Opportunities for expats in Canada are expected to soar in coming months as the country faces a severe skills shortage in a number of areas including construction, mining and medical technology. Overall the number of jobs is increasing with the latest figures from Statistics Canada showing that 108,700 jobs were created in April, the largest monthly gain in percentage terms since August 2002.

Employment is growing in all provinces with the largest increases in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. Wholesale and retail trade, business, building and other support services and construction industries all led the way in job creation.

A report from the Conference Board of Canada says the economic recovery will solidify in 2011 and it predicts that 72,000 new positions will be created in Alberta alone. It also says that a strong labour market will push the unemployment rate down to 6.3% and energy investment will continue to drive growth.

The report said activity in the construction and manufacturing industries will really pick up  speed in 2011 while the mining industry will continue to play a big part in job creation.

The Canadian Construction Association is warning that Canada faces a possible worker shortage in the construction industry unless new workers can be trained or recruited from overseas.  More than 300,000 new jobs will be created in the next seven years, according to Wayne Morsky, head of the CCA. Skilled immigrants will be needed in large numbers, he said. One problem is the number of workers currently in the industry who are due to retire.

Medical advances are transforming the jobs of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) and contributing to a growing demand for new workers in Canada, according to education institutions. They are concerned that not enough students are coming through the system to meet higher demand and fill the spaces left by retiring workers.

The medical requirements of an aging population also means there will be an increased demand in the industry for highly skilled new MLTs.