Last month, Canada’s employment rate rose above the United States’, adding 337,000 new jobs to the economy. According to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey for February 2022, Canada’s unemployment rate also fell below pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
The most recent Canadian Labour Force Survey reflects labour market conditions from the week of February 13 to 19. Many of the public health restrictions in place this week were eased from earlier in the year, with some provinces lifting restaurant capacity limits and proof of vaccination requirements.
Employment gains in Canada were driven primarily by private-sector employees, most notably among the accommodation and food services, and information, culture, and recreation industries. The goods-producing sector also saw gains for the third consecutive month.
Employment in information, culture, and recreation has risen above pre-pandemic levels for the first time. Much of this increase occurred in Ontario, where gyms and other indoor spaces re-opened with capacity limits. Employment in the construction sector has also continued to increase for the third month in a row, surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.5% in February 2022, dropping below pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
Canada’s employment recovery rate is among the top in the world.
Adjusting to a difference in conception, Canada’s employment rate was 62.3% in February 2022, whereas the employment rate in the US was 59.9%.
When also adjusting to the US labour force participation rates, Canada was at 65.0%, whereas the US was at 62.3%.
Last month’s employment growth was widespread across Canada. Provinces with the largest proportional increases were Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. This comes as Canada reopens the Atlantic Immigration Program, which helps Atlantic employers fill labour market gaps with foreign nationals.
Strong growth was also recorded in Ontario and Quebec, both seeing the highest gains in accommodation and food services and information, culture, and recreation industries.
Saskatchewan recorded its fourth consecutive month of employment gains and some of its lowest unemployment rates seen since April 2015 at 4.7%. Manitoba also experienced employment growth and a low unemployment rate of 4.8%.
British Columbia added 21,000 jobs in February 2022, seeing its first notable increase since October 2021. B.C.’s unemployment rate also dipped to 4.9%, its lowest since January 2020.
A February report from Statistics Canada revealed job vacancies were at an all-time high in the last few months of 2021. The number of vacancies peaked in September 2021 at 988,300 and remained high at 896,100 in December.
December’s job vacancies were led by the health care and social assistance and accommodation and food services sectors.
Canada’s immigration minister recognizes the need for new immigrants to help fill these labour market gaps. The Canadian government recently increased immigration levels for 2022-2024 to record-breaking highs. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser attributes Canada’s successful post-pandemic economic recovery to high levels of economic immigration. Fraser recently claimed Canada is “winning the global competition for talent”.
With a strong labour market and increased immigration targets, Canada’s immigration landscape looks increasingly promising for prospective newcomers.
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