Canada Unemployment Holds Steady To Consolidate First Quarter Gains

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Canada Unemployment Holds Steady To Consolidate First Quarter Gains

Canada’s unemployment held steady at 5.8 per cent in March, to consolidate a first quarter of 2019 when employment rose by 116,000 jobs.

Employment has now increased by 332,000 jobs in the last year, as Statistics Canada jobs data remained positive.

Among the provinces, Saskatchewan saw the biggest gains, with unemployment dropping from 5.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent – the lowest since 2015.


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Demographically, the 55 and over age-group saw the biggest gains, adding 29,000 jobs with an unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent.

Employment for women aged 25 to 54, meanwhile, fell by 48,000, with unemployment up to 4.7 per cent. Men of the same age saw little change in March, with an unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent.


What Are The Labour Force Survey Highlights?

Unemployment rate (%) 5.8
Employment rate (%) 61.9
Labour force participation rate (%) 65.7
Number unemployed 1,157,200
Number working 18,922,600
Youth (15-24) unemployment rate (%) 10.7
Men (over 25) unemployment rate (%) 5.2
Women (over 25) unemployment rate (%) 4.7

Source: Statistics Canada


Jobs Data In The Provinces

Saskatchewan saw employment growth of 3,900 in March to record its lowest unemployment since August 2015. The province has added 9,300 jobs in the last year, growth of 1.6 per cent.

New Brunswick also saw healthy gains, adding 3,100 jobs in March with a 0.6 percentage point decline in unemployment to 8.9 per cent.

Prince Edward Island, meanwhile, added 2,000 jobs as unemployment fell 1.4 percentage points to 8.9 per cent.

While unemployment rose in Ontario to 5.9 per cent, both Quebec (5.2 per cent) and Alberta (6.9 per cent) saw decreases.

British Columbia maintained the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces, despite seeing the rate increase to 4.7 per cent. The western province has added 79,000 jobs in the last year.


Which Canadian Province Has the Lowest Unemployment?

Jobs change March Unemployment rate (%)
1) British Columbia 7,900 4.7
2) Saskatchewan 3,900 4.9
3) Manitoba 200 5.0
4) Quebec -12,900 5.2
5) Ontario -8,800 5.9
6) Nova Scotia 0 6.2
7) Alberta -1,800 6.9
8) New Brunswick 3,100 7.9
9) Prince Edward Island 2,000 8.9
10) Newfoundland & Labrador -800 11.5
CANADA -7,200 5.8

Source: Statistics Canada


Canada Jobs By Industry

Looking at the data by industry, employment gains of 13,000 were seen in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing in March, led by British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta.

The industry has now added 22,000 jobs in the last year, an increase of 1.9 per cent.

Public administration also saw a third consecutive month of increases, adding 9,600 jobs in March, mainly in British Columbia and Alberta. The industry has now added 34,000 jobs in the last year, growth of 3.5 per cent.


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Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.