December was a solid month for Canada jobs, with unemployment falling to 5.6 percent and employment increased by 35,200, according to the latest Labour Force Survey.

It ended a solid 2019 in which employment increased by 320,000 jobs, or 1.7 percent, with the unemployment rate finishing the year exactly the same as the end of 2018.

The provincial powerhouses of Ontario and Quebec both saw solid gains on employment data in December, providing a basis for the strong national figures. 


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Demographically, December consolidated solid annual employment increases for young people, men aged 25 to 54 and men aged 55 and over.

For young people, 115,000 jobs were added during the year, an increase of 4.8 percent. After dipping to 10 percent in May 2019, youth unemployment ended the year at 11.1 percent, again the same as the end of 2018.

For men aged 25 to 54, 67,000 jobs were added over the year, a 1.1 percent increase that matches population growth in the demographic. Employment for core-aged women saw little change in the last year.

Men over 55 saw an employment increase of 107,000, or 4.8 percent, with an unemployment rate of 5 percent at the end of December. Again, old women saw little change in employment over the year, with an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.


What Are The Labour Force Survey Highlights?

Unemployment rate (%) 5.6
Employment rate (%) 61.8
Labour force participation rate (%) 65.5
Number unemployed 1,142,800
Number working 19,127,400
Youth (15-24) unemployment rate (%) 11.1
Men (over 25) unemployment rate (%) 4.9
Women (over 25) unemployment rate (%) 4.6

Source: Statistics Canada


Provincial Canada Jobs Picture

Although British Columbia still leads the way with an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, important job increases were seen in Ontario and Quebec in December.

Ontario added 25,100 full-time jobs, focused in construction and public administration, for an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent at the end of the year.

Compared with December 2018, employment in Ontario increased 243,000, or 3.3 percent, the largest year-over-year increase for the month of December since 1987.

For Quebec, employment increased by 21,000 in December, with gains seen in accommodation and food services and manufacturing. Quebec’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent during the month.

Employment increased in Quebec by 63,000, or 1.5 percent, from December 2018 to December 2019, with nearly all the growth in full-time work.


Which Canadian Province Has the Lowest Unemployment?

Jobs change December Unemployment rate (%)
1) British Columbia -7,700 4.8
2) Manitoba 2,800 5.0
3=) Quebec 21,100 5.3
3=) Ontario 25,100 5.3
5) Saskatchewan -2,100 5.7
6) Alberta -1,000 7.0
7) New Brunswick 2,100 7.5
8=) Nova Scotia -1,100 7.9
8=) Prince Edward Island 1,100 7.9
10) Newfoundland & Labrador -5,000 11.8
CANADA 35,200 5.6

Source: Statistics Canada


Manitoba added 2,800 jobs in December, mainly due to part-time gains. The province saw unemployment drop from 5.6 percent to 5 percent during the month.

Prince Edward Island saw its first notable employment increase since July, adding 1,100 jobs in December, an increase of 1.1 percent, for an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.


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Canada Jobs By Industry

The accommodation and food services industry saw the biggest gains in December, adding 25,000 jobs mainly in Quebec.

Construction saw a gain of 17,000 jobs, this time concentrated mainly in British Columbia and Ontario.

There were more 57,000 more employees in the private sector in December, offsetting a decline of a similar size in November.