November unemployment rate lowest in nearly a decade: Statistics Canada

Stephen Smith, Eman Katem
Published: December 1, 2017

Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly a decade in November, Statistics Canada's new Labour Force Survey reports.

Canada's unemployment rate in November was 5.9 per cent. The last time it was that low was in February 2008.

The numbers show employment increased for the second month in a row in November, with the addition of 80,000 new jobs across Canada. The vast majority of those new jobs were full-time.

Looking back over the previous 12 months, Canada gained 390,000 full-time jobs, an increase of 2.1 per cent.

The demographic groups that benefitted most from the employment increase were men in the 25 to 54 core-aged group, youths aged 15 to 24 and women aged 55 and older.

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Ontario posts highest gains

The Canadian provinces that saw a rise in employment in November were Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Canada’s other provinces saw little change in their employment rates.

Ontario led the pack with 44,000 new jobs created in November, mostly in the wholesale and retail trades along with manufacturing. As a result, Ontario’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 per cent, the lowest it’s been since 2000.

Statistics Canada reports that Ontario has seen a downward trend in its unemployment rate since the start of 2016, with year-over-year employment gains totalling 181,000, or 2.6 per cent, all of it full-time work.

British Columbia placed second in November, gaining 18,000 jobs, most of them full-time. At 4.8 per cent, B.C.'s unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada for November.

Quebec added 16,000 jobs in November, growing its employment rate for the second consecutive month. Most of those jobs were created in manufacturing and construction. The unemployment rate in Quebec for November stood at 5.4 per cent, lowest recorded since January 1976.

Most job gains in wholesale, retail

Of the 80,000 jobs created in November, 39,000 were created in the wholesale and retail sector, which has seen a 3 per cent increase in employment over the previous 12 months.

Manufacturing jobs were also on the rise, with 30,000 created in November. Statistics Canada says this trend has been consistent over 2017.

The educational services sector gained 21,000 jobs in November, along with 16,000 construction jobs.

The November Labour Force Survey follows on the heels on the latest data from Canada's 2016 census, which showed that immigrants constituted nearly 25 per cent of the Canadian workforce in 2016. Looked at regionally, the census data showed that immigrants constituted half of all workers in Toronto, Ontario — Canada's largest city — and 43.2 per cent of workers in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2016.

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