5.7% unemployment rate

-0.1% from the previous month
+0.7% from the previous year

Compare with provinces

20,362,200 jobs

+0.2% from the previous month
+1.7% from the previous year

Trends by age, sex and industry

Employment increased +37,000 individuals, following three months of little change, as population growth (+0.4%) outpaced employment growth (+0.2%).

Monthly unemployment rate (%) in Canada and the provinces

The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.7% in January 2024. The first decline in the unemployment rate since December 2022. Following months of little change, the unemployment rate in Manitoba was the lowest among the provinces at 4.0%, followed by Quebec at 4.5% and Saskatchewan at 4.7%.

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

Employment for core-aged adults declines as employment held steady while the population rose. Employment for the younger group of individuals aged 15-24 increases by +0.3% and the 55-years and older group increases by +0.6%.

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

Employment rate of young women aged 15-24, fell 0.7 percentage points to 56.0%. This is seen in the steady decline since May 2023, as the female youth employment rate has remained below the pre-COVID-19 pandemic average of 59.9%.

Employment among young men held steady at 56.0% in January as the monthly employment increased 1.0% (+14,000).

Male employment increase significantly for men 55 years and older by +0.7% (17,000), while women aged 55 years and older noticed little change.

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Employment change (%) by industry (NAICS) in Canada

Employment gains were led by the wholesale and retail trade by +1.1% (31,000), followed by finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing by +2.1% (+28,000), transportation and warehouse by +1.9% (+20,000) and education services by +1.8% (+28,000). These increases were partially offset by the declines in professional, scientific and technical services -0.9% (-17,000) and was followed by information, culture and recreation -1.5% (-13,000).

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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 January:

Employment rate declines for the fourth consecutive month

In January, following three months of little change, employment rose 37,000. Despite a population increase by 126,000 in the month, the employment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 61.6%. 

Unemployment falls for the first time in months

As the population continues to grow at a fast pace, the unemployment rate falls 0.1 percentage point in January 2024, the first decline in unemployment rates since December 2022. The upward trend in unemployment was observed through most of 2023, rising from 5.1% in April to 5.8% in December.

Upward trend in employment for Ontario

As the year begins, employment increased in Ontario (+0.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.2%), Manitoba (+1.0%), Nova Scotia (+0.7%), but declined in Saskatchewan (-1.0%) with little change in other provinces. Quebec saw little change in employment, holding steady at 4.5%. The little change comes from the increase in population by 1.9%.

Growth in services-producing sector; decline in professional services

In January, the wholesale and retail trade sector experience an increase in employment, adding 31,000 jobs (1.1%) for the first time since June 2023. The finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sector also saw a positive trend with an increase of 28,000 jobs in January.

On the other hand, the professional, scientific and technical services industry faced challenges with a notable reduction of 17,000 jobs in January. This decline followed previous gains from December 2023, during which the industry experienced an increase of 46,000 jobs.

2024 Labour market trends among Canada’s Black population

In January, Black Canadians made up 4.4% of the Canada’s labour force, with Ontario (5.6%) leading the highest proportion, followed by Quebec (5.4%). However, Black Canadian’s continue to face barriers, including lower employment and lower wages. Employment rates of core working age Black Canadians was 77.7%, down from 79.8% in the last year. In previous years, the average hourly wage for core-aged Black Canadians was $30.83, compared to $36.27 for the total population.

Don’t have time for a long reading? We’ve summarized the key takeaways from this month:

  • Employment increased by 37,000 in January, following three months of little change. The employment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 61.6%, as population growth (+0.4%) outpaced employment growth (+0.2%).
  • The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.7%, the first decline since December 2022.
  • The provinces that experienced growth were Ontario by +0.3% (+24,000), Newfoundland and Labrador by +3.2% (+7,500), Manitoba by +1.0% (6,900) and Nova Scotia by 0.7% (+3,700).
  • Other provinces saw little change to no change except for Saskatchewan which fell by -1.0% (-6,200).
  • Employment rose across several industries in the services-producing sector, led by wholesale and retail trade +1.1% (+31,000), as well as finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing by +2.1% (+28,000).
  • However, accommodation and food services saw the largest drop by -2.7% (-30,000) and was followed by agriculture (-18,300) and manufacturing (-17,700)
  • Total worked hours increased by +1.1% from one year earlier and were up 0.6% in the month.
  • Average hourly wages were up by +5.3% (+$1.74 to $34.75) in January, following an increase of 5.4% in December 2023.
References

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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