Employment Rate In Canada Fell Again In February

More Lower-Level And Professional Jobs Taken By Canada Immigrants
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The latest data from Statistics Canada reveals Canada’s employment rate nudged down a tenth of a percentage point in February as population growth continued to outstrip the increase in the number of people finding employment.

In its Labour Force Survey, February 2024, the statistical and demographic services agency indicates that employment rose by 41,000 that month but the Canadian population grew by three-tenths of a percentage point, driving down the employment rate to 61.5 per cent.

“The employment rate, the proportion of the population aged 15 and older who are employed, fell by 0.1 percentage points to 61.5 per cent in February,” reports Statistics Canada.

“This was the fifth consecutive monthly decline, the longest period of consecutive decreases since the six-month period ending in April 2009.

During the past year, the Canadian employment rate has fallen 0.9 percentage points from its peak of 62.4 per cent in February last year.

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“This downward trend is associated with rapid population growth, which has outpaced employment growth in the past year,” notes Statistics Canada.

Across the country, employment increased in Alberta, up 17,000 or 0.7 per cent, and Nova Scotia, up 6,300 or 1.2 per cent, while it declined in Manitoba, down 5,300 or 0.7 per cent.

There was little change in the other provinces.

February’s employment growth was largely driven by a 71,000 boost in the number of full-time jobs. In the past year, the number of people holding down full-time jobs has grown by 260,000 while the number of people with part-time work has increased by 108,000.

“Employment increased by 38,000, up 1.5 per cent, among self-employed workers in February, the first monthly increase since August 2023,” reports Statistics Canada.

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When compiling statistics, Ottawa considers those aged 25 to 54 years old to be “core-aged”, meaning that age group is the most likely be gainfully employed and productive.

Among those who were core-aged in February, women did almost twice as well as the men at landing jobs.

“In February, employment rose among core-aged … women, up 45,000 or 0.7 per cent, and men, up 23,000 or 0.3 per cent, following little change for both groups the previous month,” reports Statistics Canada. “For core-aged women, this was the first increase in employment since September 2023.”

Women accounted for 47.3 per cent of the Canadian labour force in February with 9.7 million of them employed.

Canadian Women’s Employment Rate Still Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

“The employment rate of women aged 25 to 54 was 81.4 per cent in February, below the record high of 82 per cent reached in January 2023 and March 2023, but above the pre-pandemic average of 79.3 per cent recorded from 2017 to 2019,” reports Statistics Canada.

Across industry sectors, employment in accommodation and food services grew by 26,000, up 2.4 per cent, following a decline of 30,000 … in January. On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry was little changed in February, and remained below its pre-pandemic level,” notes Statistics Canada.

“In February 2024, employment in accommodation and food services was down 7.9 per cent … compared with the 2017 to 2019 average.”

Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services rose by 18,000 in February, and employment also increased by 11,000 in “other services”, a category which includes personal and repair services.

Educational services shed 17,000 jobs, manufacturing cut back on 14,000, business, building, and other support services slashed 13,000 jobs and the number of people employed in agriculture fell by 6,000.

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.