After a few months of little change for employment, Canada’s job growth saw a major boost in the final month of 2019. Employment increased by 35,000, or 0.2%, with the majority of this growth in full-time work.
Most of the jobs created were in the accommodation, food services and construction sectors. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec saw the most growth, followed by Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.
December’s employment gains rounded out the year’s total number of jobs created to 320,000, or 1.7%, and was the second largest annual gain since 2007. In comparison, the previous year had an overall job growth of 1.1%. Furthermore, in May, the national unemployment rate declined to 5.4%, a record low since comparable data became available in January 1976. The end of 2019 saw an unemployment rate of 5.6%, a drop from 5.9% in November.
Ontario saw the largest employment growth in 2019, accounting for 243,000 new jobs. This included increases in a number of industries: professional, scientific and technical services, as well as health care and social assistance. The second largest growth was seen in Quebec where employment increased by 63,000, mainly within the realm of full-time work. The gains were among youth aged 15 and 24 and people aged 55 and over.
In regards to the Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia saw an employment increase of 6,700 jobs in health care, social assistance, and manufacturing. New Brunswick reported 5,000 more jobs, with the biggest contributors being the construction industry as well as public administration. In Prince Edward Island, 4,600 more people were employed in 2019. This growth is largely attributed to an increase in construction jobs.
Employment in British Columbia was little changed in 2019, but has been steadily increasing over the last four years. The unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 4.8%, but remained the lowest among the provinces.
Alberta held steady this past year, with fewer people working full-time and an increase in part-time workers, as well as the number of people aged 15 to 24 in the labour force.
Manitoba’s numbers also look very much the same, although the unemployment rate fell 1% to 5%.
Saskatchewan also saw little change over the last 12 months following a strong increase in its labour force in 2018.
With this boost in jobs in Canada, and the current government’s plan to welcome more than one million newcomers in the next three years, now is the best time for foreign workers to take the first step towards Canadian permanent residence!
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