8.2% unemployment rate

+0.1% from previous month
-5.5% from previous year

Compare with provinces

18,559,200 jobs

-0.4% from previous month
+12.9% from previous year

Trends by age, sex and industry

According to the Statistic Canada Labour Force survey, the country lost 68,000 jobs in May. Almost 80% (54,000) of the lost jobs are in part-time work.

 

Monthly unemployment rate (%) in Canada

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 pts to 8.2% as the number of people looking for work or on temporary layoff was little changed. This can be explained by a larger number of people dropping off the labour force (-56,000) and a high number of discouraged job seekers.

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

According to Statistic Canada, the employment in May was little change for men aged 55 and older but fell -1% among women of the same age group. Employment among returning student is almost 16% lower than in May 2019.

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

Monthly employment (thousands) 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]

The decline in employment was most felt in Manufacturing (-36,000), retail trade (-29,000), other services - personal care, service to individual, reparation- (-24,000) and construction (-16,000).

Alberta is driving the growth in the natural resources sector with an increase of 8,600 jobs, and transportation and warehousing added an extra 22,000 jobs to partly offset the jobs lost.

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May 2021 highlights

For definitions and full report, please visit the Statistics Canada website.

According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force survey, the country lost 68,000 jobs in May. Almost 80% of the lost jobs are in part-time work and Ontario and Nova Scotia accounted for most of the overall employment decline. Employment increased in Saskatchewan, while there was little change in all other provinces.

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 pts to 8.2% as the number of people looking for work or on temporary layoff was little changed. This can be explained by a larger number of people dropping off the labour force (-56,000) and a high number of discouraged job searchers. If the people who wanted work, but did not look for work, were included among the unemployed, the adjusted unemployment rate in May would have been 10.7%.

The decline in employment was most felt in Manufacturing (-36,000), Retail Trade (-29,000), Other Services — personal care, service to individual, reparation — (-24,000) and Construction (-16,000).

Alberta is driving the growth in the Natural Resources sector with an increase of 8,600 jobs and Transportation and Warehousing added an extra 22,000 jobs to partly offset the job lost.

The country is still 3% below pre-pandemic employment levels in February 2020.

Where to find talent

With more people dropping off the workforce because of health issues, discouragement, early retirement or because they can’t find a job at a decent salary, it makes for a competitive labour market, especially for entry level positions. But there are opportunities in the market to find talent.

Among the people working part-time, almost ¼ want full-time work. Promote your full-time positions and highlight stability or guaranteed hours. Men aged between 25 to 54 is a good demographic to target since over 40% of those working part-time are looking for full-time work.

The unemployment rate is higher in population groups designated as visible minorities (11.4%) and is particularly high among Filipino (+3.7 percentage points to 10.0%), Chinese (+2.9 percentage points to 12.3%) and South Asian Canadians (+1.6 percentage points to 10.8%). Targeting visible minorities is a good way to find pockets of talent that are under utilized. As well, reaching out to community partners, immigrant resources center or joining ethnocultural communities or groups on social media are good ways to promote your positions.

Student unemployment is almost 10% higher than it was in May 2019. Jobs lost in Retail, Accommodation and Food Services and Information, Culture and Recreation — where student employment is concentrated — explains this high unemployment rate. On the bright side, it means that students are available for work and organisations should consider hiring students to fill entry level positions until other pool of workers re-enter the labour force.

Finally, tap into the discouraged searchers and people who wanted work, but did not look for work, by targeting passive job seekers. Use tools to do resume mining or reach out directly to potential candidates on social media.

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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