Report Shows Canada’s Unemployment Rate At 5.8% In December

Report Shows Canada’s Unemployment Rate At 5.8% In December
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Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows Canada unemployment held steady at 5.8 percent in December.

The employment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 61.6% (the fifth decline in the last six months), as the population aged 15 and older grew by 74,000 (+0.2%).

When comparing men and women on this metric, it can be observed that core-aged men (aged 25 to 54) experienced an employment increase of 25,000 (+0.4%), while women in the same age group had virtually no change in employment for the third month in a row.

Throughout 2023, from January to December, the employment rate fell for the core-aged population, as the rate of population growth for this age group (+2.9%; +446,000) outpaced employment growth (+1.9%; +243,000).

Young women (aged 15 to 24), however, reported an increase in employment of 13,000 (1.0%), but young men had a virtually unchanged employment rate.

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Men aged 55 and older, however, had a fall in employment of 27,000 (-1.1%) in December 2023, which was the first significant decline since February 2023.

For women aged 55 and older, employment was little changed for the fourth month in a row.

While the unemployment rate was little changed in December, at 5.8%, this trend was new; the unemployment rate was on the rise during five of the last seven months. From April to November, for example, it rose by 0.8 percentage points, while in December, there was an increase of +19.3% compared with 12 months earlier.

The participation rate (which is the number of employed and unemployed people as a percentage of the 15-and-above population) fell in December to 65.4%, which was down from a recent peak of 65.7% in June. This was mostly due to the decline in the youth participation rate, which decreased by 2.1 percentage points to 63.5% over that period.

Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services increased by 46,000 (+2.4%) in December, which is after little change in the last three previous months. This was the second monthly increase in the industry in 2023, the first of those having been a rise of 52,000 in August.

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When going off a year-on-year basis, employment in this industry was up by 78,000 in December.

On the other hand, employment in wholesale and retail trade fell for the third consecutive month in December.

Provincially, British Columbia (+18,000; +0.6%), Nova Scotia (+6,300; +1.3%), Saskatchewan (+4,800; +0.8%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (+2,400; +1.0%) experienced a rise in employment in December, while Ontario (-48,000; -0.6%) experienced a decline.

In Quebec, more than a third of public sector employees working in educational services lost work hours because of a unions’ strike representing teachers, nurses, and other employees in the public sector that closed schools and disrupted certain health services.

Throughout the province, an estimated 162,000 (4.0%) employees lost work hours because they were on strike during December 2023.

Unemployment rates increased for most racialized population groups in 2023, which comprise 30.1% of the labour force, up from 28.5% in December 2022.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of 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.