- Canadian employment remained steady in February with an increase of 22,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.0%.
- The healthcare and social assistance sector saw job growth for the second consecutive month in February, while business, building, and other support services saw a decline in employment.
- Employment for women aged 55 to 64 reached a record high, with an increase of 30,000 jobs or 1.9% in February.
According to the latest Labour Force Survey released by Statistics Canada, Canadian employment held steady in February with an increase of 22,000 jobs or 0.1% over the previous month. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.0%. The report indicates that the number of employed persons in Canada increased by 1.8% (348,000 people) in February 2023, compared to August 2022.
Employment by Industry:
The healthcare and social assistance sector saw job growth for the second consecutive month in February, with an increase of 15,000 jobs or 0.6%. This followed a gain of 40,000 jobs or 1.5% in January. The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey indicates that job vacancies in this industry remained high, despite moderating in other industries. On a year-over-year basis, employment in health care and social assistance rose by 44,000 jobs or 1.7%.
Public administration saw an increase in employment in February, with an additional 10,000 jobs or 0.9% over the previous month. The gain was mostly concentrated in Ontario and New Brunswick. Employment in public administration rose by 85,000 jobs or 7.7% on a year-over-year basis.
Business, building, and other support services saw a decline in employment of 11,000 jobs or 1.5% in February, marking the first notable decline since October 2021. The decline was mostly concentrated in Ontario. The number of people employed in this industry remained on par with the level seen 12 months earlier.
Wholesale and retail trade saw little change in employment in February, following a notable increase of 59,000 jobs or 2.0% in January. Employment in the industry was 89,000 jobs or 2.9% below the recent high reached in May 2022. The construction industry also saw little change in employment in February, following two consecutive monthly gains in December and January.
Employment by Age and Gender:
Employment remained little changed among those aged 55 and older in February, but it increased by 25,000 jobs or 0.7% among those aged 55 to 64. Employment for both men and women aged 55 to 64 has been on a strong upward trend since August 2022.
Employment for women aged 55 to 64 saw an increase of 30,000 jobs or 1.9% in February, with over 60% of women in this age group being employed, the highest proportion on record. Employment for men in this age group held steady, with an employment rate of 70.3%, which was little changed from January.
Employment by Province:
Employment increased in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, but declined in Nova Scotia. Employment remained little changed in the other provinces.
Other Key Indicators:
Total hours worked rose by 0.6% in February and were up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. Average hourly wages rose by 5.4% on a year-over-year basis in February, compared to 4.5% in January (not seasonally adjusted).
Note: N/A means “not applicable” as no specific number or percentage change was provided for Wholesale & Retail Trade and Construction.
The Canadian labor market showed resilience in February, with employment remaining steady and the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 5.0%. The report highlights the healthcare and social assistance sector as a source of job growth for the second consecutive month, while business, building, and other support services saw a decline in employment. The report also indicates that employment among those aged 55 to 64, particularly women, continues to trend upward. Furthermore, the average hourly wage saw an increase of 5.4% on a year-over-year basis in February, reflecting a positive development for Canadian workers. Overall, while there are still challenges and variations in the labor market across different industries and provinces, the steady employment figures suggest that the Canadian economy is on a path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.