5.0% unemployment rate

No change from previous month
-0.4% from previous year

Compare with provinces

20,054,100 jobs

+0.1% from previous month
+2.1% from previous year

Trends by age, sex and industry

Minor increase in employment of 0.1% (+22,000) in February. Unemployment remained the same at 5.0%.

Monthly unemployment rate (%) in Canada and the provinces

In February, we saw employment increases in 4 provinces, and a decrease in one. All other provinces held steady this month.

We saw the largest increase in Prince Edward Island with an increase of 2%, followed closely by Newfoundland and Labrador with an increase of 1.6%. New Brunswick also saw an increase of 1.3% and Manitoba was the last province seeing an increase with 0.7%.

Nova Scotia saw a decline of 0.9% or 4700.

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Monthly employment in Canada by age group, full-time and part-time

Employment among workers 15 to 24 saw an increase of 0.5% in February.

Employment among workers 25 to 54 saw no change.

Employment among workers 55 and over rose by 0.3%.

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Monthly employment in Canada by sex, full-time and part-time

In February, men ages 55 to 64 held steady at 70.3% employment, only narrowly below the highest since 1981 (70.5%). Women of the same age saw an increase of 1.9%, bringing employment numbers to the highest on record of 60.8%. Both men and women of the core-age group (25-54 years old) saw a decrease of 0.2 percentage points this past month. Youth employment saw minimal changes.

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Monthly employment in Canada by industry


Resources and goods: Agriculture [NAICS 111-112, 1100, 1151-1152], Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas [21, 113-114, 1153, 2100], Utilities [22], Construction [23], Manufacturing [31-33]
Transportation and warehousing: NAICS 48-49
Customer services: Accommodation and food services [72], Other services [81], Wholesale and retail trade [41, 44-45]
Professional services: Business, building and other support services [55-56], Educational services [61], Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing [52-53], Health care and social assistance [62], Information, culture and recreation [51, 71], Professional, scientific and technical services [54], Public administration [91]

Continuing the trend set last month, the number of people employed in health care and social assistance increased by 0.6%. Public administration also saw an increase of 0.9%.

The employment numbers for business, building and other support services did see a drop in February, by 1.5%.

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This Month in the Labour Market

Every month, Adecco Canada interprets the data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. Here’s what happened in February 2023:

Employment rises by 0.1%

The employment rate rose 0.1% this month.

The unemployment rate holds at 5.0%

Continuing to hold steady, the unemployment rate remains at 5.0%

Gender Pay Gap

Despite the increased number of women entering or re-entering the workforce, we still see a deficit for women in the workplace, with the average wage being $30.67 for women and $35.63 for men. While the gap has slowly decreased over time, the evidence does suggest that it is still present in the current labour force.

Employment rises long-term for women

In honour of International Women’s Day, a deeper dive was performed into more data regarding women in the workplace. As of this month, 58.9% of women over the age of 15 were employed, which is only 3 percentage points lower than the all-time high set back in October 2007. 61% of all employment growth in the last 6 months can be attributed to women. Finally, women represent 47.8% of total employment, a stark increase from 36.9% recorded when data first became available.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Industry Growth

Considered an important driver of overall employment, accounting for 35.6% of net growth over the last 3 years, growth in the professional, scientific and technical services industry appears to be holding steady. Outpacing all other industries by 2.1%, this industry saw an increase of 4.7% for February in a year-over-year basis. Additionally, this industry also saw the largest average rate increase of 9.6%.

Key takeaways

Don’t have time to read the full report? No problem! We’ve summarized the key takeaways from this month below:

  • Employment increased by +0.1%.
  • For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate stable at 5% remaining near record low observed last June.
  • Employment increased for those aged 55-64 by +0.7%. Women experienced the most significant increase in this age group with a change of +1.9% over last month.
  • Private sector employment experienced a growth of +0.3%.
  • Provinces with largest increase where New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
  • The province with the largest downturn was Nova Scotia with a -0.9%.
  • Total hours worked rose by 0.6% in February with a 1.4% change YoY
  • Health Care and Social Assistance sector increased by +0.6% but still holding a high vacancy rate. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services holds steady after strong growth in 2022
  • Women employment rose +0.8% in the six months to February

Statistics Canada. (2022). Table 14-10-0287-01 Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last 5 months [Data table]. https://doi.org/10.25318/1410028701-eng

Statistics Canada. (2022). Table 14-10-0355-01 Employment by industry, monthly, seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, and trend-cycle, last 5 months (x 1,000) [Data table]. https://doi.org/10.25318/1410035501-eng

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