Labour Market Trends
Labour Market Trends
Total Employment Little Changed in November; Manufacturing Sees Second Straight Month of Solid Job Growth
- Employment rose a modest 10,100 (+0.1%) in November, the third consecutive monthly gain.
- The increase in employment spanned 8 of 16 industries, with finance, insurance and real estate, manufacturing, and information, culture and recreation posting the biggest gains.
- Manufacturing employment rose by 18,500 (+1.1%), up solidly for the second month in a row.
- The headline unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 5.1% in November, while the unemployment rate in manufacturing dropped a more dramatic 0.7 percentage points to 3.0%.
- Year-over-year wage growth in the overall economy remained robust at 5.6%, while hourly earnings in manufacturing accelerated sharply to 6.9%.
- Total employment was up in just three provinces in November: Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.
- The increase in manufacturing employment was driven by gains in Quebec and Alberta.
- The second straight month of solid job growth brought a dose of much-needed good news for the manufacturing sector, which has seen many key indicators like GDP, exports, and sales tail off in recent months. November’s job report also reinforced expectations that the Bank of Canada will deliver another interest rate hike at its December 7th
ECONOMY SEES LITTLE JOB GROWTH IN NOVEMBER
Employment rose a modest 10,100 (+0.1%) in November, the third consecutive monthly advance. Last month’s gains were all in full-time employment and more than offset a decline in part-time work.
The increase in employment spanned 8 of 16 industries. The strongest gains were observed in finance, insurance, and real estate (+21,400), manufacturing (+18,500), and information, culture and recreation (+15,500). In contrast, notable declines were recorded in construction (-24,700), wholesale trade (-23,200), and professional, scientific and technical services (-15,000).
Although the headline employment figure was little changed in November, the jump in full-time work and the near-record low unemployment rate indicate that Canada’s labour market remains in decent shape. This has reinforced expectations that the Bank of Canada will deliver another interest rate hike at its December 7th meeting.
MANUFACTURERS ADD WORKERS FOR SECOND MONTH IN A ROW
As mentioned above, manufacturing employment increased by 18,500 (+1.1%) in November, building on the gain of 23,800 (+1.4%) in October. This is a marked turnaround from the previous five months when employment fell by almost 44,000. Put together, manufacturing employment was little changed on a year-over-year basis, with the workforce numbering 1.763 million in November. Still, the second straight month of solid job growth brought a dose of much-needed good news for the sector, which has seen many key indicators like GDP, exports, and sales tail off in recent months.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINES SLIGHTLY
The headline unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 5.1% in November. This was the second decrease in three months, edging the rate closer to the record low of 4.9% observed in June and July. At the same time, the jobless rate in manufacturing dropped a more dramatic 0.7 percentage points to 3.0%, just 0.3 percentage points shy of its all-time low.
WAGE GROWTH REMAINS ROBUST
With many businesses across Canada continuing to struggle to find the workers they need, it is not a surprise that average hourly earnings in the overall economy continue to climb, rising for the fourth consecutive month by 0.5% in November. On a year-over-year basis, wage growth remained robust at 5.6%.
A similar story continues to unfold in manufacturing, but at a more extreme level, reflecting even tighter labour market conditions. Average hourly earnings rose 1.9% in November, the biggest one-month gain since January 2022. Accordingly, year-over-year wage growth accelerated to 6.9%, more than double the sector’s historical average of 2.5% and the fourth highest rate on record.
EMPLOYMENT INCREASE CONCENTRATED IN A FEW PROVINCES
Regionally, employment was up in just three provinces: Quebec (+28,100), Ontario (+22,600), and Nova Scotia (+1,600). This was the third increase in four months for Quebec, and it coincided with the unemployment rate hitting a record low of 3.8%. On the flipside, the largest proportional decreases in employment were observed in Prince Edward Island (-1,500), Newfoundland and Labrador (-3,500), and Manitoba (-5,400).
The increase in manufacturing employment spanned five of ten provinces, with the gains concentrated in Quebec (+10,200) and Alberta (+5,900). This was the fourth consecutive monthly advance for Alberta’s manufacturing sector, though it has yet to reach its pre-pandemic level. Proportionally, PEI (-1,500) posted the most significant decline in manufacturing payrolls.