6.0% unemployment rate

-0.7% from previous month
-2.6% from previous year

Compare with provinces

19,316,100 jobs

+0.8% from previous month
+4.2% from previous year

Trends by age, sex and industry

Employment in Canada continues to trend upward for the sixth consecutive month. The country saw an employment increase of 154,000 (+0.8%) in November, which is 1% higher than its pre-COVID level.

 

Monthly unemployment rate (%) in Canada and the provinces

Unemployment fell 0.7 points, bringing the rate down to 6% and marking the largest drop in 9 months and bringing it only 0.3 points above its February 2020 level. Employment increased in ON, QC, AB, NL, NS and PEI. Employment in MB, SK, NB and BC was little changed (the recent flooding in BC occurred after most survey collection and did not affect the results).

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

Labour force participation was 65.3% in November. For the core-aged population, it remains at record-high numbers (88.2%) for the third month. There was a small increase (0.7 points) in the participation rate of young men (15 to 24) while other age groups remained little changed. Both full-time (+80,000; +0.5%) and part-time (+74,000; +2.1%) work increased.

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

Employment in the age group of women from 25 to 54 years increased by 1.1% (66,000). Of note, the bulk of this growth (0.9%) was in full-time work. The employment rate of core-aged women is at a record high. Employment also rose among core-aged men and women 55 and over.

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Monthly employment in Canada by industry

Legend

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]

Employment increased in the professional, scientific and technical services sector (28,000; +1.7%), transportation and warehousing sector (18,000; +1.8%), health care and social assistance sector (44,000; +1.7%), services-producing sector (+127,000) and good-producing sector (+26,000; +0.7%). A large majority of the gains from the goods-producing sector came from manufacturing. Employment also increased in the retail sector (34,000; +1.5%), which surpassed its pre-pandemic level for the first time.

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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 November 2021:

Employment rises 0.8%

Employment in Canada continues to trend upward for the sixth consecutive month. The country saw an increase of 154,000 (+0.8%) employed persons in November, which is 1% higher than its pre-COVID level.

Employment increased in six provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Employment in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and British Columbia was little changed (the recent flooding in BC occurred after most survey collection and did not affect the results).

Total hours worked rises

For the very first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, total hours worked in November matched its February 2020 level with an increase of 0.7%. Hours worked grew in the majority of industries (the leaders being manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and construction).

Having more workers back to their normal hours is a positive sign for the Canadian economy.

Record high employment rate among core-aged women

Employment in the age group of women from 25 to 54 years increased by 1.1% (66,000). Of note, the bulk of this growth (0.9%) was in full-time work.

More than 80.7% of core-aged women were employed in November, which is significant considering an employment rate that high has not been recorded since comparable data became available in 1976.

When the pandemic first struck, about 3 million people lost their jobs, especially those in industries such as hospitality, recreation, retail and personal services where women are historically over-represented. With the vaccination rate increasing and health restrictions easing in recent months, employment in such service industries has rebounded, which may be a contributing factor to bringing women 25-54 back to work.

Unemployment falls

Unemployment fell 0.7 points, bringing the rate down to 6% and marking the largest drop in 9 months. Unemployment in November is only 0.3 points away from its February 2020 level.

Notably, the number of people who had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more took a drastic dive, declining by -23.4% (56,000). This demographic hasn’t seen a decline since August when it dropped 6.7%.

This large group of people returning to work from long-term unemployment may be partially explained by the federal government ending the CRB in Canada on October 23.

Wages increase more for new employees than established employees

In November, StatsCan found that over two years (November 2019 to November 2021), average wages grew at a faster rate for new employees than established ones. New employees (with a job tenure of 3 months or less) saw an average +10.0% (+$2.09) wage increase whereas established employees (with a job tenure of 18 months or more) saw only a +6.4% (+$1.95) increase. This trend was apparent across all industries.

This trend is reflective of the pressure on employers to raise wages during the labour shortage. Many employers are taking measures to attract workers like the introduction of hourly salary increases and retention, attendance and sign-up bonuses. We are now seeing the impact of these hiring strategies in the statistics.

Key take-aways

Don’t have time to read the full report? No problem! Here are the key take-aways from this month in the labour force market:

  • Employment continues to trend upward for the sixth consecutive month (154,000; +0.8%).
  • Unemployment fell 0.7 points, marking the largest drop in 9 months.
  • The number of people who had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more took a drastic dive, declining by -23.4% (56,000).
  • Total hours worked matched its February 2020 level for the first time with an increase of 0.7%.
  • The employment rate of women from 25 to 54 reached a record high.
  • From November 2019-November 2021, average wages grew at a faster rate for new employees than established ones.
References

Statistics Canada. (2021). 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. (2021). 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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