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Canadian Employment Holds Steady Despite Challenges in July’s Job Market

Published on: August 29th, 2023

The Canadian job market faced challenges in July, with employment remaining stable in light of signs indicating a weakening job market.


According to the latest data from Statistics Canada’s job survey, there was a minimal increase in new jobs, with a decrease of 6,000 positions. This marks the third consecutive month of little change in job numbers. The unemployment rate increased to 5.5%, a cause for concern.

Challenging Times in the Canadian Job Market

Different age groups and industries had varying experiences in the job market. Individuals aged 25 to 54, particularly men, encountered difficulties finding employment, resulting in a loss of 27,000 jobs within this group. However, young men between  15 and 24 saw a more favourable trend, gaining 13,000 jobs, while young and middle-aged women maintained stable employment.

Statistics Canada reported that “Employment fell among core-aged men aged 25 to 54 years old (-27,000; -0.4%) and increased among male youth aged 15 to 24 (+13,000; +0.9%).” 

In terms of different job sectors, the construction industry experienced a substantial setback, with a loss of 45,000 jobs, reflecting a 2.8% decline. Other industries that saw job losses included public administration, information, culture, recreation, transportation, and warehousing. Conversely, there was job growth in healthcare, education, finance, insurance, real estate, rental, leasing, and agriculture.

Looking at the past year, average hourly wages increased by 5.0% in July, continuing an upward trend from previous months. Despite these challenges, provinces such as Alberta, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island witnessed job growth, whereas Manitoba and Saskatchewan faced job losses.


The Challenge of Low Job Switching Rates

On the other hand, there is also a low job-changing rate, “The job-switching rate reflects the proportion of workers who remained employed from one month to the next but who changed jobs in-between. It’s a barometer for the health of the labour market.” 

What’s concerning is that the job-switching rate remained at a record low of 0.4% in July. This means that fewer people are changing jobs, which might be because they’re less sure about finding new ones.

“In July, the seasonally adjusted job-changing rate was 0.4 percent, according to Statistics Canada’s labour force survey data. It’s the lowest number recorded since September 2020 and currently lies below the pre-pandemic average from 2016 to 2019 of 0.7 percent.” as outlined in the article.

This disinterest to switch jobs could be attributed to higher interest rates and reduced hiring by employers. All these factors make it more challenging for people to find new opportunities in Canada.

Despite these challenges, Canada’s job market remains strong in some areas, with specific industries and provinces experiencing growth. Nevertheless, the low job-switching rate raises concerns about the overall health of the job market. And also its potential impact on wages and job prospects for individuals.


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