Canadian Employment Trends: The October Edition
In October 2023, Canada saw an increase in employment, with a total of 20,288,000 individuals gaining employment.
From January 2023 onwards, the monthly average employment growth has stood at 28,000, while the population growth of individuals aged 15 and older participating in the labour force survey has averaged 81,000 per month. In October, the employment rate declined to 61.9%, a decrease from the peak of 62.5% observed in January 2023, yet it showed minimal change from October 2022. The employment rate has fluctuated within the range of 61.9% to 62.0% since July 2023.
The unemployment rate saw a 0.2 percentage point rise, reaching 5.7% in October, marking the fourth increase in the past six months. Since April, the rate has climbed by 0.7 percentage points, following a period of stability at a near-record low of 5.0% from December 2022 to April 2023.
Employment Gains by Industry
In October, there was a notable increase in employment within the construction sector by 23,000, effectively reversing the previous month's decline of 18,000 in September. However, despite this increase, employment levels in this industry remained relatively stable in October compared to the same month in 2022, showing a decrease of 32,000 (-2.0%) from the peak recorded in January 2023.
Employment within the information, culture, and recreation sector experienced a notable increase of 21,000, partially mitigating declines observed in both September (-12,000) and July (-16,000). On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry, encompassing telecommunications carriers, broadcasting providers, and amusement and recreation, saw a robust growth of 7.8% in October, surpassing the overall industry growth rate of 2.5%. The sector's employment began an upward trajectory in the fall of 2022 and reached a record-high level in May 2023.
Within the wholesale and retail trade sector, there was a decline in employment by 22,000in October, marking the first decrease since October 2022. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry increased by 49,000.
In the manufacturing sector, employment experienced a decrease of 19,000 in October 2023, remaining relatively stable on a year-over-year basis.
Employment in health care and social assistance showed little change in October for the third consecutive month. On a year-over-year scale, employment in this industry expanded by 60,000, aligning closely with the average growth pace across all industries.
Growth Led by Provinces and Territories
In October, Alberta witnessed a rise in employment by 38,000, effectively counterbalancing the decline observed in September. The unemployment rate remained relatively stable at 5.8%. Over the 12 months leading up to October, employment in the province experienced a notable increase of 92,000, with substantial gains observed in sectors such as health care and social assistance, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and natural resources.
In Saskatchewan, employment saw a rise of 9,100 in October, marking the second consecutive monthly increase. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 4.4%, while the employment rate increased by 0.8 percentage points to reach 64.5%.
In October, both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick experienced employment growth, with increases of 8,200 and 2,400 jobs, respectively. The unemployment rate remained relatively stable at 6.6% in Nova Scotia, while it decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 6.6% in New Brunswick.