Microsoft Office Suite remains most in-demand skill since 2019, demand for AI skills rising

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new report on skills demand in the Canadian labour market shows general office skills and Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Access) saw the most demand by a vast margin, being mentioned in over 20 per cent of job postings. 

Using data from nine million job postings across Canada from January 2020 to June 2023, the report provides an overview of skills trends in the Canadian labour market. 

The findings are according to a new research report, The Skills Algorithm: Digital Skills Demand Across Canada’s Labour Market by the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University

The report tracks how demand for skills – digital skills in particular – has changed since the onset of the pandemic. Findings from this report were compared to our research on the same topic, published in 2019. 

Among the key findings: 

  • Demand for certain low-intensity general office skills has grown. This includes use of video conferencing platforms and collaboration tools, such as Slack and Trello. 
  • AI demand has recently grown. The proportion of job postings requiring AI skills has nearly tripled from approximately 0.6 per cent in early 2023 to 1.7 per cent in September 2023.
  • Employers are still seeking hybrid (digital and non-digital) skills. Reinforcing findings from the 2019 study, the analysis revealed digital skills commonly co-occur with soft skills such as teamwork, communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. 

“This report breaks down the term ‘digital skills’ and takes a granular look into exactly what skills are needed by employers across the rapidly-changing labour market, so that Canadians can be better prepared for today and tomorrow’s jobs,” said Vivian Li, report author and senior economist at the Dais. 

For media interviews, contact Nina Rafeek Dow, marketing and communications lead at the Dais, [email protected].

The Skills Algorithm is part of the portfolio of work by the Future Skills Centre, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

About the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University 

The Dais is Canada’s platform for bold policies and better leaders. We are a public policy and leadership think tank at Toronto Metropolitan University, connecting people to the ideas and power we need to build a more inclusive, innovative, prosperous Canada. Visit us at

About the Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to driving innovation in skills development so that everyone in Canada can be prepared for the future of work. We are funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.


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