduates will grow even more as demand increases and large numbers of older workers continue to move into retirement.”

    Norris says there are several benefits to hiring recent graduates as “they bring new ideas, fresh perspectives and in some cases, information about brand new advances in their field that have only recently been discovered and taught.”

    His advice to new graduates is to focus on getting work experience.

    “Understand the need for real-world experience and seek employment as quickly as you can, regardless of whether or not it is in your ideal industry or position,” said Norris. “Real-life work experience is key to advancing your career, and building your skills and experiences will be much better than having nothing but education on your resume. Be willing to work hard to advance, and ask for additional training and development from your employer as soon as possible.”

    “This year’s graduates are entering a hot job market,” said Bill Stoller, Express Employment International CEO. “It’s a great time for this group to gain experience and build skills that will aid them in the development of successful careers.”

    Survey Methodology

    The Job Insights survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, 2022, among 506 Canadian hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in Canada who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 4.6 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.


    If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Ana Curic at (613) 858-2622 or email

    About Bill Stoller

    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing franchisor supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and related brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, employing 579,000 people globally in 2022 and more than 10 million since its inception. For more information, visit