Canada's Employment Rate Shows Consistent Growth in March

According to Statistics Canada, the employment situation in Canada is improving, with consistent job growth over the past six months and a steady unemployment rate. While some industries have seen job losses, others have experienced significant gains, and the employment rate for core-aged women remains near a record high.

Consistent employment growth

Employment in Canada has continued to show an upward trend since the fall of 2022, with 35,000 jobs added in March. This follows little change in February and strong growth in January and December. Over the past six months, employed individuals have increased by 383,000 or 1.9%. Private sector employees saw the most significant gains in March, with an increase of 35,000 or 0.3%.

Three industries saw significant employment growth in March, with transportation and warehousing leading the way, adding 41,000 jobs, and business, building, and other support services adding 31,000. Meanwhile, the finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing industry added 19,000 jobs, continuing an upward trend over the last year. However, the construction industry lost 19,000 jobs, and natural resources saw a decline of 11,000 across the country.

Record-high women's employment rate

The employment rate among core-aged women (25 to 54), remains near its record high at 82.0% in March, reflecting a tight labour market and increased job opportunities. The employment rate for men in this age group was 87.8%, down slightly from the previous month. The employment rate among youth aged 15 to 24 was 59.6%, little changed from February, but the number of employed young people increased by 57,000 compared to 12 months earlier.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged in March, at 5.0%, just above the record low of 4.9% seen in June and July of 2022. Most unemployed people had been jobless for 13 weeks or less, with the long-term unemployed, defined as being without work for 27 weeks or more, making up 16.0% of the unemployed population, down from 20.3% a year earlier.

In March, there was a 5.3% increase in average hourly wages on a year-over-year basis, which brought the wage rate to $33.12.

Diverse workforce

The employment rate in Canada has remained stable and is near record lows, while the workforce is becoming more diverse. Racialized groups accounted for 28.6% of the employed population in March 2023, with the largest groups being South Asian, Chinese, and Black Canadians. The employment rate among core-aged South Asian Canadians rose 2.4 percentage points over the year, primarily due to an increase in the employment rate of South Asian women. The employment rate for core-aged Chinese Canadians remained stable, while the employment rate for core-aged Black Canadians rose slightly, particularly among men in Ontario. This is good news for everyone as businesses across Canada look to untraditional talent pools to fill talent gaps and realize the significant benefits a diverse workforce can bring.


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