As the Omicron wave of Covid-19 faded and the economy recovered, Canada’s labour market exploded in February.
According to the Canada Jobs Labour Force Survey, approximately 337,000 jobs were added, resulting in an unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, surpassing the pre-Covid rate of 5.7 per cent and approaching the all-time high of 5.4 per cent.
Employment increased and the unemployment level declined in every Canadian province, led by 194,300 new jobs in Ontario and a 4.5 per cent unemployment rate in Quebec. Men aged 25 to 54 saw their employment rate rise to 88.2 per cent, the highest since November 1981.
Women in the same age bracket recorded a record employment rate of 81%, nearly double the losses seen in January. Gains for women were found in both full-time and part-time employment, whereas increases for men were centred in full-time employment.
Men added 67,000 jobs, while women added 63,000, reversing January’s losses. Men’s employment rates of roughly 57 per cent and women’s employment rates of 60 per cent are comparable to pre-COVID levels. Part-time work and women accounted for the majority of employment gains among individuals aged 55 and older.
An increase of 42,000 jobs for older women brings the figures back to pre-pandemic levels.
The Labour Force Survey Highlights
Ontario’s 194,300 job gain was concentrated in the lodging and food services, as well as the information, culture, and recreation industries. The 5.5 per cent unemployment rate was the lowest since before COVID-19.
With the growth of 81,500 jobs in Quebec, the provincial unemployment rate fell to 4.5 per cent, the lowest among all provinces. Accommodation and food services, information, culture, recreation, and wholesale and retail trade saw the most growth.
Newfoundland and Labrador recorded the greatest percentage rise, adding 9,500 jobs for a 4.5 per cent increase. The unemployment rate has dropped to 12.3 per cent. More jobs were added in Atlantic Canada in Prince Edward Island (3,300), Nova Scotia (3,700), and New Brunswick (1,200).
Unemployment Rates In Canada’s Provinces
Meanwhile, British Columbia added 21,000 jobs, resulting in a 4.9 per cent unemployment rate, with the gains concentrated in the Vancouver census metropolitan region.
Alberta generated 8,200 jobs, resulting in a 6.8 per cent unemployment rate, Saskatchewan added 7,400 jobs, resulting in a 4.7 per cent unemployment rate, and Manitoba added 6,400 jobs, resulting in a 4.8 per cent unemployment rate.
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