The Canadian economy added twice as many jobs as projected in December, with 54,700 new positions added, while the unemployment rate fell to a 22-month low of 5.9 percent, down from 6.0 percent in November.
Full-time employment increased by 1,23,000, as many part-time workers transitioned to more full-time positions. Ontario and Saskatchewan saw increases in employment, while Newfoundland and Labrador saw a decrease. The vast majority of this year’s improvements are projected to be driven by newcomers to the country, rather than the pandemic unemployed returning to work. Following a decline due to international travel restrictions, the number of very fresh immigrants in Canada has recently rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. The ones who came to Canada within the last five years are considered very recent immigrants.
According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the total number of very recent immigrants of core working age (25 to 54 years) who are most expected to participate in the labor market increased by 0.6 percent (+5,000) in December compared to the previous year. Professional, scientific, and technological services added the most employment (31.3 percent), followed by wholesale and retail commerce (up 20,000 jobs, 28.7 percent). This emphasizes the importance of both higher-skilled and lower-skilled work in integrating newcomers into the labor market.
According to the National Occupational Classification (NOC), professional, scientific, and technical services are “high-skilled” jobs, but retail trade jobs like cashiers are “low skilled.” Express Entry, Canada’s primary immigration system, prioritizes the admission of highly skilled workers. Although there are certain avenues for low-skilled employees, such as Provincial Nominee Programs, more economic immigrants are coming to Canada as high-skilled workers. In December, employment rates among the core-aged cohort of immigrants who arrived more than five years earlier were nearly 83 percent.
Following the achievement of the 2021 objective of 401,000 new permanent residents, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet plans to raise the aim for next year to 411,000. It should be highlighted, however, that the statistics revealed the market’s position before coronavirus infections began to rise in Canada at the end of December, causing public health restrictions that prompted many enterprises to halt or curtail operations.