Unemployment Rises As Canada Jobs Increase In Construction And Tech

Unemployment Rises As Canada Jobs Increase In Construction And Tech
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Statistics Canada says the country’s job gains in construction, information, culture and recreation in October were offset by losses in wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing as the unemployment rate nudged up 0.2 percentage points to 5.7 per cent.

That’s the fourth monthly increase in the unemployment rate in the past six months.

“In construction, employment increased by 23,000 jobs, up 1.5 per cent in October, more than offsetting a decline of 18,000, or 1.1 per cent in September,” notes Statistics Canada.

“Employment in information, culture, and recreation rose by 21,000, up 2.5 per cent in October, partly offsetting decreases in September, with losses of 12,000 jobs, and July with a loss of 16,000 positions.

“On a year-over-year basis, employment in this industry, which includes telecommunications carriers, broadcasting providers, and amusement and recreation, was up by 7.8 per cent, or 61,000 jobs, in October, outpacing growth across all industries.”

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In the wholesale and retail sector, employment declined by 22,000 or 0.7 per cent in October, the first decline since the same month last year.

Despite the slight increase in Canada’s unemployment rate that month, the number of people holding down jobs actually increased in October as employment rose a bit, by 0.1 per cent or 18,000 jobs.

But the employment rate, defined in the Labour Force Survey as the proportion of the working-age population that is employed, actually fell during that month as Canada added another 85,000 people aged 15 and older.

The biggest improvement in the employment picture in October was for men aged 55 and older. Another 31,000 of them landed jobs that month, the first increase for this group since April.

Women aged 25 to 54 years old also saw a boost to their employment prospects in October as 28,000 more of them landed full-time jobs, many of them moving to full-time from part-time work. There was a drop of 24,000 part-time jobs for women in that age group that month.

Among younger workers, teenaged boys and young men landed 14,000 more jobs, most of them part-time, but teenaged girls and young women that age saw a loss of 19,000 jobs, most of them in full-time work.

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, And New Brunswick Added Jobs In October

Across the country, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick all saw employment gains in October while Quebec suffered job losses and there was little change in the other provinces.

“Employment increased by 38,000, up 1.5 per cent, in Alberta in October, offsetting the decline in September,” notes Statistics Canada in its latest Labour Force Survey.

“The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.8 per cent. In the 12 months to October, employment in the province rose by 92,000, up 3.8 per cent, with sizable gains in healthcare and social assistance, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and natural resources.”

Saskatchewan added 9,100 jobs, up 1.5 per cent, in October, the second consecutive monthly increase, and its unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 4.4 per cent.

“Employment increased in Nova Scotia, up 8,200 jobs or 1.7 per cent, and New Brunswick added 2,400 jobs, up 0.6 per cent in October,” noted Canada’s statistical and demographic services agency.

Both of these Atlantic Canadian provinces had unemployment rates of 6.6 per cent in October.

“In Quebec, employment fell by 22,000, down 0.5 per cent, in October, after increasing by 39,000 jobs in September,” notes Statistics Canada.

“From January to August 2023, employment in the province varied little.”

Ontario, Canada’s biggest province, saw little change in October for the fourth consecutive month. The employment rate in October was 61.4 per cent, down 0.3 percentage points from September and 0.9 percentage points from the recent high of 62.3 per cent in April 2023.”

One In Three Canadian Workers Is Struggling To Pay For Housing, Food, Clothing And Transportation

Although inflation seems to be coming under control in Canada, with the inflation rate down from its peak of 8.1 per cent in June last year to 3.8 per cent in September this year, many Canadians now report that they are struggling with the higher cost of essential goods and services, reports Statistics Canada.

“In September, for example, increases in the cost of shelter of six per cent and food, up 5.9 per cent, outpaced annual wage growth at five per cent,” reports Statistics Canada.

One out of every three Canadians aged 15 and older was living in a household that had found it difficult or very difficult to meet its financial needs in terms of transportation, housing, food, clothing and other necessary expenses over the previous four weeks, reports Statistics Canada.

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“Nearly half, 48.7 per cent, of those living in lone-parent families in which the parent was employed reported difficulties meeting their financial needs,” notes Statistics Canada. “The proportion increased to almost seven in 10, or 69.8 per cent, among lone-parent families in which the parent was not employed.”

Immigrants seemed particularly vulnerable to these inflationary pressures.

“Among immigrants who had landed in the previous 10 years, 44.7 per cent lived in a household that found it difficult or very difficult to meet its financial needs, compared with 30.8 per cent for people born in Canada,” reports Statistics Canada.

“Among the largest racialized population groups, South Asian … and Black …. Canadians were more likely to be in a household experiencing difficulties meeting its financial needs. The proportion was lower for Chinese Canadians.”

Employers Can Fill Vacant Jobs Through Canada’s Immigration Programs

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.