Canadian employment remained largely unchanged (+22,000; + 0.1%) after two consecutive months of growth in December and January 2022, according to Statistics Canada’s Labor Force Survey.
It’s barely above the record-low unemployment rate of 4.9% from 2022 when unemployment stood at 5.0%. Canada’s unemployed number was about 1 million in February, basically unchanged from January.
In addition, employment for core-aged employees, or those between the ages of 25 and 54, remained largely unchanged. From the previous month, there has been little change in the employment rate for young people.
Canadian employment in women
Women between 55 and 64 experienced an employment increase of 30,000 (+1.9%) in February. Over 60% of women in this age range were employed in February, the highest percentage ever.
The Canadian employment rate among women aged 15 and over was 58.9% in February 2023. Although higher than the previous all-time high of 59.2% in October 2007, this percentage is lower than the previous high of 58.1% in August 2022. 61% of job growth from August 2022 to February 2023 was accounted for by women, who added 214,000 jobs during that period.
Industries with the highest employment rates
In the past three years, the professional, scientific, and technical services sectors have accounted for nearly one-third of the net increase in employment. This business employed 84,000 more workers in February than it did at the same time last year, outpacing job growth across all industries (+2.1%). A further increase of 9.6% in hourly pay was recorded in the sector over the same time period. It was the fastest increase of all industries (+$3.83 to $43.69).
Health and social assistance employers increased their workforce by 15,000 in February, which equals a 0.6% increase overall. An increase of 44,000 jobs or 1.7% was recorded in social assistance and health care.
Public administration employment rose by 10,000 in February, an increase of 0.9%. Most of the growth was in Ontario (+7,600; +1.7%) and New Brunswick (+1,500; +4.3%), encompassing federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous workers. An increase of 7.7% in employment was recorded in public administration from February 2022 to February 2022.
As a result of the decline, fewer jobs were available in the business, building, and other support services sectors (-11,000; -1.5%). It marked the sector’s first significant loss in over a year. It is in Ontario that the fall was most concentrated (-16,000, or -5.3%).
In general, it was a strong year for employment in the construction, retail trades, and wholesale.
Province and territory employment trends
Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Manitoba experienced increases in employment while Nova Scotia experienced declines.
As a result, Prince Edward Island’s unemployment rate increased by 2.0% in February (+1,700) for the second time in three months. On Prince Island, 2,400 more people were employed full-time in February.
A 1.6% increase (+3,800) in employment has been recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador in the past three months. A decrease of 1.9 percentage points was recorded in the jobless rate.
It is the second rise in employment in three months as New Brunswick added 5,100 jobs (+1.3%). Over the past year, the province’s employment increased by about 5%.
The Manitoba labor force increased by 0.7% (4,900) in the past three months, mainly due to full-time employment. Employment fell in only one province in February (Nova Scotia, -4,700; -0.9%). A 0.7-point increase to 5.7% in February was reported in the jobless rate. In the other provinces, employment barely changed.