December 2022 Labour Force Survey: Employment across Canada rises by over 100,000 to wrap up the year

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: January 7, 2023

According to the latest Labour Force Survey (December 2022) released by Statistics Canada, employment in Canada rose 0.5 percentage points over the month (+104,000 jobs), as the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.0% (-0.1% month-over-month).

General employment trends across Canada

Many immigrants to Canada come to this country seeking a better life, which often includes higher-paying, steadier employment. The Labour Force Survey for December 2022 reveals that, across Canada, there is healthy growth in the average hourly wages of employees — which has remained above 5% for seven consecutive months and is up 5.1% year-over-year (YOY).

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In addition to the rise in average hourly wages across Canada, it is worth noting that private-sector employment is at the root of Canada’s employment boom, as the number of employees in private-sector jobs jumped by 112,000 in December. Self-employment and public-sector employment were relative non-factors over the past month.

Employment outcomes also improved for several different age groups in Canada, as the number of people aged 15 to 24 who had a job increased by 69,000 (+2.7%) while employment also increased for those 55 or older (+31,000 jobs).

Employment trends by industry

In the healthcare and social assistance industry, total employment fell by 17,000 jobs (a drop of 0.7%) over the month of December. In the same timeframe, since the last Labour Force Survey, employment has grown across Canada in each of the following seven industries.

Construction: Total employment in the construction industry across Canada rose by 35,000 jobs in December 2022, an increase of 2.3%.

Transportation and Warehousing: The transportation and warehousing industry in this country saw employment increase by 29,000 jobs (3.0%) in December.

Information, Culture and Recreation: 25,000 more jobs were taken up in this industry across Canada to end 2022, an uptick of 3.1%.

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: Employment in this industry rose by over 1% (+1.3%) as the number of people working in this industry grew by 23,000.

Accommodation and Food Services: 13,000 more people are working in this industry compared to the month prior (+1.2%).

Public Administration: Employment in this sector has risen by 11,000 jobs, an increase of 0.9% between November and December of 2022.

“Other Services”: 10,000 more people are working in this industry compared to the month prior (+1.3%).

Employment trends by province and territory

In December 2022, employment increased in six different provinces: Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan.

In Ontario, employment rose by 42,000 jobs (+0.5%) in December, up 1.4% YOY. Ontario-wide unemployment dropped down to 5.3% to end 2022, a YOY decrease of 0.8%.

Employment in Alberta rose by 25,000 jobs (+1.0%) in December, although the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8%. Employment was up by 3.9% — and the unemployment rate was down 1.7 percentage points — YOY in Alberta.

Here are the December 2022 results for the four remaining provinces mentioned above:

British Columbia: Employment in December 2022 grew by 17,000 jobs (0.6%) while the unemployment rate held relatively steady at 4.2%

Manitoba: Manitoba employment was up 1% in December (7,000 jobs) while province-wide unemployment continued unchanged at 4.4% for the month

Saskatchewan: In Saskatchewan, employment increased by 4,200 jobs (+0.7%) in December, while the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.1%.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Employment in this province rose nearly three percent (+2.9%) in December 2022. However, NL recorded the highest unemployment rate across all 10 Canadian provinces (10.1%).

Note: Employment results in Canada’s other four provinces remained relatively steady to end 2022, but this month’s Labour Force Survey did indicate that December 2022 unemployment in Quebec came in at 4% while YOY employment was up 1.8% across the province and unemployment fell 0.7% YOY.

Across Canada’s three territories, all of which provide quarterly employment updates, the only notable movement involved Yukon’s unemployment rate, which rose to 4.8% (+2.3%) in Q4 2022. Quarterly employment and unemployment rates across the three regions remained relatively stable otherwise.

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