Canada Unemployment Rises For First Time In Seven Months To Hit 5.4%

Rise in 2023 LMIA Applications In Western Canada
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Canada immigration news: Unemployment rose in Canada in August to hit 5.4 per cent but immigrants still experienced a lower rate of unemployment than in any other August in the last 16 years. 

That’s good news for those eyeing Canada as a destination for permanent residence or to come here on a work permit or study permit. 

“The unemployment rate for immigrants who had arrived in Canada within the past five years was lower in August 2022, at 7.6 per cent, than in any month of August since comparable data became available in 2006,” reports Statistics Canada.

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In its  Labour Force Survey, August 2022 released today, the statistical and demographic services agency reveals the national unemployment rate rose from its historic low of 4.9 per cent last month.

“Employment declined by 40,000, down 0.2 per cent, in August, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points to 5.4 per cent,” reports Statistics Canada.

That’s the first rise in the Canadian unemployment rate in seven months.

“Employment fell in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, while it increased in Quebec,” says Statistics Canada. ‘There was little change in the other provinces.”

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The hardest hit with job losses in August were young women and teenage girls as well as seniors aged 55 to 64 years old. 

But while more people lost their jobs last month, the number of paid hours worked stayed the same and remained up 3.7 per cent over August last year, indicating the remaining employees may be putting in longer hours.

Despite the over the loss of jobs, particularly in educational services, the public sector, and construction, there were actually gains in employment in the professional, scientific, and technical services.

Many people are simply retiring from the workforce.

Boomer Retirements Opening Up Jobs For Temporary Foreign Workers

“There were 307,000 Canadians in August who had left their jobs in order to retire at some point in the last year, up from 233,000 one year earlier and from 273,000 in August 2019,” reports Statistics Canada.

Even though the number of jobs dipped last month, Canada still faces a massive labour shortage. 

Late last month, Statistics Canada noted there were still more than one million job vacancies in Canada in June, the most recent month for which figures were available.

What Are The Labour Force Survey Highlights?

Unemployment rate (%) 5.4
Employment rate (%) 61.3
Labour force participation rate (%) 64.8
Number unemployed 1,113,000
Number working 19,526,800
Youth (15-24) unemployment rate (%) 9.9
Men (over 25) unemployment rate (%) 4.6
Women (over 25) unemployment rate (%) 4.7

Source: Statistics Canada

In its Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours, and Job Vacancies, June 2022 report, Statistics Canada noted vacancies increased 3.2 per cent, up 32,200 jobs, in June, and employers in Canada were actively recruiting for 1,037,900 vacant positions for the third consecutive month.

With that critical need for workers to fill jobs going begging for a lack of qualified candidates, there is upward pressure on wages as employers try to outbid one another for the few workers available.

“The average hourly wages of employees rose 5.4 per cent, up $1.60 to $31.33, on a year-over-year basis in August, compared with 5.2 per cent in both June and July,” reports Statistics Canada. 

The paucity of people to fill available jobs is only expected to get worse as the wave of retirements by Baby Boomers continues to ripple through the labour force.

“In August, more than 1 in 10, 11.9 per cent, of permanent employees were planning to leave their job within the next 12 months, 5.5 percentage points higher than in January 2022,” reports Statistics Canada.

Unemployment Rates In Canada’s Provinces

Jobs change last month Unemployment rate (%)
British Columbia -28,100 4.8
Alberta -6,500 5.4
Saskatchewan -2,000 4.9
Manitoba -10,000 5.3
Ontario -19,200 5.7
Quebec 27,200 4.5
New Brunswick 1,900 7.6
Nova Scotia -5,200 7.6
Prince Edward Island 800 7.3
Newfoundland & Labrador 1,800 10.5
CANADA -39,700 5.4

Source: Statistics Canada

There are, fortunately for employers, 106,000 more people looking for work since June but many employers are still having trouble filling vacant positions. 

“As of June 2022, for the first time since data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey became available in 2015, there were fewer unemployed people, 989,000, than job vacancies, 1,038,000,” reports Statistics Canada. 

“This labour market tightness was reflected in the outlook of employers, as results from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions conducted during the third quarter of 2022 indicate that nearly two-fifths, or 38.7 per cent, of businesses in Canada expected that recruiting skilled employees would be an obstacle in the next three months.”

Economic Immigration Offers Hope To Foreign Nationals, Canadian Employers

Employers hoping to hire a foreign national can avail themselves of this international talent and labour through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

Under normal circumstances, the Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the (TFWP), can lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.

Employers can also bring in foreign nationals to fill available positions through the Express Entry system, which receives immigration applications online.

Applicants who meet eligibility criteria and have a job offer submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program, to the Express Entry Pool.

The candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are considered for ITAs for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees within a delay of 90 days.

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