The Statistics Canada Report states that Canada’s overall unemployment rate in September 2023 stood at 5.5%.
The unemployment rate is a measure of the percentage of the labor force that’s currently unemployed and actively seeking employment. A rate of 5.5% means that, on average, 5.5 out of every 100 people in the labor force are currently looking for work.
But the unemployment rate increased in the three biggest provinces: Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, which together make up more than 75% of the country’s population.
Unemployment by Province:
Unemployment Rate by Province in September 2023
- Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest unemployment rate at 9.7%.
- British Columbia and Quebec saw small increases in their unemployment rates, with 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.
- Ontario, with its largest population, had a 6% unemployment rate, up by 0.1% from August.
Unemployment Challenges for Specific Communities
Beyond the provincial statistics, it’s crucial to understand the challenges faced by specific communities within Canada.
South Asian Canadians (25-54 age group):
In September 2023, the unemployment rate for South Asian Canadians in the core age group was 6.4%, up from 6.2% in September 2022.
South Asian women’s unemployment rate rose by 2.1 percentage points to 8.2% during the same period, contributing significantly to the overall increase.
Black Canadians (25-54 age group):
Black Canadians in the same age group had an unemployment rate of 7.9% in September 2023, which was 1.1% points higher than the previous year.
Most of this increase was attributed to a 2.5 percentage point rise in unemployment among Black women, reaching 9.4% in the 12 months leading up to September.
- Specific communities, including South Asian and Black Canadians, experienced challenges with higher unemployment rates.
- South Asian women and Black women faced significant increases in unemployment.
A Closer Look at Overall Employment Growth
In September 2023, employment in Canada saw positive growth after an increase of 40,000 jobs (0.2%) in August. Here are some vital statistics to consider:
- The total number of jobs increased by 64,000, a 0.3% upswing, providing an encouraging sign of economic recovery.
- The employment rate, which measures the percentage of individuals aged 15 and older who are employed, increased by 0.1 percentage point to reach 62.0%, counteracting the slight dip in the previous month.
Impact of Immigration
Strategic Immigration Policies
The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced category-based selection draws to the Express Entry system. These draws prioritize candidates with professional experience in sectors with high demand.
The shift toward focusing on professional qualifications over the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is seen as a game-changer. It allows skilled professionals to immigrate to Canada more efficiently, matching their expertise with the labor market’s needs.
We’ll examine which industries saw employment gains and which ones faced setbacks in September 2023.
Employment Changes in Key Industries
|Industry||Employment Change (September 2023)|
|Educational Services||+66,000 positions|
|Transportation & Warehousing||+19,000 positions|
|Finance, Construction, Information||Experienced contractions in employment|
- The education sector added a substantial 66,000 jobs in September, which compensated for the 44,000-job dip in August. This industry is making strides in employment opportunities.
- The transportation and warehousing sector also saw positive growth, with an increase of 19,000 positions in September. These gains have been consistent, with a total growth of 82,000 positions since January.
- On the flip side, the finance, construction, and information sectors experienced contractions in employment. Finance and insurance lost 20,000 positions, construction saw a decline of 18,000 jobs, and information, culture, and recreation sectors lost 12,000 positions.
While Canada’s overall unemployment rate remained steady at 5.5%, some provinces experienced fluctuations, with Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia seeing minor increases.
Additionally, specific communities faced challenges, particularly South Asian and Black Canadians in the core age group. Despite these challenges, the overall employment rate saw a slight increase, indicating a resilient job market in the face of these fluctuations.