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Canada Employment Landscape

January 2024 Overview

The Canadian employment landscape is constantly changing. Keep up-to-date with the most recent trends with our monthly Employment Landscape Overview. Figures and statistics sourced from Statistics Canada.

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    Employment rose slightly

    Following three months of little change, employment rose by 37,000 (+0.2%) in January 2024, driven by an increase in part-time work (+49,000; +1.3%).

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    Average hourly wages increased

    Average hourly wages among employees rose 5.3% on a year-over-year basis in January (+$1.74 to $34.75), following an increase of 5.4% in December 2023.

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    Unemployment rate dropped

    The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.7%, the first decline since December 2022.

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    Employment increased in Ontario

    Employment increased in Ontario (+24,000; +0.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+7,500; +3.2%), Manitoba (+6,900; +1.0%) and Nova Scotia (+3,700; +0.7%). It declined in Saskatchewan (-6,200; -1.0%).

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    Employment increased in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing

    There were employment gains spread across several industries in the services-producing sector, led by wholesale and retail trade (+31,000; +1.1%) as well as finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (+28,000; +2.1%). There were declines in other industries, led by accommodation and food services (-30,000; -2.7%).

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    Employment rate falls among core-aged women and men and among young women

    The employment rates of core-aged women and men (aged 25 to 54) both fell in January, as employment held steady while the population rose.

    The employment rate of core-aged women was 81.1%, down 0.3 percentage points in the month and down 0.9 percentage points from the record high of 82.0% observed in January and March 2023.

    Meanwhile, the employment rate of core-aged men fell 0.3 percentage points to 87.2% in January 2024, and was down 1.0 percentage points from the recent high of 88.2% recorded in June 2023.

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    Female youth participation rate falls to lowest point in over 20 years

    On a year-over-year basis, the labour force participation rate has fallen more steeply among youth aged 15 to 24. In January 2024, the youth labour force participation rate was down 3.0 percentage points to 62.7% compared with January 2023. In comparison, the participation rate was down 0.3 percentage points to 88.6% for the population aged 25 to 54, and was little changed at 36.8% for the population aged 55 and older.

    The participation rate of young women has followed a strong downward trend since February 2023, with a cumulative decline of 4.2 percentage points over that period.

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    Employment gains spread across the services producing sect

    Employment rose by 31,000 (+1.1%) in wholesale and retail trade in January, the first increase since June 2023. Employment in this industry had been on a downward trend from August to December 2023. On a year-over year basis, employment in wholesale and retail trade was little changed in January 2024.

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Industry Trends

Broadleaf summarizes the latest industry trends each month to keep you informed as you make decisions about the future of your business.

  • Global worker stress remains at a record high. In the U.S. and Canada, 52% of employees are reporting they experienced a lot of stress the previous day.

    Global worker stress remains at a record high. In the U.S. and Canada, 52% of employees are reporting they experienced a lot of stress the previous day.

  • A survey from ADP found that more than half of Canadian employees have negative feelings about work, and 30% feel tired and overworked.

    Approximately half of works in the U.S. and Canada are actively seeking new jobs.

    Unengaged or disengaged employees account for approximately $1.9 trillion in lost productivity nationwide.

    According to Gallup, clear expectations are critical to employee engagement. Employees need more clarity around what’s expected of them in the workplace.

  • According to a new study, the use of English or French at work can be largely explained by the characteristics of jobs and workers.

    In the Montréal CMA, one-third of workers in professional, scientific, and technical services (33.8%) and information and cultural industries (32.2%) worked primarily in English, compared with one-tenth of workers in construction (10.1%) and with 12.6% of those in health care and social assistance.

    In Montréal, home-based workers (66.7%) remained less likely than other workers (71.6%) to use French as their primary language at work, even when both groups of workers had similar characteristics.

  • The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions found that in Q3 2023, more than one in six private sector establishments that required bilingualism expected difficulties hiring bilingual employees.

    In the third quarter of 2023, 15.7% of private business establishments in Canada required bilingualism for at least one of their positions.

    English–French bilingualism is more often required by establishments in wholesale and retail trade

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