Employment Trends: Labor Force Survey Shows Steady Employment

The latest Labor Force Survey for February 2023 shows that the Canadian employment market is stable, with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 5.0% and employment staying relatively the same (+22,000; +0.1%). This is a positive sign for the economy as it indicates that employers are still hiring and that Canadians are still finding work even if the 5.0% unemployment rate is still shy of the record low of 4.9% posted in mid-2022.

The survey also noted that there were around a million unemployed people in Canada in February, the same number registered a month earlier. Also, for adults aged 25 to 54, employment remained steady. Similarly, the survey found an insignificant change in the employment rate for youths from the earlier month.

Women Employment Trend

Canada has seen a significant increase in the employment of women between the ages of 55 – 64 by 30,000 (+1.9%) in February. Over 60% of women in this age group were employed. In February 2023, 58.9% of women aged 15 and older were employed, which is a 0.8% (214,000) increase from August 2022. This trend is reflective of an increased focus on equal employment opportunities regardless of gender or age. Women are now more likely to be found in leadership positions and other roles traditionally held by men, which is helping to reduce workplace inequality and create better work environments for all employees.

Employment Trends by Industry

Employment increase in public administration (+10,000, +0.9%) was up in February. The decline was concentrated in Ontario (+7,600; +1.7%) and New Brunswick (+1,500; +4.3%).

Employment rate decreased in business, building, and other support services (-11,000; -1.5%) which is the first notable decline in over a year for the industry. The decline was most concentrated in Ontario (-16,000, -5.3%).

Employment remained mostly the same in other industries.

The Canadian economy has been steadily growing over the past few years. This is evidenced by the fact that employment in the professional, scientific, and technical services industry was up 4.7% (+84,000) in February 2023 accounting for over 33% of total net employment growth in the preceding 3 years. Also, the industry registered the fastest growth rate of hourly wages up 9.6% (+$3.83 to $43.69) over this period.

Healthcare and social assistance employment grew by 0.6% (15,000) during this same period and was up 1.7% (44,000) on a year-by-year basis. These figures suggest that Canada’s job market is becoming increasingly diversified and that there are more opportunities available for those looking for work in certain industries.

Public administration registered an employment increase of (+10,000, +0.9%) which was a 7.7% increase from a year earlier. The latest numbers from Labor Force Survey show that employment rose in many industries across the country, with jobs concentrated in Ontario (+7,600; +1.7%) and New Brunswick (+1,500; +4.3%).

However, there were declines in some sectors such as business, building, and other support services (-11,000; -1.5%). Ontario experienced most of the decline at (-16,000, -5.3%).

Employment remained steady in wholesale and retail trade and construction.

Employment Trends by Province and Territory

Data from Labor Force Survey shows that the employment rate rose in four regions and declined in one. Prince Edward Island registered a growth of 2.0% (+1,700) and a (+2,400) in full-time employment in February. This marks the second increase in the previous three months.

Newfoundland and Labrador registered a growth of 1.6% (+3,800) in employment in February while the unemployment rate fell 1.9 (+2,400).

New Brunswick registered a growth of 1.3% (+5,100) and a 5% year-by-year increase in employment in February. This marked the second increase in the previous three months for the province.

Manitoba registered a growth of 0.7% (4,900) in February largely resulting from full-time employment. This marked the first noticeable change in the previous three months.

Nova Scotia, on the other hand, recorded an employment decline (-4,700; -0.9%) in February. This decline took the unemployment rate up to 5.7%.

The other provinces did not record a noticeable change in the employment rate.

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