Drop In Canada Employment Rate In January Due To Population Rise

Drop In Canada Employment Rate In January Due To Population Rise
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Statistics Canada figures show the employment rate slipped in Canada in January despite 37,000 people landing jobs because the country’s population grew twice as fast as the number of the employed.

“The Canadian job market is witnessing a mix of subdued hiring activity, influenced by weaker demand, and a robust increase in labour supply, driven by high levels of international migration,” notes the Conference Board of Canada.

“This dynamic has led to a more balanced job market. However, the past year has been particularly challenging for young workers, with a marked decrease in participation rates and a significant increase in unemployment among those aged 15 to 24.

“This trend is more pronounced in certain racialized groups, such as Black Canadian youth, who have seen a 4.4 percentage point rise in unemployment in 2023.”

In its Labour Force Survey, January 2024, the statistical and demographic services agency notes Black people continue to face barriers in the workplace, including lower employment rates and lower wages.

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“The employment rate of Black Canadians in the core working age was 77.7 per cent in January 2024, down from 79.8 per cent a year earlier. In comparison, the employment rate for the overall core-aged population in January fell from 84.8 per cent to 84.3 per cent over that same period,” notes Statistics Canada.”

Black Canadians still earn less than the Canadian average but the wage gap is narrowing.

“In 2023, the average hourly wage for core-aged Black Canadians was $30.83, compared with $36.27 for the total population. From 2022 to 2023, the average hourly wage for core-aged Black Canadians rose by 5.3 per cent, while for the total population it rose by five per cent.”

In January, the provinces of Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Nova Scotia all saw increases in the number of their residents holding down paying jobs.

Ontario saw employment growth of 0.3 per cent, Newfoundland and Labrador of 3.2 per cent, Manitoba of one per cent and Nova Scotia of 0.7 per cent.

There was a drop of employment of one per cent in Saskatchewan.

“There were employment gains spread across several industries in the services-producing sector, led by wholesale and retail trade, up 31,000 or 1.1 per cent, as well as finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, up 28,000 or 2.1 per cent,” notes Statistics Canada.

Wholesale And Retail Trade Among Sectors To Add Jobs

“There were declines in other industries, led by accommodation and food services which shed 30,000 jobs, down 2.7 per cent.

Total hours worked in January rose 1.1 per cent from one year earlier and were up 0.6 per cent for the month. Average hourly wages among employees rose 5.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January, up $1.74 to $34.75, following an increase of 5.4 per cent in December 2023.

The employment rate, defined as the proportion of the working-age population that is employed, fell to for the fourth consecutive month in January to 61.6 per cent as the population aged 15 and older in the Labour Force Survey grew by 126,000 that month.

“On a year-over-year basis, employment rose by 345,000, up 1.7 per cent, while the working-age population, driven by permanent and temporary immigration, rose by one million, or 3.1 per cent, pushing the employment rate down 0.8 percentage points,” notes Statistics Canada.

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Canadian employers hoping to attract workers through economic immigration can recruit them through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the TFWP, can under normal processing situations 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.

It powers the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST), and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC) which all draw from the Express Entry pool of candidates. Those with the required Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores are then sent Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in regular draws.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also 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.