Canada Labour Force Gained 55,000 Jobs in December

Published on: January 10th, 2022

Canada gained 55,000 jobs last month, according to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey. After exceeding pre-pandemic employment in November, levels have remained steady in December.

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Canada’s recent Labour Force Survey reflects labour market conditions from the week of December 5 to 11, 2021. Public health restrictions in place for this week were similar to November 2021. However, many provinces imposed new restrictions in response to the Omicron variant after the reference week used for this report.

Job gains in Canada last month were seen primarily in the goods-producing sector. This December marked the sector’s second consecutive month of gains. Increases in the goods-producing sector were largely due to significant gains in construction, which saw its first employment increase since August.

The number of people working in educational services has also significantly increased this December. Gains in educational services this month were largely attributed to the province of Ontario.

At 5.9%, the country’s overall unemployment rate in December dropped by 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. Canada’s unemployment rate is still slightly above its February 2020 pre-COVID level of 5.7%.

Employment for recent immigrants remains elevated

Immigration Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) welcomed a record-breaking number of newcomers in 2021.

Statistics Canada defines very recent immigrants as new permanent residents or citizens that have been in Canada for five years or less.

After seeing a large increase in new permanent residents, the employment rate among very recent immigrants has continued to rise from pre-pandemic levels.

Employment among very recent immigrants has generally recovered to its pre-pandemic levels. In the core working-age group of very recent immigrants, employment rose in December to 78.7% from 70.9% in the previous month.

Employment gains in this group were mostly in professional, scientific, and technical services and wholesale and retail trade.

Ontario and Saskatchewan lead nation in job growth

The provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan lead Canada’s job growth in December.

Employment in Ontario rose for the seventh consecutive month, adding 47,000 jobs in December 2021. Ontario saw employment gains mainly in wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing. The unemployment rate also continued to fall for the seventh consecutive month, dropping to its lowest since February 2020.

In December, Saskatchewan saw its first notable rise in employment since September. Employment gains in Saskatchewan were mainly among men ages 25 to 54. Professional, scientific and technical services saw the most significant increase in employment. At 5.4%, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was below the national average, and lower than its pre-pandemic level.

Job vacancies at ‘all-time high’

A recent report from Statistics Canada revealed job vacancies were at an all-time high in the first quarter of 2021.

Job vacancies reached a record high across all sectors and in all provinces. The vacancy increases were among the provinces of Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Ontario.

The five sectors with the highest demand include accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, construction, retail trade, and manufacturing.

The labour shortage is expected to push wages higher and increase workplace perks as employers seek to hire and retain workers. According to a survey by ADP, nearly half of employers struggling to hire workers have increased wages, 27 percent have increased benefits, and 19 percent have introduced a shorter workweek.

The Canadian government recognizes the need for new immigrants to help fill these labour market gaps. After meeting its record-breaking immigration target for 2021, Canada plans to admit even more newcomers in 2022. New Canadian immigration minister, Sean Fraser, is prepared to increase these targets even further to address labour shortages if needed.

With a strong job market and increased immigration targets, Canada’s immigration landscape looks increasingly promising for prospective newcomers.

Interested in learning more about your options to immigrate to Canada? Complete our free online assessment form today.

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