According to the latest Labour Force Survey (November 2022) released by Statistics Canada, women between 25 and 54 years of age (considered to be of core working age) experienced a rise in employment of 0.4%.
Of particular interest, especially after Canada’s most recent Immigration Levels Plan (2023-2025) announced record-high immigration targets over the next several years, is the latest employment outcomes of recent Canadian immigrants. Among recent immigrants, core working-aged women who immigrated to Canada over the last five years saw an employment rate of 69.7% in November 2022. This represents the highest employment rate, in the month of November, for recent Canadian immigrant women of core working age in the last 16 years.
The total employment rate among core working-aged Canadians rose 0.8% year-over-year (YOY) to 84.7% in November 2022, an increase led by core-aged women. This group now has an employment rate of 81.6%, besting a previous record-high of 81.4% set in May 2022. The employment rate for core working-aged men is now up to 87.8%.
Taking a more general view of Canadian employment, November 2022 saw employment across the country grow by 10,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate in Canada dropped 0.1 points, falling to 5.1%. Canada’s employment participation rate also fell to 64.8% in November.
Despite this relatively minor employment growth, the “average hourly wages of employees remained above 5% for a sixth consecutive month in November, up to $32.11” from November of 2021. This would suggest that newcomers to this country will continue to have more opportunities to work in Canada, while also seeing increased earning potential over time.
Newcomers to Canada consider many factors when choosing where to live, including where they will be able to find the most employment opportunity. The latest Labour Force Survey shows that, across Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, different regions experienced different employment outcomes.
For instance, employment increased in Quebec but declined in five other provinces, while there was minor movement in Canada’s remaining four provinces and three territories. These outcomes are outlined below.
Quebec: Overall employment increased by 28,000 jobs, while the provincial unemployment rate “reached a new record low of 3.8%” in November 2022. Most of the reported employment gains were concentrated in Montréal, where employment rose by 1.1%.
Prince Edward Island: Employment fell by 1.7% overall, causing the unemployment rate to jump to 6.8%.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Total employment declined by 1.5%, though the unemployment rate remained relatively steady at 10.7%.
Manitoba: Employment declined by 0.8% but the provincial unemployment rate held steady at 4.4%.
Alberta: The unemployment rate rose to 5.8% as employment in the province went down 0.6%.
British Columbia: Total employment in this province declined by 0.5% in November. All losses were felt in the part-time employment sector.
Ontario: The unemployment rate throughout the province declined by 0.4 percentage points (to 5.5%).
Employment across Canada rose in the following industries: finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, manufacturing, information, culture, and recreation (ICR).
“The number of people working in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing rose by 21,000 in November” while 11.2% of employed Canadians held jobs in the retail trade industry.
Employment in the manufacturing industry rose by 1.1% across Canada in November 2022. This increase was most notable in Alberta, where industry employment rose 4.7%. Another notable employment increase in this industry was in Quebec, as the province experienced an increase of over 10,000 manufacturing jobs.
ICR industry employment jumped by 1.9% in November and 4.5% over the last year.
Conversely, total employment declined across Canada in the construction industry as well as wholesale and retail trade.
Construction industry employment across Canada has dropped 1.6% since the last Labour Force Survey in October 2022. These declines were most evident in Alberta and British Columbia. Wholesale and retail trade employment also fell in November, down 0.8% in an industry that has seen a cumulative 4.4% decline since May 2022. Most of the decline experienced by this industry occurred in Ontario and Alberta.
Employment also declined by 0.8% in Canada’s professional, scientific, and technical services industries across Canada in November 2022 and the information and communications technology sector has experienced a decline in YOY employment of 3.8%, with 34,000 fewer people employed throughout this industry compared to November 2021.
The above-outlined employment results by industry explain why Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) across this country are becoming more important in Canadian immigration. With Canada expected to continue targeting more foreign nationals through PNPs than Express Entry, it is evident that the government is trying harder to address specific labour market gaps in all Canadian regions that operate a PNP.
Industry-specific employment shifts are also the reason that Canada is expected to implement changes to Express Entry draws — the federal government’s main method for bringing foreign skilled workers to Canada through permanent residence — beginning as early as next year.
As early as Q1 2023, Canada is expected to begin conducting Express Entry draws that target foreign nationals working in specific occupations or those that have particular language skills/educational backgrounds. Canada has also recently switched from the NOC 2016 system to a new Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system with NOC 2021. This new system will allow Canada to better understand the country’s labour market, improve occupational forecasting, perform better labour supply and demand analysis, and provide both Canadians and foreign nationals with more focused job training and skill development.
These changes will ultimately aid Canada in bringing more employable immigrants with specific skills to this country to better manage specific regional job market needs, especially in industries where the need for labour is highest.
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