Labour report: Part-time jobs on the rise in Canada

Canada added 41,000 jobs in April, almost all in part-time work, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada. Of those who worked part-time, 15.2% did so involuntarily, meaning they would have preferred a full-time position.

In the month of April, there was an increase in employment for men aged 25 to 54 years old by 18,000 individuals, which is a 0.3% increase, and for men aged 55 and older by 16,000 individuals, which is a 0.7% increase. Employment for women in the same age groups remained stable. Youth employment for both males and females held steady for the third consecutive month.

Employment rose in four industries, including wholesale and retail trade (+24,000; +0.8%), transportation and warehousing (+17,000; +1.6%), information, culture, and recreation (+16,000; +1.9%), and educational services (+15,000; +1.0%). However, there was a decrease in employment for business, building, and other support services (-14,000; -1.9%). Health care and social assistance held steady and continued to be the second-largest industry in terms of employment.

Employment increased in Ontario (+33,000; +0.4%) and Prince Edward Island (+2,200; +2.5%) in April but decreased in Manitoba (-4,000; -0.6%). There was little change in employment for the other provinces.

Unemployment rate steady at 5%

The unemployment rate held near a record-low at 5 per cent (1.1 million), unchanged since December 2022. Most people (64.3%) had been unemployed for 13 weeks or less. The long-term unemployed, who had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, accounted for 15.4% of the total unemployed population, which is a decrease from 19.5% a year ago and is in line with the pre-pandemic level of 15.3% in February 2020.

The unemployment rate for people aged 25 to 54 remained at 4.3% in April, while for core-aged men, it increased slightly to 4.5%. The unemployment rate among core-aged men rose by 0.4 percentage points in the 12 months leading to April, due to a higher growth rate in the labor force than in employment. Conversely, the unemployment rate among core-aged women was 4.2% in April, which remained stable during the month and was down by 0.3 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

The unemployment rate for women aged 55 and older decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 3.5% in April, while for men aged 55 and older, it remained steady at 4.3%. Compared to the previous year, the unemployment rate for women and men aged 55 and older decreased by 1.3 and 1.1 percentage points, respectively.

The unemployment rate for youth was 9.6% in April, unchanged compared to the previous month and the same period last year.

Advantages and disadvantages of part-time jobs

Part-time employment consists of persons who usually work less than 30 hours per week at their main or only job. Professional part-time employment can provide job seekers with significant flexibility and benefits. It can also allow others to supplement their household income as inflation continues to exist albeit slowing down somewhat. However, as with any job, there are potential drawbacks to consider. By carefully assessing and balancing these pros and cons, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not part-time work is the best option for you.

Advantages of part-time jobs:

Part-time jobs offer greater flexibility in terms of work hours, which can allow individuals to balance work with other responsibilities such as education, childcare, or caring for family members.

Work-life balance
Part-time jobs can help individuals achieve a better work-life balance, allowing them to pursue other interests, hobbies or activities.

Easier to gain experience
Part-time workers have the advantage of being able to explore new job opportunities without requiring extensive prior experience, and they have the flexibility to assess a company's culture before making a long-term commitment through a full-time employment contract. As the above mentions, taking on a part-time job when you would prefer a full-time, is not ideal but is often a way to re-enter the job market.

Reduced stress
Part-time jobs can reduce work-related stress, as the workload is typically less compared to full-time positions.


Disadvantages of Part-Time Jobs:

Limited benefits
Part-time jobs often do not offer the same benefits as full-time positions, such as health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time-off.

Inconsistent income
Part-time jobs often have variable hours and pay, which can make it difficult to rely on as a steady source of income.

Limited career growth and job security
Part-time jobs may not offer the same opportunities for career growth or advancement as full-time positions. Also, companies may have the ability to easily terminate part-time employees without much notice.


Part-time employment has been a widely adopted work model for many years, and its popularity continues to grow. Employees are attracted to the reduced workweek, which provides them with more time and flexibility for personal pursuits and a reduction in work-related stress. However, they must accept a lower salary and reduced pension benefits in exchange for this flexibility. For companies, part-time workers enable them to better align human resources with workload demands, while also enhancing their working environment.


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