Canada Unemployment

Canada Unemployment Rate Stays at 5.2% – New StatCan Report


November 4- New Statistics Canada report shows that employment in October increased by 108,000 (+0.6%), recovering losses from May to September. However, the unemployment rate in October remained unchanged at 5.2 per cent. 

Statistics Canada’s new report discusses the changes in employment activities in October 2022. Below, you can find the summary of these changes. 

Summary of changes in employment activities 

Overall, October saw an increase in employment by 108,000 (+0.6%), making up for the losses experienced from May to September 2022. In comparison, the unemployment rate in October stayed the same at 5.2 per cent. 

The industries that experienced an increase in employment were manufacturing, construction, accommodation and food services. But, at the same time, it declined in wholesale and retail trade and natural resources.

Moreover, since March 2022, the number of private-sector employees has increased for the first time. However, employees in the public sector and self-employed workers saw no change in employment.



In addition, employment increased among men and women between the ages of 25 and 54 in October. On the other hand, men and women aged 15 to 24 and those aged 55 and up showed minimal change. 

Generally, employment increased in six provinces, with the most significant increases in Ontario and Quebec. Regarding wages, employee hourly wage growth stayed above 5 per cent for the fifth consecutive month in October, increasing 5.6% (+$1.68 to $31.94) compared to October 2021. 

Following a 0.6 per cent decrease in September, total hours worked increased by 0.7 per cent in October. However, the total hours worked increased by 2.2% compared to October 2021.

About two-thirds of employees with wages more than $40.00 per hour had received a raise in the past year, compared to half (50.1%) of those with wages less than $20.00 per hour (population aged 15 to 69; not seasonally adjusted).

Additionally, over one-third (35.3%) of Canadians aged 15 and older lived in homes that reported trouble meeting financial needs in October, up from one-fifth in October 2020. Lastly, more than 1.7 million Canadians had hybrid work arrangements in October for those aged 15 to 69.

Industries with a significant change in employment 

Employment in construction increased by 25,000 (+1.6%) in October, with increases in five provinces, including Quebec (+17,000; +5.9%) and British Columbia (+6,000; +2.5%). 

Despite this growth, construction employment remained almost unchanged in October compared to March 2022, consistent with the latest GDP data showing slowing economic activity in the industry during a similar time.

Moreover, employment in the manufacturing industry increased by 24,000 (+1.4%), offsetting the 28,000 (-1.6%) decrease recorded in September. British Columbia (+12,000; +6.9%) and Nova Scotia (+3,700; +11.6%) accounted for most of the increase. Manufacturing employment remained relatively unchanged on a year-over-year basis.

Accommodation and food service employment increased by 18,000 (+1.7%) in October, the first growth in the industry since May. However, according to the most recent Job Vacancy and Wage Survey data, the industry had a more significant job vacancy rate in August than all other industries.

Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services increased by 18,000 (+1.0%) in October, the third increase in six months. Since June 2020, the number of people working in the industry has been steadily increasing, and in October, it was 297,000 (+19.3%), higher than before the pandemic.

Moreover, there was also employment growth in “other” services (+18,000; +2.4%) and public administration (+15,000; +1.3%) in October.

In October, the number of individuals employed in wholesale and retail trade decreased by 20,000 (-0.7%). The industry’s employment last rose in May and was a little changed year over year in October. While retail sales grew 0.7% to $61.8 billion in August, advance estimates indicate that sales may fall 0.5% in September.

After three months of minimal change, natural resource employment fell (-6,800; -2.0%) in October, nearly entirely attributable to a dip in Quebec (-6,100; -13.2%).

Other employment trends for October 2022 

In the last year, hybrid employment—the ability to work part-time from home and part-time from a location other than home—has emerged as a viable alternative for employers and employees. 

In October, nearly one in ten (9.0%; 1,746,000) workers reported working both at home and elsewhere, up 0.4 percentage points from September and 5.4 percentage points from January 2022. 

Also, in October, 15.8% of workers worked exclusively from home, an 8.5 percentage point decrease from the beginning of the year (population aged 15 to 69).

The average hourly wages were 5.6% higher (+$1.68 to $31.94) than the previous year (not seasonally adjusted) in October. However, even though average wages have increased by more than 5% year on year in the last five months, they have not kept up with inflation, which was 6.9% in September, contributing to many Canadians’ concerns about affordability and the cost of living.

The proportion of employees who received a raise after being with the same company for at least a year was among the lowest in agriculture (47.2%) and accommodation and food services (49.7%), two areas with average hourly wages below the national average. 

In health care and social assistance (53.6%) and educational services (50.3%), where the majority of employees are unionized, the proportion of employees who received a rise was similarly relatively low.

In contrast, the proportion of employees who had received a rise was among the greatest in manufacturing (67.7%), finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (68.2%), and professional, scientific and technical services (68.4%), three sectors where unionization is often low.

Employment in Canada hit a record high in May, and during the summer, there were record numbers of job openings and record-low unemployment rates in the country’s labour market. 

Consumer inflation in the headlines reached levels not seen in nearly 40 years during the late spring and summer months. In recent times, employment also fell or was flat for four months before increasing in October. 

Source: Statistics Canada